Raise your hand if the constant reminders for self care make you anxious. Keep it raised and lower all your fingers except the middle one if you’re tired of feeling guilty for not “making the time” for self care while you’re busy them-caring for your kids, your partner, your fur babies, your friends, your co-workers, and on and on.
I FEEL YOU. And my middle finger is raised so high.
Like most of the world, I spent my first few pandemic weeks in shock, wondering what just happened and kicking myself for casually walking past that giant stack of Clorox wipes and boxed wine during my last B.C. (Before COVID) Costco trip. After resigning myself to never leave the house again…and also feeling beyond grateful my family could stay safe at home, I moved on to the various stages of Quarantine Hell.
First came the sourdough phase, quickly followed by the Animal Crossing phase, the face and foot mask phase, the nacho phase (TBH, that phase is still in going strong), the forgetting how long it’s been since my last shower phase, and the crying phase (also still going strong).
Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for looking adorable while cleaning your pores (thanks Disco Kitten face mask), but really, I was just distracting myself from the overwhelming fear of the world outside and chaos of the world inside.
Trying to find any amount of control in a very uncontrollable reality, working overtime in an entirely new way, and making sure my 5-year-old was entertaining not destroying herself or the house was a perfect storm creating a tidal wave of burnout headed straight for me.
I needed a K Beauty mask for my brain. Like every cheery Flight Attendant tells you, “Secure your own mask first before assisting others.” But, UGH, how could I possibly fit ONE MORE thing into my days of nonstop Zoom calls and 24/7 snack duty?
Welcome to my “Mini Me Time” phase—AKA, my “Hey buddy, go ask Daddy because Mommy needs a minute” phase
Let’s be real here: Any activity that has to be scheduled, needs a full hour+ of devoted attention, or involves me waking up at 5 a.m. is going to be a hard pass from me. So I started small and began collecting an arsenal of tiny things that make me happy, give me a new perspective, and help me learn something new.
My collection of “Mini Me Time” things are quick and easy to squeeze in between meetings and momming, and a welcome break from destructive doom-scrolling. Instead of spending my breaks trying to figure out what to do, I could just jump in. Not unlike parking in the farthest spot from the entrance and opting for the stairs, I found that a few stolen minutes here and there really made a difference. Fifteen minutes at a time, I was beginning to calm that burnout tidal wave.
Of course, my go-to list won’t be perfect for you, but it may spark an idea or lead you down a path to something you’ll love. And, I KNOW you’re busy, so bookmark this for later and please share any ideas you have in the comments, so we can all add to our collections!
Here are some of my favorites…
When You Need Perspective
Podcast: 20 Minutes with Bronwyn
Bronwyn Saglimbeni is a communication coach and my most favorite find. I stumbled across her podcast, 20 Minutes with Bronwyn, and quickly binged every episode. She brings so much perspective and positivity to EVERYTHING I struggle with as a working mom and lifetime self-doubter. This episode with Dr. Adam Dorsay and this one on the power of morning rituals are a great place to start.
We the Urban has been the best add to my Instagram feed. Their brightly colored affirmations are always perfect and always needed. They also publish a fantastic blog that features a diverse range of voices and topics.
Mixed between bouncy dances to “Blinding Lights“ by The Weeknd and vegan recipes (I dare you not to love Tabitha Brown), I stumbled onto #TikTokTherapist. Who knew that there are amazing therapists, like @RaquelMartinPHD and @EvolveandBloom, sharing their wisdom 60 seconds at a time? I guess we all do now, so that’s cool.
When You Need to Chill
Yoga: Yoga with Adriene
Based on the millions of views, you’ve probably heard of Yoga with Adriene (and Benji…if you know, you know). If you haven’t, she offers a ton of great FREE classes and most are under 30 minutes. I’m currently loving this 30 Day Breath Journey.
Podcast: Levar Burton Reads
Levar Burton Reads is like a vacation for your ears. How luxurious to have someone read to you paired with sweet memories of Reading Rainbow…so DREAMY.
TV Show: Pen15
The literal last place anyone would ever choose to go back to is middle school, but Pen15, streaming on Hulu, is made by real-life BFFs, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, and 100% worth the awkward trip back. It’s cringey and gives you that “I accidentally told my crush I like him” feeling, but it’s also insanely heartwarming. These ladies are fearless geniuses and I would 100% have been their friend.
When You Need Support
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to remind you that there are fantastic resources available to help you. We all need help at some point and these organizations offer free information, no judgement and helpful support for you and any loved ones struggling with mental wellness: Mental Health America,, NAMI, and Psychology Today.