Are you struggling in isolation? Feeling like a mombie, surviving off of coffee, wishing you could take 3 hour naps in the afternoon, stressed beyond belief?

In this episode, Dr. Alison shares her top tips for surviving isolation, improving your energy and sleep, creating healthy habits, and how to take care of yourself!

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Mombie Survival Guide:


Read the transcript:

Hello everyone. My name is Dr. Alison DiBarto Goggin with little black bag medicine. And today we are going to be talking about the isolated mombie and what we are going to do to survive.

So what is a mombie, it is actually similar to a zombie, right? But a mom who is kind of like a living, walking dead or alive person trying to figure out how to make it through the day. They typically say we run on coffee, survive on wine at night. I like to say we steal fruit snacks because a lot of moms are hiding in the pantry crashing in the afternoon and then awake all night tossing and turning.

So what I am launching is the mombie survival guide is a 10 videos and 10 days theories is completely free to help you break free from the mombie life that you might be living.

When my son was born, he’s now eight, he did not sleep at all through the night.

He slept in about 45 minutes cycles. And it wasn’t until he was about nine months old that he slept for five hours in a row and I felt like a brand new person. It was insane. And throughout the next few years I worked myself into a frenzy and overloaded myself. I was sick all of the time. I was crashing at four o’clock in the afternoon and sleeping until six I was so incredibly stressed out. And then I was sleeping until nine or nine or 10 o’clock in the morning after I had left my practice and took basically a sabbatical just to be home with my kids. I was eating like junk food all the time because I just didn’t care. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I wanted to exercise. I started exercising. I’ve started a million programs, go in my basement.

There’s just stacks of DVDs. It’s crazy, but I would only get one or two weeks in and then I would completely crash and be wiped out and couldn’t exercise every muscle. Every joint was so incredibly sore and I had no idea what to do.

I was told I had anemia. I was told I had thyroid issues. I was told I had a hormone issues. At some points I was even told I had cancer. Now none of those were right. Thank God. None of them were true. And I had to work on myself and actually do my own blood testing cause no one else would run it for me and do my own investigation to what’s going on. So that is a mombie and I a recovered one. So I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely possible, and while we’re in isolation and maybe you’re even more overwhelmed right now, even more confused. My kids are running around right now outside. I’m wondering when they’re going to bust in here. I sit down to read a book and they’re on top of me. There’s so much noise all of the time. No one stops talking or dogs don’t stop barking. Emails won’t stop.

So take a deep breath like I need to right now as well. I’m with you, with you. I know that as a woman, you want to show up in your life the way you want to. And right now, if you’re feeling this way, you probably aren’t showing up the way you who you truly are. Your full self expression right, you might be angry, right? You might be lashing out at your kids or your husband or your spouse. You might be totally shutting down into depression and not feeling good. Like you can’t even get out of bed.

You can’t clean, you can’t, laundry is piling up, dishes are piling up. You’re just feeling overwhelmed and that’s totally normal and that’s totally okay because a lot of people are feeling that way. We don’t know what to expect in the next month, two months, rest of the year. Is this going to happen again?

We’re all in limbo right now.

So when you’re looking at your health and you’re thinking, God, I just want to do something. I just want to feel better right now. I do not expect anyone to make drastic changes. We can’t go to the grocery store. Like normal meat is sold out, fresh veggies aren’t sold out. So we’re probably really good on that one. But we’re basically emotionally eating stress, eating. So don’t feel like you have to make drastic changes right now. You don’t have to start a new diet or a program. You can start layering things on it.

That’s what we talked about a lot in the program. So while you’re here in isolation start just becoming really present and do your best job to limit your fears about the future. Stop worrying about the past. Easier said than done. Like I’m going to roll my eyes at myself on that one too. Don’t worry. But the more present you are, the more engaged you are, the more calm it will bring to you and the more present you are, the more calm we’ll bring it to your families. So we really need to just be together right now.

And I know over the weekend I was like pulling my hair out. I’m like, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t answer any more questions about YouTube or that video game. And I just couldn’t stop thinking about what are we going to do next week? What are we going to eat? How are we going to get toilet paper? What are, what am I going to do with my businesses and what does my husband got to do with this job? All of these things. And I just totally spazzed myself out. So I had to go back to all of my coping skills and do all of them at once. And it was really overwhelming.

So when I was able to step back and go, okay, there’s nothing I can do right now. I can’t worry about the future. I can’t change anything. I just had to be super present. It actually really changed the level of tension that was in my complete home because when we’re tense, our whole family picks up on it. And sometimes my kids get super tense and rage along with me and throw fits and go crazy. And sometimes they shut because they don’t want to trigger me.

