Taking care of yourself during COVID
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has quickly wreaked havoc on our lives. Our team of dietitians has been right there with our patients, helping them build skills to navigate the new normal. While everyone is handling things differently, we’ve been inspired by how many patients have decided to use this time as an opportunity to focus on their health and wellness.
Since most of us are stuck at home for a while, it is a great time to implement some self-care strategies to reduce stress and increase feelings of positivity. If you’re able to use some of this uncertain time to focus on yourself, here are 10 simple ideas to help get you started with self-care at home.
1. Get outdoors (while keeping your distance from others). Thank goodness it’s spring! Take advantage of the changing season by taking walks, playing outside with the kids, or working from your patio or porch. The more sunshine, the better!
2. Enjoy technology-free time. It’s easy to get sucked into social media or the latest headline. Give yourself a break from consuming information and step away the computer, phone, TV, etc for several hours.
3. Sleep in. There are so many benefits to getting a full night’s rest. One bonus of working from home is you no longer have a morning commute! Use the extra time in your schedule to catch up on Zzz’s.
4. Move your body. You can’t go to the gym right now, so it’s time to get creative with a Plan B. Luckily, there are thousands of free online workout classes. Click here to access a playlist of some of our favorite free workouts.
5. Get involved with a creative hobby. This can be a hobby that you loved when you were younger or something totally new. Some ideas include crafting, playing music, writing, digital design, singing, cooking, drawing, or painting. Keep in mind that you do not have to be good at a hobby to enjoy it!
6. Virtually connect with friends and family. While physical isolation is key right now, emotional isolation is not your friend. Make it a point to connect more than usual and try to talk about things other than COVID impacts. Use technologies like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom as much as possible so you can see friendly faces and make eye contact!
7. Engage your mind by learning something new. Learning fosters empowerment, creativity, and self-esteem. You can start small, like watching a Ted Talk or investigating a DIY home project. Or you can go big, like learning a new language or career-enhancing skill. The possibilities are endless and free resources like Coursera, Lynda.com, and Duolingo make learning accessible to everyone.
8. Embrace quiet time. Meditate, read, listen to very soft music, etc. You can do anything that relaxes your mind and shifts it away from busy or stressful thoughts. Click here for our free mini-meditation video.
9. Complete a home project. Some ideas include de-cluttering, spring cleaning, painting a room, yard work, or something else around the house that you’ve been putting off for a while. You’ll feel accomplished and enjoy the outcome. You might even enjoy the process too!
10. Spa day at home. There’s so many small things you can do to incorporate a spa-like feeling at home. Some of our favorites include an Epsom salt bath, foot soak/pedicure, incorporating essential oils, making your own ‘spa water’, and DIY body scrubs. There are endless creative ideas on the internet for using supplies you already have on hand.
How do you know if your self-care strategies are successful? The goal is to increase your feelings of positivity, hope, confidence, and self-worth. If your self-care strategy isn’t bringing you any joy, or it results in increased stress, it’s likely not the best match for you right now. You’ll know you got it right when your activities make you feel happy, fulfilled, and leave you with a smile.