The overwhelm of the past year (and young parenthood in general!) has left us feeling a need for less rather than more as we consider how to celebrate and honor ourselves on Mother’s Day this year. Rather than going big after a year of juggling so much, we have put together a list of ways to care for your mind, body, and soul (possibly alone?) with mild to minimal effort required.
1. Krista Tippett’s soul-changing podcast On Being recently featured a talk with clinical psychologist Christine Runyan who offers listeners simple strategies to regain our capacities and care for our nervous systems at a time in human history where so many feel as exhausted as ever. 2. This piano playlist is the definition of calming music. It would take effort to put this on and not feel at least a little more at peace!
3. If you’re braving movie theaters these days, make an escape to sit in the dark with a snack and watch Minari. This film follows a Korean-American family as they move to the Ozarks in search of their own American Dream. 4. Feel so seen as a mama watching Ally Wong’s infamous stand-up from 2018 Hard Knock Wife where she digs into the ups and downs of young motherhood and pregnancy. If you’ve already seen it, it’s so worth an encore, right?!
5. Kate Baer’s first book of poems, What Kind of Woman speaks to the nitty gritty of what it means to be a woman, partner, and mother. Fly through this (with a lot of head nodding and laughing out loud) in a hot bath or a sunny spot in the yard. 6. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. A mother of five, writer, and aviator, Anne writes this well loved, lyrical, and debatably timeless read during a solo trip to the sea. Away from the obligations of daily life and family, she uses the sea and its shells as her inspiration to reflect on the life of the American woman in the middle of the 20th century.
7. Bake up this strawberry rhubarb crumble (and top with ice cream)! Everything can be prepped during nap time and little hands can easily help assemble before popping in the oven. The more rustic looking the better. 8. Catch everything in bloom on a lazy stroll through a nearby botanical garden or park. Let your senses guide you. Remember what it feels like to not be in a hurry.
Art image sources: "Moon Shell 26" graphite drawing by Whitney River; "The Broken Shell" painting by Georgia O'Keefe.