Who Takes Care of YOU?
Are you out of a job due to the pandemic? Have you had to become your child’s teacher? Are you trying to take care of an ailing parent or loved one? Are you locked down at home alone with only technology and virtual meetings to keep you connected? Are you a front-line worker? The stress of any or all of these roles during this difficult time can be overwhelming. In the midst of taking care of everyone else, please remember to take care of you! When was the last time that you took care of, well, you?
Making self-care a priority during this challenging time may seem selfish, but it’s not. It will allow you to have peace of mind and the physical strength to keep going no matter what the obstacle! By implementing a few basic, positive self-care tips into your life, you can help create a more peaceful and caring inner space for yourself.
Make a commitment to self-care by doing as many of the following as you can:
- Get your z’s. Sleep is absolutely essential for all aspects of our health, including mood and even maintaining a healthy and natural weight that’s right for you. Keep a regular sleep AND your new normal mind-body routine.
- Eat and drink more healthfully. You don’t need a degree in nutrition or complicated diets and meal plans. Grocery stores are providing curbside service so that getting fresh foods is safe and involves no contact. If possible, bump up your daily intake of fresh fruit and veggies. Opt for lean proteins. Cut out some sugar and high caffeinated drinks. Sip on some green tea. There, you’re already eating and drinking better! No one meal plan fits all; however, we can agree that eating less processed, fried, high sodium and high saturated fat is definitely healthier for you in so many ways for your mind, body and energy levels. Of course, many of us have our “go to” comfort foods which is normal; however, eating them a lot can make you feel sluggish and tired.
- Move and groove. Implement the joy of movement into your day. If you are now working at home, stop every hour to walk around or do some chair exercises (you can do quite the workout while sitting…search “chair workouts” online). Moving your body can clear and calm your mind, energize your body and lift your spirits. Walking (outside if you are able), mindful activities like Tai Chi, yoga, buddying up with a friend via face-to-face technology and moving together, or doing a dance contest with your kids are all great ways to get the blood moving, clear and relax your mind, energize your body and lift your spirits. There are a myriad of fun, high-energy activity and mindful relaxation videos for all ages and fitness levels online.
- Enjoy some relaxation. If you were running ragged before the pandemic, enjoy some relaxation that works for you. Get out board games, read, watch home movies, sit together for meals! Get back in touch with the basics of being a loving family and what really matters most. Connect with family and friends you haven’t spoken to for a long while and enjoy meaningful conversations and new experiences. Pick up a new hobby that can help you feel creative and calm. Some vegetable garden places that are open are offering free indoor/outdoor veggie garden kits at this time. When you focus on what matters most, you tend to get the most out of what matters.
- Laugh out loud every day. Watch a funny movie or something funny online, have uplifting and fun chats with friends and family that includes funny stories or do some silly dances with your home mates/family. Just make time to bring some levity into your daily life. Your mind-body health will greatly benefit from enjoying a few chuckles each day.
- Value YOUR health. Make time to nourish yourself by doing things that increase your well-being. Laugh more, live in the present, listen to upbeat or soothing music, tame your inner critic, avoid watching negative news, meditate and surround yourself with people who support YOUR well-being.
Good mental and physical health cannot be stored, and so investing in YOUR health every day to help you live at your best is key. Enjoy your days, even if they’re a bit stressful, by making small, doable changes so that there is room for what YOU need. Do at least one thing each day that can help you stay centered, calm and that nurtures you. You will benefit and so will everyone around you! Little things can make a big difference. So, give yourself some attention, love and self-care ~ you deserve it!