And I can see that and I know I have to go, okay, I have to come to them. And usually what I do is I say, I’m sorry I’m having such a bad day and really struggling with this. It’s not about you. You’re a really good kid. Thanks for all your help. You know, whenever I need to say to them in that moment and does really start focusing on being present, which also means eye contact means breathing. It means answering their questions. It means being engaged in what they’re doing, even though it’s the same YouTube conversation over and over again. You know what I’m talking about, right? But involving them in your family, in your present moment, so that way you can really connect and calm with them and they can be your calm as well. The other thing is we need to rest to regenerate.

And that might mean slowing your roll with chores, slowing down with what needs to be done. There’s, we’re not going anywhere, right? Like we have to keep telling myself that that stuff’s not going anywhere. Like I need to rest so I can regenerate. Not just regenerate for our energy and our physical body, but our mental state, our emotional state, our spiritual state. We need to slow down, we need to rest. And it might feel nonproductive. You might feel like you’re a bad mom or a bad wife or a bad housekeeper, a bad employee, a bad boss, whatever you are, whatever your head is in that moment, you might feel like I’m not doing this right. But the truth is there is no rate right now. There’s no way for you to get everything done. There’s never a time when we can get everything done right.

So this is not the time to think “All right, well I’m home. Everything should be perfect.” You should think the opposite. We’re home. Nothing is going to be perfect. We’re going to not figure this out and we’re still going to be okay on the other side of this. And your kids have to rest. So when you’re doing school at home isolation school, this is a not a time to expect perfection. You can do your best, get things done as much as you can, but kids have a time limit too. So for us, we do have school scheduled during the day. Like, all right, we were at 10 30 and then I found that my son was just couldn’t handle it. He’s in second grade right now and he was just losing his mind. And when we stopped and readdressed, it was like, okay, he needs to do schoolwork right after eating.

So we had to move it back to 9:00 AM and he actually is doing a lot better. The other thing is that if he gets frustrated, angry, starts crying, starts not wanting to do anything, and that’s not every day, but when he has those bad days, I just stop. Don’t force him to do it. Don’t be like, well, you can sit at school. You can sit with me is completely different. They’re looking, I can tell you my son is looking and across the street is where his friends live. And he, I know he’s thinking, God, I wish I can just go be with them and go play. I miss my friends.

They’re feeling sad. They’re grieving. They lost the rest of their year and their interaction with their friends and their teachers and their loved ones on that side too. So slow down. Let them rest, let them regenerate as well.

And that really leads into letting go of any expectations and assumptions. I was reading about the ‘ask versus guess’ culture where a lot of people are raised, especially women to not be vocal about what they need. We’re not allowed to say that because that’s intimidating and forceful or you’re a nag and no one wants to be around you. And we’re just having these expectations and forcing people to guess at what makes us happy. Like wow, it’d be really nice if they did the dishes for me or if they picked up their laundry, but I’m not going to ask them to do it. I’m just going to make them guess. And that’s really difficult in a home when we’re together because now you’re forcing. Everybody’s forcing each other to guess what is going to make them happy and we have to cut it out. And you have to really look at your expectations, your assumptions of what people understand and know about you.

And you have to start coming up with assert assertive communication. Not aggressive but assertive. So there are three different types of communication. There’s passive where we don’t have eye contact, we’re looking down, we feel bad, feel guilty. We don’t, well, I don’t know if you’re going to be willing, right? There’s aggressive, which is aggressive, right? It’s in your face as demanding, not listening. And holding people to too high expectations. And then there’s assertive where we’re making good eye contact, we’re asking for what we want, we’re receptive and listening to others and we’re willing to either make compromises or make schedules together or figuring out what’s gonna work best.

So assertive communication and asking what you want right now is the only way you’re going to keep your marriage happy, keep yourself happy, keep your kids happy and everybody survived together in isolation without falling apart, without these big blow ups, without these fights.

And we can really embrace and learn about all that about ourselves. How do we communicate? What are we taking personally? What are we making assumptions on? What are we expecting from others that they don’t even know that we’re expecting it? Right? And your spouse and your kids have the same expectations and guess culture that you have as well. So this is an amazing time to dismantle that and start asking for what you want and need in order to make your home a happy one and the same time collaborating and compromising. So that way you are safe, healthy, insecure, and everyone else in your houses as well. Lower your stress, sleep better at night and feel really good. So that way you can really start working on yourself and being who you want to be with your kids. If you want to be energetic, playful, loving, what kind of home do you want to have?

What kind of experience and family experience do you want your children to grow up with? So the mombie survival guide is available now. It is totally free, packed with information. I have guided meditations in there for you as well. Journaling, exercise, everything that you need to get started on your health journey today. If you have any questions, if you wanna chat with me one-on-one, shoot me a message on Facebook at little black bag medicine and I’ll put the link in the comments so you can get signed up, get started and really focus on your health. And wellbeing, so you can feel like yourself again, and you can express yourself again and enjoy your life. So thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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