Sometimes we hear the phrase "self-care" and specific activities come to mind: exercise, getting adequate sleep, eating a proper diet, etc. The reality is, you should include those kinds of things, as part of your daily routine. But self-care can be soooo much more inclusive than that and we are going to talk about some other ideas for self-care while quarantining...
2020 has forced many of us to alter our methods of coping with change while remaining inside the confines of our homes. People are taking more time to pivot their focus back onto themselves, so naturally, the interest in self-care has grown. But what does a proper self-care routine look like during quarantine?
Well, the heart of self-care is really about doing whatever it is that makes your soul smile. It should be more than just a set routine that you follow religiously. It should be about finding joy, peace, and balance in your life, and you get to decide what that looks like. Sure, it could be getting back in shape or meditating daily, but it can also look like regular check-ins with your loved ones via Facetime or accomplishing a goal you had long abandoned.
For some, self-care may come in the form of self-improvement activities such as teaching yourself a new skill. I, for one, strive to spend just 20 minutes a day practicing Spanish and 2-3 hours per week teaching myself to play piano because those are two of my biggest aspirations. To someone else, that may sound far from relaxing; maybe it even sounds taxing, but to an INFP-T Mediator such as myself (think Meyers-Briggs personality test) it can be mentally and emotionally rewarding. For others, it may come in the form of reducing the amount of stress or responsibilities you have going on so that your energy and focus are no longer divided. And of course, for many, it may look like meditating, doing yoga, or working out.
But self-care can go even further than that. It can be the little things we do, like taking time to paint your nails yourself rather than going to the nail salon. It could look like you paying more attention to your skin and/or hair health. Maybe it's journaling, or seeking therapy or another form of council. Really, it can be anything that waters your spirt and feeds your soul. In fact, below you will find some of the most ordinary daily self-care activities that you may or may not be doing already while staying at home or social distancing.
LET'S GET PHYSICAL, PHY-SI-CALLLL!
By now, I am sure you know that physical activity such as exercise has psychological benefits that help shape our whole health. Exercise is known to release endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. In fact, studies suggest that it may negatively correlate with depression rates. The following physical activities can be quarantine-friendly:
virtual classes (try ClassPass for variety)
workout apps such as Peloton or Fiton
going for a walk around the neighborhood
walking your dog
taking the stairs instead of the elevator
playing with your kids and/or pet
practicing a sport
playing a game (soccer, basketball, etc.)
A holistic self-care approach can include some kind of mental and/or emotional aspect. This may include:
intention setting/daily affirmations/gratitude lists
taking regular breaks throughout the day
saying no so as not to overburden yourself
seeking therapy (in-person or virtual)
playing an instrument
listening to music
planting a garden/growing your own produce/caring for your plants
reading a book
painting your nails
watching your favorite show
getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night
learning a new skill or other self-improvement activities
pursuing your dreams/passion
checking in with your loved ones
checking in with yourself and your mental/emotional state of being!
checking your biases/thinking about your thoughts
You get the idea. Self-care is so inclusive that you are probably practicing it without really trying. Acknowledge and give ourself credit for the things you are already doing and if you are up for it, incorporate some additional activities for fun.
The world is going to try to pull you in all kinds of directions, and the constant tug-of-war will leave you feeling bent out of shape or broken if unchecked. You know yourself best, and you know what you need and when you need it. As long as you make a habit of listening to what your mind and body are telling you while remaining safe, you are already on your way to becoming a quarantine-approved self-care master.