Picture this. You’re a 30-something mom of a toddler, living in a busy city, dreaming of a good sleep. You usually wake up everyday to a rushed routine, a hectic day and busy evenings catching up on everything. But today is different. Today, the city is not busy at all. It is quiet because everyone is quarantined at home and have been on home arrest for weeks due to this era’s pandemic, called Corona Virus. Today, you need a simple pancake recipe fast! Because you woke up to a toddler nudging you at 6 am, demanding pancakes.
Your first reaction is “get a bit more sleep, you’ll have pancakes later”. Your second reaction is thinking your toddler has suggested an activity, something to keep them busy. So you oblige. You get up, wash your face and frantically search for the easiest pancake recipe there is. You don’t find it, because most pancake recipes nowadays require fancy ingredients and bananas, which you forgot to buy because you’ve been sitting home for days on end to stay safe.
That’s where your grandma’s recipe comes in. The old traditional pancake, with traditional milk and sugar and flour. The one you make in a second and it turns out fluffy without letting it “rest” or bothering to separate egg whites from egg yolks and all that jazz. You dust off that recipe notebook you haven’t used for ages and start gathering the ingredients.
It literally took 10 minutes overall, to gather the ingredients, mix them all together (with toddler participation!), then cooking them on a pan until golden, to plaster a big smile on my daughter’s face. All that before 9 am!
Here it is, the not-so-groundbreaking pancake recipe that can literally save a mom’s life (and mental health).
P.S. The recipe is downloadable.
Lately, Lebanese people have been feeling exhausted (know more here). Mostly mentally, but also physically because the mind automatically impacts the body. Emotional exhaustion is basically losing sleep, fighting off anxiety, analyzing what to do, coming up with Plan Bs, Cs, Ds and Es, and keeping up with a somewhat normal life (maintaining our jobs and for us parents, keeping up with our kids who have no clue about what is happening ). On a personal level, I was recently on the verge of a burn out, which qualifies as the “emotionally exhausted” level. I had to act fast in order to stay strong for my family and not let myself crumble and reach actual burn out.
So, from that experience, here are a few tips on how to quickly get back on your feet when facing emotional exhaustion:
- Stop everything and get back to bed. Turn off your phone (or divert all calls except the school or nursery for parents), turn on the TV for something light and just sit there with a warm cup of tea/coffee for a few hours. Do not consider this a waste of time! If this is what you need to do to self-care, then do it.
- Feeling like leaving the house and seeing people is too much? Just don’t. There is nothing wrong with shutting yourself out for as long as you need. Forget about social pressure. Your mind needs it.
- Cooking is therapy. Dive into meal prep, dough-making and baking. You won’t regret it.
- Pile up romantic comedies and light reads, and wind down.
- If you’re into it, start writing a journal. Pour your thoughts on a piece of paper that no one will ever see. There’s something magical about it. If you’re not into writing down your feelings, something as small as a food log might make you happy.
- Create new self-care habits, like drinking a camomille/ glass of wine before bed, or a new skincare routine. Whatever small thing that makes you happy!
- Last but not least, talk to someone! It can be a life coach, a psychologist or even chatting away with those few close friends you’ve made over the years. The ones that understand you and would never ever judge you. Chances are they feel the same.
Any other fast self-care tips during emotional exhaustion? Let us know!
Click here for Self-Care as A Mom!
On one of my typical days, you’ll find me working on my projects, working out at home, running errands and looking frantically among my recipe books for something like “Easy Cake Recipe to make with kids”.
Re-adjusting to nursery and routine has been tough on us lately (check out the reason here). As a result, I’ve been dragging a 2 year-old, fiercely determined to make me feel guilty, to nursery every morning. As a good old mom who falls into a typical trap, I’ve been (as a result of desperation) referring to bribes and lots of promises I have the pressure to keep. One of those promises is to get ingredients so we can bake something nice in the afternoon. So we have been baking quite a lot lately. However, there’s no question that the recipe should be of the easiest ones out there. Since a toddler is still impulsive and wants to do things themselves (plus, test their limits along the way and show no shame when it comes to tantrums), you need something practical and fast. A long search, a few messy experiences and burnt-on-one-side cakes later, I have found it! A yummy and easy cake recipe to make with kids, with a few steps and a nice outcome!
So! Who’s trying this?
A little over a year ago, I took the big decision to quit my full-time job and take the freelance route (you can read more about what I do here). For most people, freelance life is crazy, careless and risky, but I knew it in my heart that I couldn’t survive in a corporate environment where you had to stay put from 8 to 5. Determined, I set my mind up to it. I decided I could do it. That I could match my income and that it wasn’t impossible. Then I vowed to never think otherwise. If I were to cave into negative thoughts and the influence of conventional people, I would not be where I am today.
