This has been a time like no other we have experienced. We are staying home, staying away from family and waiting for this pandemic to start declining. It’s a very scary time for all of us. We are all experiencing different aspects of this devastating virus. Many of us have lost people we love, not being able to say goodbye, while others fear every step we take outside our homes. Our work lives have changed. Some people are now working at home, while others have lost their jobs in this unforeseen economy. In a nutshell, we are all worried. So how do we take care of ourselves during this time. Self-care is important for our mental and physical well-being as we go through this unspecified time period afraid and unsure of what the future holds.
1. Take Time Each Day for Yourself.
Maybe this is a good time to take care of some self-care that we tend to neglect in our busy lives. Maybe a long bath with some soothing music or a simple online yoga class can help you put your mind back on track. Take out that facial mask you bought and never used. Go through that cookbook you have collecting dust and create a new family meal that you can remember. Read a book without thinking that you should be doing something else. This is a time we never expected and we may as well do all those things we would do to relax that we never get to do.
2. Start a Journal.
When we write down our feelings, they leave our body and are now on paper. It is a kind of freedom and release that is very helpful in relieving tension. Just keep writing about your day, your feelings and whatever comes to your mind. You will notice that it feels like taking a deep breath after exercising or sitting down after working in the garden. These kinds of releases are important to maintain our mental health during this crisis. Having our feelings bottled up is not healthy. Let them go. Write them down. You will feel better.
3 Turn Off the TV
Many of us often think that we would not have survived this type of social distancing years ago when televisions weren’t in every home, we did not have computers or smartphones and information was not at our fingertips. Unfortunately, sometimes we are on overload. So take some time in every day to turn it all off and just sit and do nothing. Just think and relax for a little bit with no interruptions from texts, phone calls, and emails. And no interruptions from the anxiety that the local news brings to you.
4. Stay Connected to Those Who Matter
A phone call or a text can lift your spirits for the day. It makes you remember that you are a special person and that someone is thinking of you. Calling a relative or old friend that you may not have time to do in our regular, fast-paced lives may be just the remedy you need (and them) during these uncertain times. It will brighten up the day. These days are about the small stuff that is important and that truly fills our hearts.
5. Send Someone a Card or Gift
We are blessed with technology and are able to order many products online. If you know someone who is alone or very sad during this time, send them something special. Flowers, fruit and other presents are perfect but think about even sending them a pretty mask to brighten their day at the store this week. It is those little things that matter.
Take time to write a little note or send a card to someone who lives far away to brighten their day. A small gesture can go a long way to make someone smile and take away some worry. In these isolated times it is important to feel essential in this big pool of uncertain life.
6. Keep Up With Routines
While everything around you is different and disheartening, it is important to keep up with your daily routines. Clean the house, do the laundry and make sure you take your daily pills. On top of this make sure you are taking care of yourself: shower, get dressed, style your hair…. These are things that seem less important when we don’t see people but we want to see our reflection, and think of the hope that lies ahead. And you want to look your best when you go to the mailbox or walk your dog.
7. Help Others
Remember that some people are not as lucky as we are during these times. Businesses are struggling, people are out of work and many, many people are losing loved ones every day as a result of Covid-19. So support a restaurant, thank a nurse and always take the time out to call or write to a family who has suffered a tragic loss. Many of these families were not able to say goodbye at the hospital and are now facing no goodbyes at a funeral. These are added hardships to already horrible times. So give to a GoFundMe cause, or send a meal to one of these families that are hurting. And don’t forget to support your favorite restaurant and maybe order take out during the week. These small gestures will go a long way if others do them as well. Let’s be there for each other.
8. Be Ready for An Emergency
This is a good time to review all your papers and put them in order so that they are available in case of hard times. Write a list of your prescriptions and your accounts in case anyone has to look for them. We don’t like to think in these terms but we don’t know what lies ahead so we have that extra time to sit around, we may as well put our lives in order.
9. Sort through Memories
This is a perfect time to go through old pictures and articles you have saved and organize them in folders or binders. Or if you have a little bit of energy, scan them and put them in folders to keep for your children and grandchildren. I have a bin of photographs from my mother that I always say I am going to organize. In fact, when I have my whole family over we start to do this and then we stop because we are all enjoying each other’s company. This week my uncle passed away, and I thought about all the times we tried to do this so now I plan to sit down with this large bin of photos and organize them by separate families while I have the time. It will be wonderful to give them to my loved ones when we finally see each other in person.. And at the same time, I can enjoy looking at some fonder memories.
10. Make Plans
Better days are coming so make some plans. What do you want to do when we can return to normal life? Who do you want to see? Where do you want to go? Sometimes thinking about what we will be doing sometime in the hopefully near future, will brighten our day.
What will be the first thing you will do when we are no longer social distancing? Let’s share some of our thoughts here. Please comment and let’s make our “wish” list together….. Be safe.