Self-Care Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Self-care is a vital part of maintaining a healthy body and mind at any time in our lives. It's even more crucial when experiencing a traumatic event such as a worldwide pandemic. Much focus is on the best ways to take care of yourself physically. Yet, mental and physical health are inextricably linked. A deficit in one leaves us more vulnerable in the other.
The coronavirus has affected each of us in different ways. Many of us are experiencing significant disruptions in our daily lives and routines. We may be dealing with constant underlying anxiety and insecurity about our jobs, finances, health, and the future. At the same time, we're isolated from a valuable source of support and comfort, our family and friends. All of these issues, combined with the potential of becoming ill with COVID-19, can be devastating to our mental health. So it's essential to take advantage of your extra time at home for some self-care.
BEST WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF DURING A PANDEMIC
Take care of your body
- Make time for exercise - One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to engage in mild to moderate activity consistently. Physical activity provides numerous benefits, including increased immunity and improved mood. Gyms may be closed, but there are many fun and effective ways to workout at home.
- Get out in the sunshine - Being stuck at home doesn't mean being trapped inside your home. One of the simplest ways to stay sane is by getting out in the sun for fresh air and vitamin D. Getting outdoors can also alleviate cabin fever. Just protect your physical health by practicing social distancing and following local directives.
- Learn and cook new recipes at home - Sheltering in place means you have a lot more time and opportunity to try out some new dishes or whip up old favorites. Be sure to balance indulging with healthier choices, too.
Take care of your mind
- Create new routines – Most of us thrive on some amount of consistency and predictability. So find ways to incorporate a routine into your days. This will help preserve a sense of normalcy and maintain a balance between your responsibilities and self-care.
- Unplug as needed – Staying informed is essential, especially during a pandemic. But avoid oversaturation with news and speculation, particularly from social media. Unplugging is one of the easiest ways to stay sane amid the angst and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness - If you're feeling stressed, incorporate meditation practice and mindfulness techniques into your day. Many resources are available for free. You can also look for free trials. Some health insurance companies are even covering year-long trials of meditation apps. These can be one of the best ways to take care of yourself during the pandemic by easing stress and anxiety.
- Explore your interests - Take advantage of your time at home and learn new skills, enjoy your hobbies, or work on those projects you haven't had time for.
Take care of your relationships
- Make an effort to be social - One of the most effective ways to stay sane is to maintain regular contact with friends and family. It can help you to feel less isolated, even when you're stuck at home. You can find solace in the shared experience or enjoy the welcome distraction it provides.
- Schedule regular calls and video chats - Planning regular social contact with others will give you something to look forward to while also providing routine. So set up a weekly happy hour over zoom, or start a virtual movie, book, or TV show club.
- Reach out for support - If you're struggling, asking for help is an essential part of self-care. Talk with loved ones about what you're feeling. Ask if they can recommend any self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic that works for them. If you're still struggling, reach out to a therapist whose expertise can help you through this challenging time.
Remember, the best way to take care of yourself is a combined approach that promotes both physical and emotional health. Trying out different self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic will go a long way toward keeping your spirits high and health intact.