Although a simple concept in theory, Self-care is something we very often overlook. Yet self-care helps prevent burnout and builds resilience. Self-care is about taking responsibility for your personal well-being. It is not selfish; in fact, self-care is the exact opposite.
What is self-care? Self-care, is deliberately taking care of our well-being through restorative activities that are integrated into our daily lives.
You can’t pour from an empty jug, so, make self-care part of your routine now. Start small, plan out events and goals, write them down and stick to them.
A self-care toolkit will look different for everyone, but here are a few ideas to add to yours.
1. Breathe – Several times a day, take a moment for a few slow deep breaths. Breathing helps ground and calm us. (This is my go-to practise when I feel overwhelmed, anxious or just plain tired.)
2. Pace yourself – You can only do so much. Use the identifiers of ‘must, should and could’, to help you prioritise.
3. Keep to good health habits –:
Make sure you are getting enough regular quality sleep. Get into the habit of getting up and going to bed at the same time each day.
Eat regularly and healthily. Stay away from fast foods, as these have limited nutritional value, rather choose plant-based foods. Learn to cook something new.
Prioritize aerobic exercise as it is vital for stress reduction. Yoga is great stretching and relaxing. Youtube has home exercise and yoga videos.
Limit caffeine, alcohol and addictive substances
4. Allow yourself a break – You need down time, and me-time. Make sure that you have some time to yourself to relax or to do something which is just for you. Do calming activities that you enjoy, start reading a book, try writing a journal, meditating, listen to music or start an arts-and-crafts project.
Have some fun.
5. Connect with others - Physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Social connection and emotional support are vital to our health and wellbeing. Reach out to family, maintain your friendships, and connect with community groups.
Technology has given us an array of tools to reduce our isolation. Call from phones, use WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, whatever you are comfortable with. People are now sharing mealtimes and socials with each other using technology.
6. Take a break from information overload and media coverage around Covid-19.
Whilst we need to ensure we stay informed for our health and safety; information overload has shown to contribute to stress and tension. It is important to make sure you are getting accurate and credible information by using reputable sources.
7. Seek help and support when you need it – Reach out to others. Everyone needs to be able to discuss their feelings and be heard.