Self-care is important 365 days a year; however, during these times of COVID, it is even more important to practice taking care of yourself. During a pandemic, one in which we have never seen in our lifetime, we need to be mindful of our mental health and physical health. Many people struggle with the lack of social interaction, a change in their workplace or hours, weekly activities that are currently on pause, and other related changes to our lives. While we do not have absolute control over all aspects of our life, we do have control over our self-care regimens and rituals. Here are some things that you can do for self-care to feel more in control of your situation and self.
Use a Schedule for Self Care
If you really want to make self-care a priority, make time for it in your calendar. No matter what you choose to do, make sure that you block out a period of time that is specifically dedicated to you. Do not be afraid to post it for your family members to see when you have a time where you do not want to be disturbed. Ideally, everyone in the house can have their own self-care time to work on their own mental and physical wellbeing.
What is Considered Self Care?
Anything that you do, or do not do, that is specifically planned to focus on you, and only you, is self-care. If getting a pedicure or massage every other week is something you enjoy, then that can be one item. If you enjoy reading, but cannot seem to find the time to do it, set aside time to read. Self-care can be something that lasts for five minutes a day or two hours. Whatever you need to do to feel like you are taking care of yourself is the goal.
Some self-care ideas are:
- Take a bubble bath
- Watch your favorite TV show
- Go for a walk
- Treat injuries or ailments properly
- Meal Prep foods for juicing
- Set up a home gym and use it
- Take a ride to the ocean and collect sea glass or seashells
- Go for a hike
- Take yourself to lunch
- Watch a movie at the theater by yourself
- Get acupuncture therapy or chiropractic treatment
- Spend time journaling your thoughts and feels at the end of each day
- Tap a nap
- Take a karate or yoga class
- Check-in with a friend who you have not talked to in a while
Anything that you do that makes you feel better afterward can be considered self-care.
Find a Counselor to Talk our Your Feelings and Emotions
Sometimes, self-care can involve talking to someone who has no direct relationship to your life. Counselors or therapists can be a great way to care for your mental health. BetterHelp is a great resource for finding telehealth online counselors during times when finding an in-person expert is not practical.
A counselor can be your best advocate. They can help you work through things that are causing your trouble, stress, or turmoil. A counselor can reassure you that your actions are correct or guide you in a direction that may be a healthier way to deal with a situation.
If your family is prone to mental health disorders, and you are feeling unusually sad or sporadic, you may want to schedule time with a psychiatrist to see if you also have a mood or personality disorder. If so, your doctor can prescribe you with mediation to help you get in a healthier state of mind.
The stigma of counseling has relaxed a great deal in recent years. Gone are the days when discussing mental health is a bad thing. In fact, everyone can benefit from having some form of counseling in their life at any given time.
Schedule a Night Out with Friends or a Spouse
The pandemic has left many people in near lockdown situations where no entertainment places are open, restaurants are closed or at minimal capacity, and people cannot gather in large groups like they were able to do at this time last year. However, that does not mean that you still cannot enjoy yourself with friends or family.
Invite a friend or two over and have a picnic or cookout. It does not have to be large or a blowout party; it can simply be a few friends that you get to talk to, face to face. Have everyone bring a chair and seat yourselves in a way that everyone feels safe and comfortable. If you all want to wear masks, then do that; if not, then don’t. The idea is to be around people that you enjoy spending time with and are tired of communicating only through text messages or social media. While you are at it, enjoy an adult beverage, or your drink of choice, and just unwind.
Self-care can run the gamut from taking a long shower with the music blaring to talking to a mental health care professional. Ideally, you will want to pick one thing to do each day or each week that focuses just on yourself and ways that make you feel happier. For more information, download the BetterHelp app at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/betterhelp-online-counseling/id995252384