In the midst of all this pandemic, self-care has never been more important. It is what will reduce the stress and anxieties that come hand in hand during this difficult time. All of our personal routines have been affected and turned upside down in some way or another. Humans are creatures of habit and any disruption, especially one as big as this, is bound to have an effect whether we realise it or not.
Most of us have found ourselves living in a new reality. That can be overwhelming in itself. Not to mention having to remember all of the latest information and social rules being thrown at us on the daily. It’s more important than ever to look after ourselves. Take time to slow down, even if you were already someone who was home before the quarantine.
Slowing down sounds easy enough – after all, most of us are flattening the curve by staying at home. But finding real ways to slow down and disconnect requires some planning and thought.
You might be thinking that this is a bit counter-intuitive. After all, the only way many of us can stay in touch with our friends and loved ones is through our computers and phones. Why should you isolate yourself even more during times of social isolation? But unplugging doesn’t have to mean isolating ourselves further. Being stuck at home all day makes it easier than ever for us to sit in front of a screen scrolling mindlessly. Absorbing information on social media and the news might not be that good for us depending on what it is.
While it’s essential to stay informed and up to date with the current information and any news updates, consuming the constant negative coverage that’s on the pandemic all day, will end up taking a severe toll on your mental health. Especially if you let yourself get caught up in all the hype and don’t do your own research.
We currently have no other choice but to get through this together. Make sure to dedicate yourself every day to taking the time to unplug completely. Allocate at least an hour for some ‘you time’ and find a way to disconnect from the world for a little bit. This could mean going for your daily walk, sitting outside in your garden for some fresh air, writing in a journal (this style is my favorite) or reading a book to help you stay in a good headspace.
Add a furry friend into the family –
If you have been thinking of adding a new furry addition to your home, now is the perfect time! Adopt, buy or foster a dog or cat. Maybe even a hamster or rabbit if you are looking for a smaller pet. Pets are finding homes now quicker than ever during the pandemic, and for good reason. Studies show that pets, especially dogs and cats, make us feel better and have a significant effect on us when it comes to lowering stress, anxiety and even blood pressure! Since I adopted Maxi (my kitty) I’ve noticed I handle my down days better. They also give you the perfect excuse to go outside for walks and encourage exercise, improving your cardiovascular health. If you have children, having a pet in the house also teaches them about responsibility while making them more active as well. If you’d rather not adopt, look into reputable breeders like Lucky Labs.
Move your body every single day – even if it’s only a little bit. This is especially important if you’re battling chronic illnesses. Even though it can be hard to feel motivated when sitting at home, your body will thank and reward you later. Make the most of your daily activities and push yourself to go every single day to get a good dose of cardio! Try to be in nature and the fresh air as much as possible for a change of scenery, and exercise in the garden or on your balcony if you have one. This is the number one thing that helps me clear my head.
If you are feeling lost when it comes to an exercise routine, follow one of the many on Youtube and Pinterest, with easy follow-along tutorials for all levels, from beginner to expert. Not only will your body feel and look great on the outside, but you will feel just as good on the inside with an extra dose of the happy hormone Serotonin to keep you going through self-isolation with a smile!
Find a new hobby –
This is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby, discover a new interest or finally do that thing that you’ve been putting off for ages.
We’ve all complained about never having the time before to indulge in our passions and interests, so now we should find the silver lining and enjoy the slower pace of life that has been thrust upon us. Instead of sitting around watching Netflix, why not use all of that extra time that you have on an activity that makes you feel good and relieves stress in the process.
It’s a great way to stay productive, keep busy and learn something. Who knows – it could even help you down the line in many unexpected ways! For instance, maybe you’ll rediscover your love for painting you could start selling your work on Etsy as a side business? If you’ve learned a new skill on the computer, it will open more job opportunities for you later.
If you are really stuck for ideas, think about trying some of these:
- Painting and drawing
- Cooking and baking
- Learning a new language
- Start a blog
- Do a DIY project
- Lean graphic design
- Learn a new instrument
- Take an online course
Just remember not to put too much pressure on yourself and don’t feel guilty if you aren’t super productive right now. Everyone is dealing with the situation in a different way so just make sure to do whatever makes you feel good and indulge in activities that make you feel some sort of joy amongst all the chaos.
Hang in there, this too shall pass. Talk soon!