The Importance of Self-Care
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, friends and family members are relying more on each other for help and support, work and school demands are constantly shifting, and household chores are piling up faster than usual as families stay home. You might be thinking that there is no time to practice self-care or that practicing self-care during a crisis is selfish. However, this is when we all need self-care the most.
Raphailia Michael, MA explains that self-care refers to any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.” This practice not only allows us to live a healthy and balanced life, but it also helps build up our resilience so we can better handle stressful situations. Most importantly, Michael explains that self-care isn’t selfish. Taking care of yourself ensures that you are fully equipped to take care of your family and get through this tough time together.
How to Practice Self-Care During COVID-19
Washing your hands and social distancing are great ways to take care of your physical health right now, but there is more to self-care than that. Follow these tips from Mayo Clinic and Harvard Business Review to help you nurture your mental, emotional, and physical health.
- Eat a Healthy and Nutritious Diet: It is difficult to follow a healthy diet while social distancing and making as few grocery trips as possible. Check out our COVID-19 resources, “Healthy and Nutritious Foods that Last a Long Time “ and “How to Eat Healthy using Only Pantry Supplies“ to help you choose healthy food items that last longer!
- Exercise Often: Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress levels, it also keeps your immune system strong and healthy! Gyms are closed and group workout classes are canceled, but there are still plenty of ways to exercise while practicing social distancing. Click here for a full list of both indoor and outdoor exercise options!
- Spend Time in Nature: Studies show that spending at least 120 minutes in natural environments per week leads to numerous mental and physical health benefits. As long as you can practice social distancing, spend some time out in nature every day. It could be a walk around the neighborhood, a jog through a local park, or anything that gets you out in nature!
- Have Healthy “Me Time”: To help alleviate feelings of loneliness, many of us turn to social media. While this is a great tool to stay connected with family and friends, it can also be draining. Disconnect for a while and practice mindfulness meditation, journal some positive thoughts and feelings of gratitude, spend time doing your favorite hobby, take a bubble bath, read a book, etc.
- Create and Follow a Routine: Having a daily routine can help you focus on the present and stay on track during stressful times. Start your day with a shower and your favorite type of coffee, schedule in time to exercise and take breaks, mentally engage yourself with work during your new “work hours” and focus on your home life after work hours.
For more information on practicing self-care and setting self-care goals, click here!