This is a strange and stressful time for all of us. As we get used to a “new normal” it’s good to have some tools we can use to cope with our current situation. As a photographer and A MOM I found some informative tips on this topic which i hope will help you
During difficult times, the first thing we need to do is turn to our trusted self-care strategies. Remember, this is not the first stressful period in our lives. We have all lived through other difficult times and have developed tools that we know can help us cope. Now is the time to remember what has helped us get through to the other side of those other stressful moments, and use those tools again.
Here are some ways photography mom and just any mom can take care of themselves during this stressful time:
1. STAY CONNECTED TO FAMILY, FRIENDS AND PEERS.
In times like this, we need to stay connected to the people we normally connect with on a regular basis — family, friends and peers — using the tools we have at hand. Photography can be a great way to do this.
To connect with family and friends, so start a daily blog where you share photos and text of your daily lives during the Coronavirus pandemic. Your goal with this project is to document this strange time, and to share and connect with family and friends through these photos.
You can stay connected with your photographer peers online, either through Facebook groups, Instagram or photography forums and remember lets KEEP IT POSITIVE and not bring each other down.
Of course, keeping up connections with the people in our homes is even more essential than usual. And, since social distancing doesn’t apply, we can hug each other as much as we want. So as a family we hug alot...sometimes not by choice, my daughter is super huggy...always has been (my family and friends will know) but its amazing to have such a loveable daughter...and its during these times that makes those HUGS extra special!
2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO EXPRESS NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.
When we feel overwhelmed with a situation, having one or two people that we can talk to is very helpful. It’s important to make sure these people will help calm us down and ground us, not spiral with us into even more anxiety. Crying is also a great way to let go of stress and anxiety.
On the other hand, laughing is also very powerful. It can be a great help to find ways to laugh, either alone or with family members. I have seen so many funny posts which really made me giggle one especially by a fellow photographer Bianca Smit Photography check it out here is is sooooooooooo funny had me crying in laughter
Choosing and reducing information as much as we can is essential in emergency times. There is so much information coming at us right now, and lots of speculative or false news, too. Choosing the right sources, mostly official ones, will help reduce anxiety.
It also helps to choose just one moment a day (or less) to look at the news so you’re not constantly disrupted. So i don't believe everything i read on facebook or social media i make sure i got to the correct sites to get the info i need.
4. FOCUS ON THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL.
We can’t control the virus, or government decisions, or what our neighbors are doing. But we can control the information coming into our homes. And, we can control the amount of screen time we are allowing ourself and our kids, the food we eat and the time we go to bed. Focusing on what we can control gives us a sense of power in a situation where we don’t have much. Well for me its been baking oh boy and baking alot...as i kid i loved baking for my 2 brothers...they loved eating the flops and the good ones...and since being a mom and full time photographer i have not had the time to do baking as much...so this gave me the excuse to get baking and boy did i do it...
5. GO OUTSIDE AND GET MOVING.
Moving and staying in contact with nature are great self-care strategies to reduce stress and anxiety. This may not be so easy to do right now, depending on where you live and local guidelines for social distancing. Why not try having a dance party in your lounge, put on your favourite tune and do it... While you’re at it, why not put the camera on a timer or remote and document this time? my daugther and I did something like that a few weeks ago and boy was it funny it was a blast... .check it out here:
You can stay connected to nature by taking in some sun and fresh air from your backyard, balcony or even a window. Or, try gardening (inside or outside) or even taking photos of the first signs of spring. For kids, playing with sensory textures (water, sand or food) is a great way to connect.
If you have to go out for grocery shopping or to work in essentials services, that can bring another level of stress and anxiety. Taking photos of your surroundings — empty streets and closed businesses (even from car windows) — could feel therapeutic. Of course, following the guidelines of your region is important.
6. USE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AS A THERAPEUTIC OUTLET.
Photography can be a great self-care strategy because the creative process can help you focus on the present and forget everything going on around you. A busy mind is less likely to spiral into anxious thoughts.
Any genre of photography — macro, still life, documentary or fine art, for example — can be therapeutic. But, if you don’t feel like shooting right now, try some creative edits. Really, any activity that helps keep your mind totally focused for two to 10 minutes or more, a few times a day, is great. My favorite form of photo therapy is to document one moment from as many different angles and creative techniques as possible.
Another way to use your photography for healing is to photograph the important events taking place right now. Chances are that you are experiencing birthdays and other significant life events completely differently than you might have planned. Why not document that as part of a day-in-the-life project? Finding ways to incorporate your grieving into documentary work can be deeply healing.
You can choose to keep these photos for yourself and your inner circle, but sharing on social media can also be therapeutic.
7. BE MINDFUL OF THE LITTLE EVERYDAY THINGS.
Photography can help us to be more aware of the present moment, and it’s a great way to document and remember this time as well. When we’re at home with our kids, the days can go both fast and slow at the same time. Looking at our photos at the end of the day will help us remember what we did and what was positive in our day that we might have otherwise forgotten.
And while focusing on documenting the positive aspects of our day will help, it’s important not to be blind to the difficult parts of our day, and to document those aspects as well. It’s OK to let ourselves hurt.
Mindfulness and meditation are also great ways to remember the everyday things.
8. GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT.
If you’re feeling like it’s just too much — if you’re short tempered, your sleep is disrupted, you’re eating to much or too little, you feel like crying all the time or if you can’t stop thinking of worst-case scenarios — reach out for help. I have learnt to swallow my pride and ASK FOR HELP too and sometimes just reaching out to a good friend or family member will make all the difference.