Practicing Self-Care During COVID-19
Loving Ourselves Through the Pandemic
The year 2020 has brought fear, anxiety, and financial difficulties. It’s also brought about a need for heightened self-awareness. Reduced incomes and difficult job and health situations have encouraged us to be kind, to volunteer, and to give back. But sometimes, it’s easier to show care and concern for others than it is for ourselves.
In order to get through this 2020 marathon, we must practice self-care. Whether it’s physical, mental emotional, or spiritual, a little care goes a long way toward a healthier, more peaceful mindset. Be kind to yourself by practicing the following self-care tips:
- Make allowances for all your pre-COVID self-care routines. If you can’t go to the nail spa, buy a new bottle of nail polish. If your hair salon is closed, watch some YouTube videos and learn to cover that gray yourself. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay. Hair and nails grow back. Showing yourself a little love will lift your spirits right away.
- Get moving! Take a walk. Order a new yoga video. Find an online dance class.
- Make time for long showers and bubble baths. When we’re stuck at home, it’s easy to forget about routine hygiene. Get squeaky clean, then pile on the scented lotion or powder. It will make you feel better and improve your outlook!
- Turn off the news. Allow yourself a half hour, early in the day, to watch a trusted news source. Watching the news all day is stressful, and watching late in the day can steal your sleep.
- Read that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, or hone a skill you’ve wanted to learn.
- Take on online class, just for the fun of it. Take steps toward furthering your education.
- Stay connected to family and friends. Make appointments to talk on the phone or via a live, face-to-face app.
- Reach out to old friends. Use your extra time to reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with. A long talk with an old friend can bring a smile like little else.
- Write letters. Letter writing is a lost art. Write a letter of encouragement to someone, and you will feel encouraged, as well.
- Find a person or organization that needs you, and give yourself. Many charity organizations are still operational as long as masking and social distancing measures are taken.
- Make new friends. Do you know all your neighbors? Introduce yourself by taking them a plant. Instead of baking a cake, leave ingredients for a treat in a basket on their porch. Now is a great time to plan a lawn chair social distancing party. Invite your neighbors for a COVID safe get-together, complete with good music and great conversation.
- Renew your sense of spirituality. Spend dedicated time each day in prayer and meditation. Read inspirational literature. If you’re not able to attend a live worship service, join in online worship.
- Connect with like-minded believers at a house of worship that practices safe social distancing and sanitation, or find an online prayer or study group.
- Play worship music in the background as you go about your day.
With all the self-care do’s, there are also a few of don’ts to keep in mind.
- Don’t be excessive. Whether food, alcohol, television, or something else, moderation is key.
- Don’t focus on the negative. Look for things to be thankful for, and think about those things.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to slack a little, as long as you don’t get stuck there. These are hard times.
One day this pandemic will end. It probably won’t be tomorrow. While we wait, it’s important to be kind to ourselves as well as others. Remember, in order to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we have to first love ourselves.
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