There is no way around it, COVID-19 is changing the way we live. Deep breath in.
In many ways, we must surrender to the madness, to the uncontrollable, to this sense of the unknown. Release.
In this moment, as in all others, we are presented with a choice about how to respond.
Any scroll through social media online will likely remind you of the truth that now it is more important than ever to practice self-care. Especially now, prioritizing these practices are essential to your mental health and well-being.
Although in this quarantine, we have been cut off from the outside world, and for many of us, we have lost the closeness and connection of our social network, we can use this time to create new routines and habits or use the need to fill the time as fuel to rekindle old ones.
At present, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to practice self-care especially when you may have had a routine that involved going to the gym or relied on gathering with others to help keep you motivated and accountable.
We are now called on to use our internal willpower and motivation to get started or to keep us going.
Although you may be aware of the basic self-care practices such as exercising, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, proper hygiene, keeping your house clean and tidy, relaxing, and making time for the things you love, our present reality calls for a reorganization and reimagining regarding how these might look.
In addition, rarely does it help to view these practices as though they are a chore, and I would encourage you instead to find ways to meet your self-care needs in a creative and fun way.
Even though you may not feel like getting up or moving around, after you do, you will feel better. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do the more difficult things that will actually make us feel better, rather than succumb to the easy choices in front of us. I promise you the hardest part is to get up off the couch, put away the chips and pop-tarts, and begin.
Here are some examples of creative self-care activities you can use to help you through these uncertain times.
- Have a Dance Party: Blast the music and start a dance party. If you are at home with your family, you can pull them into it too. Show off your best dance moves and get into it! Belting out some Karaoke or creating your own dance number in time with the music can also be a great way to pass an afternoon!
- Nature: Find ways to be in nature. You can sit on a bench in the park or on a chair in your own back yard and notice the trees and world around you. You can bring a book or just listen to the sounds of the birds calling to one another. Just being in nature has been proven to boost well-being.
- Spa Day: Soak your feet in the tub or in get in yourself. Add some epsom salts and essential oils. Put a face mask on and relax. Take the time to pamper yourself, do your nails, put a treatment on your hair. Have a bubble bath, moisturize. Spend a day once a week nourishing your body and giving it all the love.
- Take A Course or Webinar: There are a number of different schools that are offering free courses. Check them out and enroll in one, or a couple. There are courses that cover everything from the sciences to the arts and everything in between. There are also plenty of self-development courses you can find for free, or you can take this time to start working towards finally learning a new language.
- Get Creative: Try your hand at drawing, knitting, crocheting or painting, or bring it back old school and use sidewalk chalk to send messages to the dog-walkers and passersby in your neighborhood. You can get different art kits off the internet if you are unable to go out and purchase these supplies yourself.
- Listen to an Audio Book or Podcast: Whether you’ve already read every book on your shelf, or have nothing on hand that captures you’re interest, you can always download Audible and listen instead, or explore different podcasts available to you, watch that documentary you’ve been putting off, or search for educational videos on YouTube. Now is the time to catch up on the most popular TedTalks, re-watch your favorite ones, or search for a particular topic that may help expand your knowledge, skills, and perceptions.
- Organize Your Home: The logic here is simple: when our home is organized we feel less stressed. Making your bed every day is a simple act that is linked to better mental health, and although many of us have nowhere to go, still getting ready for the day helps to cultivate an attitude of productivity. While many of us are stuck at home due to quarantine, this is a great opportunity to make your home into a personal sanctuary. Sort through and Marie Kondo your closet, kitchen, or bathroom. You will feel so much better when you are done!
- Bake and Try New Recipes: Eating healthy does not have to be boring. Check out some new recipes at home. Commit to one new recipe a week, or each day, if you’ve got the time. Whip out that pasta maker you’ve bought and never tried, and make your own noodles and sauce from scratch. You could also take up baking; home-made cookies and muffins are easy to do and a delicious quarantine snack!
We are each unique in what lights us up and feeds our soul. Take some time to discover and explore what self-care means to you. Do it with compassion and love. You deserve to be taken care of and it is up to you to do it.