Living through a pandemic isn’t easy. There are endless worries, huge lifestyle changes and a complete toppling of our work-life balances. This makes it more important than ever to practice self-care, in order to boost our mental well-being.
What is self-care?
Self-care often gets a bad rep for being overly-indulgent. That’s only the case when the term is thrown around without being properly understood. Self-care refers to an activity that is intended to boost your emotional wellbeing and mental health. This means setting aside a fixed amount of time each day or week to attend to your emotional needs. On the contrary, this does not involve being selfish, pushing people away, procrastinating on work or overly-indulging in luxuries. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios below so that we can completely dispel any misconceptions related to self-care.
Meditating once a day?
Yes! As we’ll discuss below, meditation is a great way to practice self-care as it attends to your inner well-being in a healthy way.
Faking a migraine and skipping work to watch television?
Not at all. If you’re mentally not in the right space to get to work, discuss the situation with your supervisor in a frank manner. They might give you some time off, or even allow you to complete your tasks in a more flexible way such that you can attend to both your emotional needs and job expectations.
Taking care of my body and eating healthily?
Yes! Self-care isn’t just about feeling good, it’s also about being good to yourself. Besides getting plenty of exercises, you should choose to give your body the healthy food and nutrition it deserves.
Spending hundreds of dollars on that online sale on a whim?
Not quite. Spending a lucrative amount of money on material goods isn’t exactly the same as tending to your emotional needs. If you want to treat yourself with a quick pick-me-up purchase, remember to be responsible and forward-thinking in your expenditures.
Self-care tips during periods of self-isolation
#1 Eat healthily, be healthy
As we mentioned above, self-care is about how you treat yourself as well. This involves having regular exercise and a balanced diet. This may not give you immediate gratification and a boost in emotional wellbeing, but you’ll definitely feel the physical improvements in the long term. Additionally, having a goal like eating healthy and celebrating milestones is a great way to boost your mood and improve your mental well-being.
#2 Get ample sleep
Working from home can be disorienting in terms of sticking to a proper sleep cycle. Your body doesn’t get physically exhausted since most of your day is spent on a chair doing work. However, you should stick to a solid bedtime to give your body the rest it needs. Having an ample amount of sleep not only improves physical wellbeing but also drastically improves your emotional health. A well-rested mind is a happy mind!
#3 Ease stress and be in touch with your emotions
The most important tip for self-care during a pandemic is to find ways to reduce stress. This could be through a hobby like baking or a relaxing activity like watching Netflix for an hour a day. Alternatively, you could try meditating and practising mindfulness to boost your emotional wellbeing.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. In fact, you don’t even need yoga pants or fancy poses to start! Sit down cross-legged and set a timer for 5 minutes. We love using a Timeqube because it unobtrusively keeps track of time through changing colors, instead of constantly ticking. This allows you to focus on meditating and watch the clock through your peripheral vision. Once the timer starts, allow your thoughts and worries to surface in your mind. Acknowledge these thoughts and understand them without any suppression. After a bit, you can logically sort through each worry and slowly reduce the anxious chatter in your mind. Once your thoughts are “silent”, you can focus on the present and objectively appreciate being in the moment. Five minutes is all it takes for you to feel refreshed, re-focused and emotionally stronger.
Don’t skimp on self-care!
In troubled times, it’s especially important to look out for both your physical and emotional wellbeing. Integrate a self-care routine into your everyday life for better results and happier days!