Do It For Yourself


With so many of us working from home now, the tendency is to just give up. Give up on our hair, forget make-up, and survive in the same leggings for multiple days at a time. Hey, I confess, I’ve been there multiple times over the past month. I’ve been living in leggings. Thank goodness for my obsession with a certain brand of leggings; I have enough to last a month without having to wear the same pair!

But I digress. After about a week of living like this, hair unkempt, face with three-day-old mascara running down my face, an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness and frustration started setting in. I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as depression, because I have been there before. I just felt uncomfortable in my own skin.

Here I was, trying to adjust to a new norm.

self care

I was home all the time now, working from my makeshift office (i.e. commandeering the dining table as my new office space). At the beginning of my time at home, my kids were on spring break, actually, extended for two weeks. There was no schedule, there was no order to anything. We ate what we wanted, when we wanted. My kids wore the same pajamas for three days and I was looking like a slopping mess.

I still was accomplishing my daily work goals and getting my job done. But, I just wasn’t feeling “it.” I was out of sorts. My anxiety was at an all-time high and I was completely overwhelmed by the new life we were living now.

My “me-time” that I had been working on setting up for myself recently has all gone by the wayside now (my monthly massage “subscription” has come to a complete halt and nights out with the girls have just about all ceased). How was I going to get back to feeling like ME again?

Sure, I’m not going to the office every day. I’m not having to get dressed up in my business casual attire or even wear nice shoes during the day. Side note, I’m going to have a tough time converting back to wearing shoes on a daily basis instead of my fluffy pink slippers! I’m not having to deal with a commute and parking and getting my daily Starbucks to start my day.

Even though THAT aspect of my life currently is on hold, there are still SO many things that I can keep continue doing that will bring some sort of regularity back to my life. Some of these things seem simple and rather an oddball thing to do while I’m home, virtually 24/7, but it has been something that gets me in a better mood and a better mindset to accomplish what I need to every day.

I still get up my “regular” time every morning to start my work day.

Sure, I’d love sleeping in and getting more rest in the mornings, especially since my children are sleeping in and tackling their school work later in the morning. But for me, I feel out of sorts when I start work later and I like to get a jump on things when it’s quiet in the house.

I switched my shower schedule to the morning instead of before bed.

I know this one seems odd, but I’ve always been a shower before bed kind of person. It’s always relaxed me and after a long day and was nice to have that time for myself. But, with our new schedule and routine, I found that I rushed through the evening and just couldn’t relax enough while trying to shower at night. With getting up early each morning and starting my day quietly, I have found that taking my shower in the morning just helps me focus on what needs to be done during the day and gets me in a more relaxed mindset.

I started wearing make-up during the day and doing my hair.

Sure, I have no one to impress, and besides my children when I have them, no one really sees me. But I see me. When I don’t put on my make-up, I see the dark circles under my eyes. I see the puffiness from the minimal sleep I’m still getting. I see the stress breakouts that are hitting me currently. I see a person that is worn out and tired continuously. Putting on makeup for myself instantly gives me a mental boost. I feel better about myself. I look better overall. My face looks brighter, and I feel a sense of normalcy. I wash my hair and will usually flat-iron it or style it. It’s too short for the messy bun currently. But that’s ok with me. Getting “ready” for the day has been a lifesaver for me, even while I’m stuck at home.

I take an actual lunch break during the day and a catnap after work.

Yes, I know this isn’t always something everyone can do. And no, I don’t take a nap every single day when I’m done working. BUT, I have found that there are days when I feel more exhausted. If I need a quick nap to feel better, I’m going to find a way to take that nap. And it feels amazing, even if it’s just a quick 30 minutes. As for taking a lunch break, I rarely had time to do that when I was in the office. I was busy, things were non-stop, I rarely took the time for myself. But while I’m home, I’ve been much more aware of my time, and how I spend it, either on everyone else, doing everything for them, or actually carving out time for me.

I know these seem like simple ideas. And you know what? THEY ARE! But sometimes, it’s the simple things that we often overlook and glaze over that make the biggest difference. For me, it’s made a WORLD of difference in my daily life. I’ve been more relaxed, my anxiety has been kept at bay, and I feel pretty darn great overall. Right now, during all this craziness we call life, I will cling to anything and everything that make me feel great with simple self care tips. I owe it to myself (and my family of course) to do what I can to be a better me. You do, too!

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Abby Turner Hager
I am originally from New Hampshire and moved to the Cincinnati area in 2003. I am a single mom to 2 amazing boys, Eli and Ethan. We are avid Reds fans and you will likely find us at the ballpark quite a bit during baseball season. I have a degree in healthcare management and work full-time in Cincinnati. I have shared parenting of my boys, so when we are together, I try to make sure we make the most of our time! Whether it’s seeing Madcap Puppets, exploring the numerous local parks, enjoying the Cincinnati Pops, or cheering on our Cincinnati Redlegs, I strive to expose my boys to as many aspects of culture that I can! I enjoy music (I’ve played piano for 30 years) as well as being crafty (as time allows!), making crazy cool cakes, and relaxing with my boys, our dog Frankie and cats Lyra & Luna (we have quite the animal kingdom in our house)! I’m really excited about sharing a piece of my world with you and this oftentimes humorous and wild adventure I call my life as a mom!


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