Self-Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Self-care is an essential survival skill. It refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short and longer term health and well-being. Self-care is especially important in our current environment. Just like you do on a plane, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to help others with theirs.
Practicing self-care will help you:
Identify and manage the general challenges that you are facing during the Covid-19 outbreak, including social distancing, parenting, homeschooling and isolation from others.
Be aware of your own personal vulnerabilities. Schedule time and take space to be with yourself. Treating yourself with compassion will help you extend compassion to others as well.
Achieve more balance in your life by maintaining and enhancing the attention you bring to your life now during these current circumstances. We are all dealing with new challenges, most of us have not before had to deal with these extremes. It came on so quickly with little or no time to prepare.
Live a more “embodied” life in which you can regulate your own nervous system. It helps you stay present to yourself and others. Create healthier boundaries and live a more authentic life while confined to your home either alone or with others.
Aims of Self-Care
Self-care is about enhancing your overall well-being. There are common aims to almost all self-care efforts:
Taking care of physical and psychological health
Managing and reducing stress
Honoring emotional and spiritual needs
Fostering and maintaining relationships
Achieving equilibrium between current activities, responsibilities and personal needs
Developing Your Self-Care Plan
During this unprecedented time of stress, everyone is having to adapt rapidly to enormous amounts of change. It may be helpful to adjust your expectations for yourself and others. None of us has had the practice or adaptability in this situation.
Assess your current self care strategies. Usually some old, not-so-useful habits can show up during times of uncertainty and stress. Self-compassion is very important.
Explore ways to shift those less helpful habits. While staying centered and resilient, it is important to write down what works for you to have a reminder when your brain fog takes over.
Identify support / Stay in touch
Reach out to those you don't live with, those you can call or Zoom or FaceTime. We each need others, and they may also need you!
For physical activity, mostly every yoga studio, gym and movement studio is doing something on-line. Get outside if you can, if it is safe, sunlight is so important.
Maintain your best practices for healthy eating habits. Watch alcohol and sugar consumption carefully.
Remember the present moment, taking time to be aware of yourself and your surroundings. Notice what supports you and your well-being.
Taking care of yourself is an important work and life skill that has become more compelling in the current environment. It’s a great time to change some things that don’t work and to increase those things that do! I wish my best to each of you. We are all in this together. Hopefully we will come back with strength and determination to keep our newly made positive changes and that this time apart brings us closer to one another.