The Importance of Self Care in Distressing Times
The rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world in recent weeks and months has led to a general shutdown of work, school, church, and any other form of public gathering in many countries.
While this is all done in the name of the greater public good, it can still cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for those who are left frittering away the hours as they spend day after day shut up in their homes. The lack of activities coupled with the general feeling of paranoia can feel incredibly destructive on a person’s mind, body, and soul.
If you feel that you’ve been profoundly suffering during these distressing times, here are a few self-care tips that you and your loved ones can observe as you try to make the best of your situation.
Cultivate Your Perspective
It all starts with your perspective. If you feel like you’re “trapped” in your home with no escape from your remote work, your cooped-up kids, or the four walls of your studio apartment, it can be easy to foster a fairly negative attitude.
This, in turn, eats away at your emotional and mental stability and can lead to a significant lapse in proper self-care.
Instead of allowing this to happen, take the initiative to cultivate a positive perspective. Work on maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Write out lists of things that you’re thankful for and tell people around you that you appreciate them.
If a situation feels bad, look for the good and strive to find that “glass half full” mentality at all times. If you can establish a firmly positive perspective, it can help to fuel all of your actions both for your own self-care along with caring for others around you.
When your life feels cut adrift and rudderless, it can be difficult to find motivation for anything. Establishing routines is a great way to overcome this. Morning routines, in particular, can be especially effective during times of disruption and stress. A good morning routine gives you something to focus on and can motivate you as you wake up each day.
A few suggestions for a good morning routine include:
- Washing your face.
- Getting dressed.
- Getting a cup of tea or coffee.
- Eating a balanced breakfast.
- Taking time to pray and meditate.
If you can start things off on the right foot, it can go a long way in helping you wake up and go through each day as smoothly as possible.
Care for Your Soul
Proper self-care starts with the heart. If you’re simply running to things like massages and junk food or you’re spending your time binge-watching Netflix, you won’t feel properly self cared for.
Instead, look for quality activities like prayer or meditation that can help you genuinely feel better from the inside out.
Practice Good Hygiene
It’s easy to make sure that your kids, parents, and anyone else around you are practicing good hygiene, but it can be difficult to remember to do so yourself.
If you’re looking to stay healthy, make sure to shower regularly, put on deodorant each day, and clean your hands regularly and correctly, especially after you’ve left the house during a situation like the coronavirus pandemic.
Consider Your Sleep
Sleep should always be a priority for self-care as it is a foundational pillar of health. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
In addition, if your sleep is disturbed due to the increased stress and anxiety that can ramp up during distressing times, take some time to increase the quality of your sleep by:
- Putting an essential oil diffuser in your room.
- Using blackout curtains.
- Making sure that your sleeping space is only used for sleeping.
- Avoiding screens before going to bed.
- Creating a sleep routine to follow.
If you can tend to the quantity and quality of your sleep, it can go a long way in helping you care for yourself.
Find Ways to Exercise and Eat Well
Finally, don’t forget the self-care classics: exercise and healthy eating. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. You can do this by going out for a walk or, if you’re stuck at home, looking for things like exercise videos on Youtube or a 7-minute workout to follow.
In addition, remember that one of the best holistic self-care tips you can follow is eating well. If you fuel your body with junk because you feel stressed, it hardly counts as self-care. Instead, make sure that you’re stocking your house with healthy food choices that can help your body stay strong and your mind remain sharp.
Self-Care in Times of Distress
As you go about tending to your self-care, it can help to start by asking yourself the question “What do I need right now?” While all of the above suggestions are worthy of consideration, often the most effective way to support you is by looking at your current situation and finding what it is that you’re lacking.
Are you sleeping enough? Do you have a good routine in place? Are you finding time to pray every day? Look for the most glaring weak spots and then start your self-care journey there.