FREELANCING AS A MOM
Freelancing as a mom however, is no piece of cake. This summer, I found myself trying to work freelance with a toddler on vacation! In our family, staying in the city during summer is out of the question. Add to that the fact that Alex had caught all possible viruses during the year, it was time to take a long summer holiday. So at the end of June, we moved to the mountains for 2 months of fresh air and no routine (panic!).
It takes a slightly fresh weather and comfort food cravings to come up with the idea of cooking a nice chicken curry. The dish is full of flavors and leaves you completely satisfied with your meal. I always thought these kinds of dishes needed a basic recipe that the cook could play around with. The choice of spices, vegetables, proteins, and the level of spiciness are completely subjective. So here is a recipe you can use as a base and then manipulate according to your preferences.
When you become a mom, you Self is put last. You start caring for a tiny human being who has no power and is fully counting on you for survival. Then, this tiny human starts growing and you start finding a balance, but most of the time, you find yourself exhausted and on edge about the smallest little things. You realize that if you don’t actually take care of yourself, your tiny human will end up being cared for less, because you’ll be too exhausted to care for him to perfection. So take on the offers to babysit and head out for an hour or 2 to self-care. Here are 5 ways to save your body and mind:
- See a nutritionist. Forget vanity, looking thin and avoiding people telling you you’ve gained weight. I started seeing Rouba when I had gained a few kilos and stopped feeling like myself. She helped me achieve a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in food. I still go for a monthly check up, because it makes me feel good, it helps me maintain my weight – which became essential for me after seeing how much energy it gave me, how much better I could take care of my child and feel less tired (especially after a sleepless night). Eating better is everything! It is good for your gut which, in turn, is good for you.
- See a psychologist or life coach. 7 years ago, I met a life coach who changed my vision about life. This is a huge thing to say but it’s true. His advice and statements sticked with me and help me out of situations till now. Since then, I’ve always wanted to see someone regularly. Coming from a psychology background, I always believed in seeing a professional to preserve your mental health. Needless to say, it helps you keep things in perspective, brings you back to earth and gives you tools to survive difficult situations. Mental self-care is related to physical self-care. The body gets tired of fighting the mind sometimes, and gives way to all kinds of diseases and physical unease.
- Walking or gym or dancing or whatever makes you happy to move. Since forever, my favorite workout has been walking. It helps me meditate and be alone with my thoughts.
- Take it slow. Not having a hectic life is not wrong. Our society puts so much pressure on having non-stop activities and people to see that we forget how important it is to just slow down. Night in with a book or Netflix on your mind for the 6th night this week? Do it. Let the guilt go.
- Say no to things you don’t want to do and to people you don’t want to see. Limit situations where you feel uncomfortable and stressed. You’ll lose people along the way, you’ll maybe fight with your husband, or mom, but with time, they’ll learn your limits and how to respect them. This is maybe one of the things I struggle with the most in my self-care routine. It is so hard to do what keeps you sane without justifying yourself to everyone.
And most importantly, be yourself. Do not let anyone or anything change who you are. That is true self-care!
Any other self-care tips? Comment to let us know!
Here is an article I wrote for Jaleesa a few weeks ago, that I thought you’d like to read!
So here we go! First day back to normal after all the holiday (beautiful) madness and emotional rollercoaster that comes with this time of year.
New year, new us? Well, I don’t really think so. I’m kind of happy with my current me; I don’t really want to be a new me; this must mean I’m doing SOMETHING right, doesn’t it? I’m truly grateful for everything I have and don’t want things to change.
Back in August, we decided with my sister to spend a long weekend in Prague. We’d never seen the city and its always been on my list, so off we went! In the weeks leading to our trip, we infinitely pinned things to do and places to see in one of Europes most magical cities. One pin led me to a food tour. I’d always wanted to see cities through the eyes of locals and discover how they spend their time, their weekends and holidays. After a bit of research, I found a tour called Prague Food Tour. From their website, we saw that it was something simple, fun and truly local. The guides were Leona and Georges and we were set for a few hours around local places.
The new kid in town. Bistr’eau. This place holds a very special place to my heart as it is my husband’s hard earned success. If you’ve been following us for a while, you know my husband Jean (initially an electrical engineer and financial consultant) is a food lover and amateur Chef. His dream for the past few years was to have that restaurant where he would go crazy and work on his passion. This summer, he found it.