The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we live, from our work to our learning to our social lives. Our new reality poses a unique set of challenges for all of us, which makes now more than ever, a critical time to practice self-care and focus on your emotional health and well-being.
Self-care can include practices that you find both enjoyable and that promote your physical, emotional, spiritual or mental health. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is the behaviors you do to take care of your own health and can include hygiene, nutrition, leisure activities, sports, exercise, seeking professional healthcare services when needed, and much more.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the need to care for our own health — all aspects of it — is of the utmost importance because navigating this new normal is not easy. Whether it’s struggling to help your children with online learning, productively working from home, sharing tight quarters with housemates or being cut off (physically, at least) from loved ones, it’s an important time to give yourself a little TLC.
There are things you can do to stay on top of your mental and physical health even if you’re spending most of your time at home. Practicing self-care may look different for everyone, but whatever actions work best for you, they should protect your health and happiness. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Stick to a Routine
For some people, winter and COVID mean staying indoors more, feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Doing small things like waking up at the same time every morning or listening to a favorite podcast every day on a walk can help restore some normalcy to what can be a bleak time of year.
Switch Things Up
Routine is important but switching things up can help you if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Switching things also can be an act of self-care – so try cooking new recipes, take on a hobby you normally wouldn’t do, or begin a new workout routine.
Stress and anxiety can make wintertime blues feel even worse, and exercise is a known reliever of both. According to the The Mayo Clinic, getting outdoors within a couple of hours of waking up is especially helpful, so adding a morning walk or jog to your daily routine might be just what the doctor ordered.
Give Yourself a Break
Self-care is both a physical and a mental act of self-preservation and love, and sometimes what you need most is just to give both your body and your mind a time-out. So, grab a book, make some tea, turn on Netflix stop feeling guilty about taking the time to recharge. It’s one of the most important things you can do to benefit yourself.