Mother’s Day this year has challenged us to demonstrate love and staying close, while social distancing and keeping our loved ones safe.

My Mom lives in Brazil while I live in California. My plans to spend Mother’s day with her, traveling in Europe, had to be canceled due to COVID-19.

Besides sending her love through virtual messages and video calls, I decided to honor my Mom by reflecting on all the lessons she taught me growing up. Those lessons have strengthen me and prepared me to surpasses crises throughout my life and they are specially valuable now.

1. Be authentic, you don’t need to fit in or prove yourself to others: growing up, my mom showed me how was much more fun to choose my toys, school materials, clothes, activities based on my own taste instead of following what other girls were doing.

Getting used to be myself regardless of society’s expectations have been extremely useful now. In the beginning of the quarantine, over 2 months ago, many publications were emphasizing how people should use this time to build new skills, and training platforms were giving generous discounts. I love to learn, but I felt extremely overwhelmed when shelter in place started. I just couldn’t focus on that. My priority was to check on my family and friends across the globe to ensure they were safe. My screen time grew substantially to cope with my anxiety and need to consume news and social media feeds. I needed that time to reset and be less productive than normal. I have no regrets of being less productive.

As time past, I stopped reading negative and alarming news, regain my focus on meditation. As a result, my stress level (and screen time) have decreased. I am finally able to do my technical trainings because I respected myself and I didn’t force myself to follow the wave.

2. Be positive and keep the faith: when feeling lost, facing problems or challenges on my young life my mom has always been the light guiding me to find the way out. She would always say that I should be faithful and persist to pursue the desired outcome. By then, I didn’t know about the power of mindfulness and positive thinking, so often I would not receive well her advice. She would insist until I changed my mood and attitude.
I don’t need to describe how this lesson have helped me throughout this period. I continue to write on my gratitude journal all my blessings. The 21 days of meditation – Finding hope in uncertain times by Deepak Chopra and OprahHow my Mom helped me to be resilient, faithful and persevere through challenges helped me to reconnect with myself.

3. Be creative and resourceful: if there were no enough ingredients for the cake I wanted, she would adapt the recipe and make it work, if my favorite toy was broken, she would always figure out a way to fix it. “There is nothing I can’t do” was her mantra. No matter how I challenged her, she would always surprise me with creative solutions.

I love exercising and I used to go to the gym and yoga studio very often. Within a few days quarantining without exercising, my energy and productivity decreased. I had to create a new routine. My personal trainer sent me workouts using the resistant bands and TRX I’ve already had, and I bought a Google Chromecast to use TV for online training. I’m getting adapted to the new normal and I may combine gym with home workouts in the future.

Smart, kind, humble, perseverant, generous, honest, my Mom has shaped my personality, character and inspired my dreams. She is my role model and my best friend. I will never be able to thank her enough for all her efforts while raising me as a single mom.

Originally published on Ideas for Divas