Rapidly changing headlines and non-stop notifications can put anyone on edge. I never thought I would find myself working from home, finding ways to homeschool my child, and witnessing bare shelves at my nearest H-E-B. I feel we all can agree that we are living in strange times and our stress levels are heightened.
When everything around me seems to be changing and I feel off balanced, I often look inward, leaning into the discomfort, for I know it is part of my journey. Today, I invite you to do the same with me. Let’s all have a moment where we can admit that life right now is unpredictable and a little scary. We may not have all the answers at this very moment, but what we can control is what we do with this quarantine time. My hopes are for each of us to look within ourselves and find ways to make meaningful connections with others and most importantly, ourselves.
So, before we begin discussion on self-care tips, let’s all take a deep breath, hold, and release. We are here today, moving and breathing, and let this be enough.
Now, the term self-care has become a popular term recently. There is constant advertisement suggesting self-care is something expensive and lavish. I would like to define it as a simple way to connect with yourself and recharge. Each day we happily give so much of ourselves to family, friends, and co-workers without a thought. Some days we feel like superheroes, doing everything with success. Other days, we may find ourselves irritable, sluggish, and agitated. This is an indicator self-care is needed ASAP.
When we practice self-care regularly, we find ourselves able to connect with one’s self on a deeper level which in turn helps us make more meaningful connections with others.
Self-care looks different for many people and does not necessarily mean a full spa day or spending spree. Even during COVID-19, our self-care may look different, but we can always show ourselves some love and gratitude under any circumstance.
I have compiled a list of self-care ideas that hopefully we all can implement during this time:
1. Gym: For many of us including myself, our gym membership is one big way we practice self-care. Currently, gyms are closed but many are offering free at home workouts. Be sure to check on your gym to see what offerings they have to continue physical activity. Maybe challenging yourself to a push-up or sit-up challenge may also be fun for the time being.
2. Gratitude journal: Starting a gratitude journal is a great way, especially now, to focus on the present and the good things we encounter/experience day to day. Example: being grateful for having nice weather, having good health, or having a good conversation with a loved one.
3. Reading: Books are a great way to escape from reality. Maybe you have a reading list that has been adding up throughout the year, now is a great opportunity to start reading or listen to audiobooks. There are many offerings for free audiobooks through Audible or many digital libraries to choose something that suites you.
4. Guided Meditation: Should you ever find yourself worrying about COVID-19, guided meditation is a great practice to introduce yourself to. Guided mediation allows you to focus on the present and helps calm ruminating thoughts. Many apps are currently waiving their fees for the time being so this may be a good way to try something different.
5. Yoga: Yoga is another great way to calm your mind. Yoga is something that can be done anywhere you feel safe. Ask your spouse and children to participate as well. Yoga requires little to no equipment.
6. Cooking and Baking: There is a lot to be said to cook a nice meal for yourself or your family. Look through a cookbook or seek a new recipe online to try. Now is the time to spend some time in the kitchen and try something new.
7. Maintaining Connection with others: connections matter even now more than ever. It is easy to feel lonely as we are following orders to maintain social distancing but there are many ways to maintain communications with safe people who love and encourage us. Whether that be a friend or family member, reach out and tell them how you appreciate and value them.
I hope this list serves as a guide to help you on your journey of self-care. My hope is that we all can continue to find peace during this time
Written by Abby Marroquin, LCSW – Therapist – San Antonio location