Updated: Jan 31
As you have heard countless times already, the pandemic has changed our way of life, everything from our work to our schools, social lives to our sleep schedules. It’s easy to lose track of ourselves during this time of incredible anxiety and stress. Self-care is essential for our well-being now, more than ever.
First off, let’s define self-care. Self-care refers to any activities that you find enjoyable and improves your mental, spiritual, physical, or emotional health in some way. Self-care, while centered on the self, is not a selfish activity. It is something that helps keep us grounded, gives us meaning, and a foundation to go about our day.
What self-care entails is different for different people. You need to figure out what works for you, what makes you feel good and allows you to recharge. Maybe it’s meditating for 10 minutes before bed or FaceTiming a friend. Maybe it’s going for a run. If you need some ideas on where to start your self-care journey here is a list of activities to try:
Focus on your sleep
Getting more and better sleep will almost always improve your health and well-being. Our brains need sleep to function. Sleep deprivation may make us more stressed, irritable, moody, or emotional. On the other hand, quality sleep not only allows our brains to recharge, but it also keeps our immune systems working at their best (something we all need at the moment).
Play your favorite music, and just move! Exercise in whatever form you want to, (yoga, pilates, running, etc.). You could even just stretch or work on perfecting the downward dog. Staying active helps keep the body physically healthy and also improves well-being. It also helps lower the chance of illness in our bodies.
Try Creative Writing
Creative writing helps us clarify our thoughts, express ourselves, and improve our communication skills. You don’t have to be a professional writer to write. Just take out a notebook or open up a document on your computer and start! Try writing a poem, a story, or even a song.
Calm, rhythmic breathing can immediately help you relax and destress. Especially if you are having a busy and stressful day, you can take just two minutes to stop and practice breathing. You can follow along with a short breathing video or download a meditation or breathing app. If you have more time, try meditating. Meditation helps you focus your mind for a period of time. Just as with deep breathing, meditation can help regulate negative thoughts and reduce stress and anxiety.
Skip, jump, hop, dance, scream!
Do anything that makes you feel like you did in the happiest days of your childhood. Especially when feeling stressed, even a few moments of child-like play are enough to cause all the good chemicals to surge through the bloodstream. So play and get as silly as you want!