Oh, self-care; such a vital tool in keeping our bodies and minds strong. But what does it mean to self-care, especially now, while a global pandemic is taking hold? Have you thought about a self-care routine during quarantine?
According to Active Minds, self-care is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. This means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. These days, it is more difficult to set up a self-care routine as you feel that you have unlimited time at home. In a way, it seems like before “social distancing” became our norm, we were able to pamper ourselves without thinking about the steps that it takes to fulfil self-care requirements. And what are those requirements? Only you can truly answer that for yourself.
We as a society tend to prioritize other responsibilities in lives and spend from little to no time for ourselves. Finding the time to do so is the most difficult step. With that being said, we must continue to keep our mental health sharp and our bodies active.
Here are 5 ways to maintain a healthy self-care routine during the quarantine.
Go on a quick walk around the neighbourhood. Meditate at the park during your lunch break. Ride your bike to the store for quick essentials. Whatever task works for your schedule, it is helpful for your body to connect to the earth.
Dedicate a time of your day to involve yourself in simple ways to give your immune system a boost. Taking in airborne chemicals from oxygen help the human body fight off other harmful chemicals. Plants are nature’s medicine. Embracing nature and outdoor activity as much as possible is going to have a positive effect on us both in short-term and long-term.
Try going outdoors daily. Hydrate, apply and re-apply sunscreen, or bug repellent spray when necessary, and you will be supporting your self-care in no time, even during the quarantine.
Setting goals and daily reminders are key to keep your daily schedules. From planning family time to maintaining your work schedule, you must not forget to include time for self-care. Your time for yourself, ironically, needs to also be scheduled.
From Monday to Friday, your schedule most likely includes the tasks to be done at work and household tasks. This schedule keeps you on your toes at work and maybe also allows you to do grocery shopping before the weekend comes along. Then the weekend hits. Saturday becomes a toss-up between saying yes to binging TV all day and not to read the novel you have been trying to finish for months now.
To avoid this unnecessary stress, create a routine for yourself even for weekends. Creating a routine for weekends is more important than for the weekdays. Take that extra time to harvest more energy during the week to crush it at work. Start with something small such as, going to bed early every night, but sleep for an hour or two on the weekends.
Nowadays people are shopping, chatting, taking doctors appointments online, and even having “house parties” online, yet there are still excuses and complaints about not being able to workout. With internet access, we are able to engage in fitness almost on demand. You can go online through social media and find endless footage of at-home workouts and dance classes.
Registering for a virtual dance class is easy. First, subscribe to workout or dance accounts on YouTube and find the content that works for you. Then, follow accounts on Instagram where you have instant content and updates on class schedules and daily challenge videos. Pick a class, grab your dance shoes, yoga mat and get your body moving. The possibilities of learning a new skill from the comfort of your own home seem to be endless with Internet access. Anyone stuck at home can still partake in aerobic sports as long as they have the right attire or equipment.
Some Instagram accounts to follow are @theballetspot, @tdw_thedancersworkout, @dance.alone.together and @mindbody. YouTube accounts that provide variety of workouts are Madfit, Blogilates and POPSUGAR Fitness. So make a social media account today and start looking for your perfect class!
While taking time for yourself might mean reading a book, or meal prepping, there are plenty of other things you can do for yourself. Learn a new language, try painting and drawing, or even start baking your favourite dessert. Learning a new skill is easy today, and you can always find the best courses on Masterclass or download a relevant app.
These skills may take time to develop, which can be a project in itself. Feel free to track your progression and feel passionate about your new hobby or hobbies. Maybe you are into more low-key activities, like knitting, meditating, or doing puzzles, but you don’t know where to start. Buy a couple of bundles of yarn and needles, a yoga mat or a puzzle at your local Target and watch a YouTube video on how to do these things on a beginner level and go from there.
Whatever your niche is, spend like finding it and DON’T settle.
Giving back is a good feeling to have, especially with a loved one. We all love being thought of every once in a while. Doesn’t it feel good when you receive a text message saying that someone is thinking of you? Or find an old picture in your inbox asking for reconnecting and reminiscing on past memories.
Set up a face time or phone call with someone you do not get to talk to a whole lot. Write a letter even! There are countless ways of keeping in contact with people. You may be surprised at how satisfying it is to reconnect with an old friend or a long lost cousin. Maybe there is an aunt who is stuck in her home and you want to bring a little joy to her life with the simplest of things, such as a conversation.
Who knows, perhaps a friend you call one day, shares with you their struggle of being active. You tell your friend about your weekly ballet class and perhaps they join you so you have a buddy in your class now! That’s a win-win right there. You are exercising, learning a new skill and creating new lines of communication.
Regardless of what path works for you. Self-care is all about being consistent.
At this moment, most Americans are confined to the limits of their homes and adjusting to this new way of living takes time. Your body, mind and spirit need to be tended for in order to continue pushing through endless days. It’s the little things in life that will keep you going. Taking care of yourself is always the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.
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