5 Simple Self-Care Strategies to Help Refocus on YOUR Wellness
By Bonny Osterhage
There is an expression that says, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and many of us are finding our cups are well below the halfway line in today’s current pandemic. However, finding the time and space for self-care is proving problematic because, even though we are all in isolation, few of us are actually alone in our homes. There’s a good chance you are sharing space with children, spouses, and other family members. You are probably also working from home and discovering that it’s much more challenging to leave work at the office when the office is in your living room.
Then there’s the fact that the places we normally go for some “me” time, such as gyms, spas, or even movie theatres, are all closed. The irony here is that we’ve never needed self-care more in order to deal with the anxiety and overwhelming feelings that go hand-in-hand with a pandemic – but it’s the pandemic that has made it nearly impossible for us to make that happen.
So what can we do? We can start by redefining what self-care looks like. It isn’t always a day at the spa or a luxurious hour-long bubble bath (although those things are wonderful). It can be something as simple as a walk around the block to get some fresh air, or taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing exercises. It can even be blasting your favorite tunes and taking a dance break in your living room.
Whatever it is that helps you feel calm—do it! You will be a better spouse, partner, parent, employee and employer if you make sure your own cup is running over. Here are five self-care strategies to get you started:
1. Unplug: This can be more challenging if you are working from home, but try to take at least one break from your devices per hour. Powering down at least an hour before bed can also help you set the tone for a better night’s sleep.
2. Meditate: If you aren’t someone who meditates, the thought can be a little intimidating. Instead of stressing out over mantras or on clearing your mind, try focusing on your breathing instead. One of our favorite methods is the 4-7-8 technique recommended by Andrew Weil, MD for reducing anxiety.
3. Move Your Body: Whether it’s going for a high-energy run, or starting your day with some stretching or yoga, taking time to move your body can do wonders for your mind.
4. Get Dressed: When you have limited contact with the outside world, it can be tempting to let yourself go. Don’t! You don’t have to go all out, but fix your hair, put on something other than sweats or leggings, and finish it off with a swipe of lip-gloss and mascara—TADA! Quarantine chic!
5. Go outside: Fresh air and sunshine are Mother Nature’s Rx for wellness. Sit outside, walk around the block, or roll the windows down, turn the music up and go for a long drive.
Remember, at the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of everyone else. Self-care is not selfish, it’s a necessity. Go ahead—you’ve earned it.