5 Tips for Practicing Self-Care (While Socially Distancing)
Many of us have experienced some major disruptions to our regular life in recent weeks. Some of us are:
- Retired, but now back to work as full-time caretakers for our grandchildren as our children must work.
- Moms and dads working at home while trying to manage home-schooling your children.
- Working under these strange new circumstances while juggling child-care issues or worrying about those you love.
- Caretakers for our aging or sickly parents and are frightened that any misstep could prove dangerous for them.
Each and every one of us is facing our own new stressors at this very difficult time. Here are some tips you can use to try to combat some of the stress and be the best version of you!
Tip # 1: Physical Self-Care
In order to be the best at whatever role you are undertaking at the moment, you have to prioritize your health first. Here are some tips to try to maintain your good health:
- Get enough sleep: Setting a bedtime for yourself and sticking to it is key to making sure you have the energy to tackle whatever faces you. Practice unwinding naturally at night; sip some chamomile tea, read a book, turn the TV off and wash your face.
- Eat foods that are good for you and will help you maintain the energy level needed to get through the day when you’re preparing your meals.
- Ensure you’re getting plenty of brightly colored veggies and enough proteins to keep your energy up.
- Stay hydrated!
- Lastly, try to do some form of exercise every day. While practicing safe social distancing, you can still go out into your backyard, take a walk or hike through the woods to reconnect with nature and enjoy the silence all while keeping your body moving. If going outside is not an option, online resources like YouTube have some wonderful free exercise videos that you can do from home with no gym equipment needed!
Tip #2: Social Self-Care
Social distance doesn't mean social isolation. It's important to maintain our relationships with those we love. Some easy ideas:
- Make a phone or video call to your loved ones. Seeing someone else smile is one of the simplest and quickest ways to boost your mood.
- Plan a “virtual dinner”, sing a song or tell jokes to one another, read a book to your grandchild or have a silly face competition! Keep the mood light and it will work wonders for both of you.
Tip #3: Mental Self-Care
While it's common to have fears and concerns for yourself and others during these uncertain times, those feelings can weigh heavily on our psyche.
- Write down your thoughts, but focus on the good things.
- Work on a puzzle, read a good book or watch that documentary you’ve been wanting to see.
- Make sure you’re having compassion and acceptance of yourself. Try to keep your inner-dialogue positive!
- If you or immediate family member’s company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), utilize it for counseling or other types of support.
Tip #4: Maintain a Routine
Extra time at home makes it easy to lost track of the days and what you need to accomplish. Write out a schedule for yourself and stick to it! Set an alarm to get up at the same time every day, write down some home projects you would like to tackle, try fun games or crafts with the kids, or make a new recipe. Remember to start small so you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up. Schedule time for naps, snacks and meals, but don't forget time for exercise, time outdoors and even some meditation or guided imagery! Having a schedule gives you a sense of purpose and can boost your mood.
Tip #5: Breathe
Staying positive and having a bright outlook can help you feel grounded. To help you get there, take a moment and practice your breathing.
- Take a moment in silence and focus on your breathing. Close your eyes, breathe deep and feel the air enter your lungs and breathe out forcefully. Repeat this often. With each breath, tell yourself to breathe in the good energy and exhale the bad energy.
- Look for all the positives you see in the world amidst all the chaos. Remember what Mr. Rogers used to tell us in times like this, “Look for the helpers!”
See the good in the world and remember, this too shall pass!