Amidst the confusion and frustration of returning to lockdown, as well as the constant stream of COVID-19 updates, self-care can help us focus, make decisions, and stay healthy.
We need to remember that if we don’t look after ourselves first, we will not be able to help others.
Self-care is the activities and practices that we engage in on a regular basis to maintain and enhance our health and well-being.
Self-care helps to prevent stress and anxiety. By incorporating self-care activities into our regular routine, like going for a walk or socialising (virtually), we give our body and mind time to rest, reset, and rejuvenate, so we can avoid or reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Bringing more balance to our daily routine during lockdown will help us be more productive and more resilient to stressors.
To stay motivated, it’s important that we create some kind of routine during lockdown.
As tempting as it might be to sleep in, we need to try and set the alarm for a regular time each day and keep to a similar kind of routine we followed before lockdown e.g.,
Writing in the journal,
A morning meditation,
Going for a walk etc.
Maintaining a distinction between work and home life is going to help us stay self-motivated and productive.
There’s also no doubt we all will have a lot more time on our hands. One of the best things about this is that we now have the luxury to fully savour daily activities we might have taken for granted, embracing a different kind of rhythm in our daily lives. From preparing and enjoying a nutritious breakfast in the morning to breaking with a cup of tea and a good book, have more time to chat or play with our kids, we can allow ourselves the time to live life at a gentler pace. If the thought of all this extra time feels overwhelming, we can consider dedicating it to a specific pastime or – better yet – using it to learn something new. There are plenty of online courses, as well as shorter tutorials for arts and crafts. Catching up on a favourite series or book can also offer some light relief.
In the same way that we want to be looking after our mental well-being, we also want to be nourishing our body during this time. Being stuck indoors, it’s all too easy to drift into a state of lethargy and idleness. Exercising from home is going to help us keep active and engaged, and there are all kinds of different videos online to suit any mood and fitness level.
Eating habits are also really important. Planning ahead and cooking meals during the day can help provide you with structure whilst ensuring we are eating healthily.
Supporting our mental health is also crucial during the lockdown. Meditation and grounding techniques can be helpful. Setting a limit on how much time we are spending on social media and the news can be helpful to decrease anxiety as both can be especially triggering at the moment.
Maintain as much connection with family and friends as possible. Sharing our experiences is going to help you make sense of what you’re going through and ensure you feel supported and connected. Making plans in advance can also help to have something to look forward to. We can get creative and schedule different kinds of activities to do together e.g., watching a film, playing a game etc. Or use this time to meet new people by joining an online community.