It’s no secret that making time for self-care is important for your overall health.
Yet during these challenging times fraught with anxiety and uncertainty, many of us have put self-care on the back burner. Or abandoned it altogether while getting lost in the noise around us.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the current state of affairs, we have some self-care techniques you can use to protect both your physical and mental health.
Start with Practicing Mindfulness
As you venture into the notion of better self-care, it can be difficult to know where to start. One of the simplest places to begin is by practicing mindfulness.
With your attention being pulled in so many different directions, it’s easy to get bogged down by fear and apprehension for the future. Or perhaps the extra time to ruminate has left you reliving moments of your past.
Mindfulness is simply present moment awareness. You can start practicing it by taking a few minutes several times a day to just focus on your inhales and exhales. As you get deeper into the practice, you may eat more slowly so you can savor each bite. Or perhaps you take a warm bath and notice how your muscles relax. You can do this during any activity.
You’ll notice pretty quickly how staying in the moment releases you from those fears and regrets. Of course, it’s not a permanent state. (Nothing is, really.) But just a few minutes of practicing mindfulness several times each day can help you reset both your mind and perspective.
And when done regularly, this meditative practice can buffer the effects of stress which, in turn, will help support your immune system.
Other Self-Care Techniques for Quarantine
Of course, while practicing mindfulness, there are countless additional ways to care for yourself.
- Disconnect from the Noise
If you’re experiencing fear, stress, and anxiety, one of the best ways to elevate these is by consuming the excessive content on TV, newsfeeds, and social media. Your ego feeds on it.
So step away from it. We’re not suggesting a complete block. There’s something to be said for staying informed. But give yourself time each day to put your phone away, shut down the laptop, and take breaks from the craze and panic to create a peaceful headspace.
- Get into a Groove with a Routine
If you haven’t heard, maintaining a regular routine is crucial for maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. But this can be especially challenging if your whole life has been turned upside down because of quarantine.
Without a structured plan each day, it’s easy to get pulled into just letting the day unfold. But what often happens is that it unfolds into hours of distraction on the internet, or staring at the TV on the couch. On the flip side, if you’re suddenly very busy in a way you weren’t before, it can be overwhelming to try to complete everything without a routine in place.
Start by maintaining a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. From there, consider what other routines you want to structure between those two bookends. You may start with blocking out times for work and meals.
Eventually you may add other activities such as exercise and virtual visits with friends. And most importantly, be sure to schedule some time each day to give yourself breaks if you’re very busy.
- Maintain Social Connections
Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, all humans are social creatures. We need connections with other humans in order to thrive.
Even though the digital era exposes us to so much unnecessary and false information, it’s a blessing in its ability to keep us connected.
So make plans to FaceTime your best friend. Schedule a Zoom meeting to see family members or your regular group of pals. If you regularly attend support meetings of any sort, you’ll find plenty of those online.
- Keep Your Body Moving Everyday
Exercising during quarantine has been a challenge for many of us. If you’re accustomed to classes at the gym, fitness center, yoga/pilates studio, etc. it can be really tough to motivate yourself to do these at home in front of the TV.
You don’t have to though. The important thing is to just incorporate some sort of regular movement throughout the day. It’ll boost your energy, reduce stress, and minimize tightness and discomfort in the body.
Consider breaking down your movement into little exercise “snacks” of 5-10 minutes. Take a walk around the neighborhood, go up and down the stairs, give yourself some time to regularly stretch, or hop on your bike and do a quick ride. Whatever keeps your body moving.
- Engage in a Hobby or Creative Activity
When you’re creating a routine, consider adding hobbies or other activities you enjoy that often get pushed off to the side.
It could be a craft like weaving or embroidery. Perhaps you’ve wanted to work on your car or a project around the house. Maybe it’s painting, cooking, writing, or some other creative venture. It doesn’t matter. If it’s something that brings you joy, make time for it.
- Create Boundaries
While you may have good intentions to foster self-care, it’s easy to get pulled away from activities by demands from children, family, or work. Boundaries are your best line of defense against this.
It’s important to schedule time for yourself and then stick to it. By establishing boundaries to ensure you get this time, you’re taking care of yourself.
So consider what you need to feel your best. Even if it’s just some time to sit and be quiet. Then be intentional about making it happen over the course of each week.
- Know When to Seek Professional Help
If self-care and mindfulness methods are not providing relief and you are noticing high levels of depression, anxiety or rumination about current events, consider asking for help.
Connect with a professional. Even during this time of quarantine, there are options for teletherapy. So make an effort to find someone who can help teach you skills to take care of yourself and build a plan to manage your symptoms, thoughts, and experiences.
You Are NOT Alone
On your journey toward taking care of yourself, just remember that you are not alone in the challenges you face.
You may even find it helpful to share some of above self-care techniques with a friend or family member. Because, strange as it may sound, extending kindness and compassion are also forms of self-care.
And if you find that mindfulness and movement help you during this time, consider the benefits of bringing it into your workplace. If you think your company, organization or school could benefit from mobile yoga/meditation/mindfulness sessions, contact us today.
We’ll bring it to you.