Practising self-care during COVID-19
In times like this, self-care is more important than ever. With news about the coronavirus dominating the media, even the simple act of looking at your phone can feel overwhelming. So how do we face each day, tackle our to-do lists and embrace the ‘silver linings’ of the situation to keep our mental and physical health in check?
In this article, we’re exploring some ways in which you can show yourself kindness throughout this time of uncertainty and change. We’re looking at things you can introduce into or remove from your daily routine that will help improve your psychological wellbeing.
It is important we stay informed and up to date with the ever-evolving landscape that is COVID-19. However, there comes a point at which this information overload becomes damaging.
Firstly, when consuming any media on the topic, we must filter our sources to those we trust are reliable; speculative reports and articles that circulate rumours won’t provide us with anything factual and can be anxiety-inducing.
When engaging with news updates, even those we trust, we should actively limit the amount we consume. Constant notifications about the virus are likely to do more harm than good. Try limiting your intake to set times in the day, perhaps consulting your news app once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
During this period, feelings of disconnectedness are completely normal. Most of us are feeling the effects of lost social contact and it can be a struggle to reclaim a sense of normality. It’s true, a virtual meet up isn’t quite the same as the real deal, but staying in touch with your loved ones, albeit in a digital capacity, can go a long way in easing those feelings of loneliness.
There is no denying that this period of isolation is a challenge, but we are fortunate that it is happening in the age of technology. You can make the most of that by keeping in touch with your nearest and dearest; try writing a quiz for your friends to host via a group chat, or perhaps FaceTime a family member while you are out for a walk. Importantly, try to view the technology you have as an opportunity to check in with friends and family.
To help you unwind and relax both your body and mind, why not try deep breathing techniques, guided meditation or a calming yoga routine? It can be hugely beneficial to carve out time in your day for some mindful exercises. