03 Feb Self Care During COVID-19
Self-care is essential to your physical and mental health. Some people resist self-care because they deem it selfish or trivial. However, it is crucial to maintaining a well-balanced life and decreasing stress. This is important now more than ever due to COVID-19 and the current state of the world.
An article from Southern New Hampshire University’s clinical mental health counseling program states, “Self-care…will lead toward a better balance among your dimensions of wellness and lead toward improved overall health and wellness.”
It’s easy to become overwhelmed, scared, stressed, and sad during this tough period. After all, it’s everyone’s first time trying to live through a pandemic.
However, you can reduce stress levels and anxiety with a few self-care actions each day.
Mindfulness is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
It’s healthy and beneficial to work on mindfulness and focus on the present moment.
Mindfulness doesn’t always mean sitting alone in a quiet room and meditating. It can simply be a relaxing activity that keeps you engaged and present. It can be a fun pastime, like reading, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, watching documentaries, putting together puzzles, taking an online class, and more!
Nourish your body.
A crucial element of self-care is taking the time to eat foods that boost energy and do good things for your body. Did you know that eating a well-balanced diet can improve your mood and brain function?
The benefits of eating healthy are many, especially when you’re undergoing a lot of stress—and let’s be honest, who isn’t stressed during this pandemic?
Nourishing your body doesn’t mean you have to go on a diet, count calories, or avoid desserts. It simply means making sure you are consuming well-rounded meals with enough sustenance to carry you through a day.
Moving your body is a simple and natural stress-reliever. It’s also an easy way to indulge in self-care. Exercise produces endorphins, which elevate and stabilize your mood, acting as natural painkillers.
Working out during a pandemic isn’t easy, as many gyms are closed and safety is key. However, the internet is full of virtual classes and online workout tutorials, many of which are free.
Check out YouTube fitness channels and work out in the comfort of your own home. Or simply go for a stroll outside, or walk up and down a flight of stairs several times.
You don’t need to do 1000 crunches a day or start training for a marathon. Just a bit of movement helps serve as self-care and stress relief during COVID-19.
Keep in touch with loved ones.
Part of self-care is staying connected and having a support system. Cultivating relationships can improve one’s mental health and boost morale, especially during the pandemic.
Schedule weekly or monthly video calls with friends and family members. Even though it’s not as good as spending time together in person, it’s still a nice way to socialize while staying safe as COVID numbers soar.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to an acquaintance you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Checking in on people and letting them know you’re thinking of them is thoughtful and will be appreciated.
Be kind to yourself.
During this unprecedented time, it is easy to focus on the stress of COVID and the external world and forget about self-care.
Above all else, remember to be kind to yourself and practice tiny moments of self-care. Stay healthy and safe, and be compassionate to yourself and others.
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