Self-care is vitally important, but even more so during the unsettling time that we are dealing with worldwide. Self-care helps not only with stress relief but also for overall mental health. Social distancing, self-quarantining or extra family time might have some feeling like they are losing their mental sanity. And although it also doesn’t take a lot to take proper care of yourself, it can be easily overlooked, but during this time it’s crucial. Here are some different ways to practice self-care now during difficult times now and every day after.
Get More Exercise
Self-quarantining is affecting everyone’s daily schedules. But now is not the time to get lazy and stay in bed all day or neglect your physical health. Doing a little bit of exercise every day will make you feel better about yourself and raise your self-confidence, which also helps your mental state. Exercise is really good for helping to relieve your stress and the endorphins you get from it can be tremendous for improving your move.
If your gym is closed or you feel don’t feel comfortable going to the gym right now, there are several trainers, like Lauren Elyce, who offer workouts you can do from home. You can also do something as simple as an afternoon walk or doing weightlifting in the morning before your shower is perfect. Take advantage of other activities like taking your dogs for longer walks and bringing the kids along, so everybody is getting exercise.
If you’re working from home, it’s easy to sit in the same spot all day. But take my advice, “do not sit still all day”. Last year, after injuring my Achilles, I was immobile and sat on my couch for hours on end and eventually developed blood clots in my calf, thighs, and lungs. It got BAD. So, whatever you do, do not neglect your physical health by sitting all day. And in addition to exercise, you should also be focusing on a proper diet by drinking more water and eating healthier.
Watch Something Funny
Don’t underestimate the power of laughing! Watch TV or a movie that makes you laugh. Avoid action, drama, and other genres that might make you feel miserable or increase your anxiety by the end. Binge-watch your favorite comedy on Netflix, or turn on the TV to try something new. Laughing is extremely healing and can quickly change your mood.
Keep a Journal
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or anxious during times of uncertainty and this is the perfect time to practice self-care by keeping a journal. Journaling is something you can easily continue even after quarantining is over by keeping the journal with you no matter where you are. You can keep a small notebook in your purse or briefcase, or you have a digital journal on your phone. You can find a helpful list of digital journals here. Through journaling, you’re able to write in it whenever you feel stressed or just want to get your feelings out. It can be very therapeutic for you. I love to write in a journal when I’m feeling super anxious or frustrated when I am feeling misunderstood.
Have Alone Time Every Day
Having alone time might be hard if you’re stuck in a house full of people but try to take some time alone each day. Make sure you have at least a few minutes each day all to yourself. You may have to wake up earlier than everyone else or escape to the bathroom. This can be a 30-minute walk that you go on after dinner, a fun 15-minute dance party all alone in your room before bed, or just 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else gets up while you enjoy your cup of coffee. It can seem so simple and minimal, but these little stretches of time where you are alone and just doing something for yourself can make all the difference.
Meditate for 10 Minutes
Meditation can help immensely to calm thoughts or anxiety. Try to have at least a short meditation session. Meditation allows you to slow down and calm down, giving your brain some time to relax, focus and have more clarity. Even if you can’t find a few minutes where you are alone, you can think of other places you might be alone and able to meditate, like when you are going on a walk or run, or while taking a shower.
Self-quarantining doesn’t mean complete isolation. Utilize Facetime to video chat with friends and family. Now is also a good time to actually reach out and call friends. Whatever you do, try to stay calm and know that you are not alone. Everyone else is trying to navigate life during these uncertain difficult times and get through the situation until life can resume the way we are used to it.