For sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we respond to countless things in our lives. Some people are on the front lines, putting their own lives at risk. Others are essential workers, providing services so the rest of us can survive, while many are no longer working at all. And, a majority stay sequestered at home, trying to keep safe and eagerly waiting for the danger to pass. There are so many different scenarios, and with each, the stress can be unbearable. That makes it more critical than ever to find the best ways to practice self-care.
First, it’s personal. You must discover what works best for you. Only you know what you’re facing during this time. What relaxes you? Think about every aspect of your life as you consider this question. The goal is to nurture your mind, body, and spirit, so you can fully recharge during your self-care practices.
Your well-being requires all facets of your life to be well, or something feels not right—out of synch—off-balance—in chaos. Think about all the parts of your being—your physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual elements.
Each one needs attention when things are hectic, and your stress level skyrockets. Also, the types of self-care practices you choose to employ to soothe each part of you may be different. If you’re one of the fortunate ones, though, you might find a trifecta-winner-practice that works in several areas at once.
For instance, what if taking a brisk walk gets your steps in, plus clears the cobwebs from your head, while you feed your soul listening to gentle music or an uplifting podcast? Three birds—body, mind, and spirit.
Make Your Self-care Practice Personal
Since the goal is to develop a self-care practice that suits your personal needs, you could start by defining what it is you need. There are so many benefits to taking care of you. Filling your cup first, so you have enough to give. Cutting yourself a break, or creating space and time to be alone, and achieving the 3-Rs—Rest, Relax, Recharge. There are so many more benefits.
Many self-care practices don’t take much time either, and when you bundle them together, they can pack a powerful punch.
If you are among those unsung heroes who are taking care of others in this pandemic, bless you. And, please take time to recharge your batteries, so you can continue the awesome work you do.
And, for those who are feeling stressed by your COVID-circumstances, see if you can find a way to manage better. People are watching your response and taking notice. These could be your children, co-workers, bosses, or colleagues. When you take good care of yourself, you set an example for others to follow.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why You Need a Self-Care Program When Life Happens
Ways to Practice Self-care
With all that said, and in no particular order, here are some ways to practice self-care in this COVID-19 environment that may help you. Notice how some of these take no time at all.
1—Stop and … breathe, notice how you’re feeling, reflect, choose how you want to feel instead.
2—Stretch like a dog when she gets up from a nap.
3—Do less; say no.
4—Walk it off.
5—Immerse yourself in a good book.
6—Relax in the sunshine.
7—Step away from the stressful situation; pause before you respond.
8—Notice your self-talk; switch it from negative to positive.
9—Do something that brings you joy.
10—Start your day with a good intention.
11—Schedule time for “you” on your calendar to do one or more self-care practices weekly. Daily, even better.
12—Check-in with yourself several times a day: how do you feel? What do you need?
13—Arrange something on the weekend that you love to do so you can look forward to it.
14—End your day with a ‘regroup.’ Plan for tomorrow. Share gratitude for today’s blessings.
15—And, the ultimate in self-care, get a good night’s sleep.
Be Kind to Yourself
Above all else, have patience. If making time for a self-care practice doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t give up. Remember what you learned as a child? If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
It is called the “practice” of self-care for a reason.
A First Step
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many transitions all at once. It’s no wonder you’re feeling stressed and a bit out of control. You’re not alone.
Learning to live with uncertainty, and finding ways to move beyond it can be hard. You may wonder if it’s even possible. Making choices that move you forward can be tricky, and getting some guidance may be just what you need. Start by exploring how change can impact you? And learn how to move through it with more dignity and grace by reading my free ebook. Click here to take the first step: From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.