Why Self-Care is Needed, Now More Than Ever
For a couple weeks now—or even longer, depending where you live, we’ve found ourselves trying to adjust to our new normal. For many of us, this is uncharted territory, so it can be frightening. As the pandemic continues to unfold, I’ve realized a few things: 1. In most cases (excluding the extreme), we have a choice about how we want to respond to what’s happening. 2. Practicing self-care is more important now than ever.
WE HAVE A CHOICE IN HOW WE REACT
Before the official Stay at Home Order you could sense all the frenzy at the grocery store with people loading up on products like toilet paper, bleach, hand sanitizer, and food. In the midst of this madness, I found myself trying to keep my cool while those around me were frantically shopping. The panic in the air was infectious and I refused to be a victim or to act irrationally and unkindly to those around me as I saw some folks were doing. As more time progressed, it became obvious that self-care during this difficult time was going to help me get through this while maintaining my sanity. Of course, I’ve had to adjust my routine to accommodate this time and so should you.
COVID-19 SELF-CARE CHECKLIST
Stick with your normal relaxation practice
Make time for yourself. I know, I know. What do you need to relax for when you have no work and all your days start blending together? Well, there are those who are still working, but even if you’re not, you still need a break from stressing the heck out. We have to be intentional about creating a safe space to recharge and decompress. This could be something as simple as taking a shower or bath, walking around your neighborhood (if it isn’t crowded), catching up on your favorite novel or show, or just zoning out and enjoying the silence after the kids have gone to bed.
Maintain contact with loved ones (virtually of course)
Isolation can be mentally taxing, especially if you live alone. Even if you don’t, you may find it difficult to be without your friends or other family members, so don’t lose contact. The beauty of this day and age is all the technology at our fingertips. Make a point to schedule calls or even video hangouts. Have dinner together by turning on your cameras while you eat. Yes, I know it’s not the same, but we have to make adjustments during this time.
Get some fresh air
If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere where there’s ample space for you to walk around without people being in your space, then go for it! Take advantage of that sunshine and fresh air, even if for a short period of time.
Set time aside for venting
Get whatever you need to off your chest. Sometimes you just need to release those feelings so they’re not bubbling up inside of you. If you live with others, it’s inevitable that there may be some tension at some point. Being together 24/7 is bound to bring up some issues. Air out those grievances, so it isn’t bottled up. You definitely don’t want to end up with hidden resentment or blowing up at your loved ones.
Be realistic and don’t ignore your feelings
You can be as optimistic as you’d like, but the waves of sadness may be unavoidable. It’s ok to feel that way. It’s a difficult time. However, there’s a big difference between acknowledging the sadness and allowing yourself to be sucked into a black hole of despair. Recognizing these type of feelings is the only way to come to terms with them and eventually emerge on the other side. Remind yourself that these are unprecedented times. You’re doing your best, so cut yourself some slack. Trying to put on a happy face while internally suffering will not do any good. Be aware of these negative feelings, so you can work through them. We can’t change what’s happening now, but we can be grateful for the good in our lives and remind ourselves that like many obstacles we’ve experienced before this, this too will pass. Don’t let your new normal be the doom and gloom.
Limit your news access and where you get your information
If you notice that you’re being sucked into despair, lay off watching/reading too much news. Of course I know we’d like to stay informed, but if you notice that it’s negatively affecting you, give yourself a time limit. Perhaps watch 30 minutes instead of leaving the news on all day and definitely don’t watch before bedtime if it gets you all riled up. Last thing you want is to cause more panic and confusion in your life.
Anxiety and panic are all too common right now. With so much worry and uncertainty floating around, it can be easy to be influenced by other people’s fears and concerns without even realizing it. If you know people who are in the habit of sending worst-case-scenario click bait articles or is prone to sending upsetting messages, practice some emotional distancing. Tell them you understand where they’re coming from, but that you’re taking a break from worrying news, or simply hit the mute button. You can always reconnect when things are calmer.
Focus on the things you enjoy
Think of things you can do with this new found time at home. Reconnect with hobbies or activities you enjoy but didn’t have time for, finally learn that new skill or tackle that project you’ve been putting off. If young children make solo activities hard to do, focus on activities you can enjoy together.
Help others (without depleting yourself)
This is a time to come together and help each other. It’s normal to feel frightened. Please don’t allow your fear to overtake your compassion and sense of humanity. We must have courage in these times to work together. With that said, it’s important to recognize and hold the boundaries that are safe for you while assisting others. After all, your positive impact on the world only comes when you’re happy. A negative mindset may not help others very much.
Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?”
When all else fails and you’re feeling “off,” take a breather and think about what you need. You may just find the answer you need in that moment.
Keep in mind that self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessity because when you prioritize your needs, you’re replenishing your tank, emotionally and physically. That means you’ll be in a better position to comfort and care for others when they need it most.
Are you in the South Bay near Torrance, Manhattan Beach, or Hermosa Beach? Book a session once it’s safe to go out again. You’ll probably need it! It’s a win win. You’ll get much needed body work and will help support my small business. Look forward to seeing you!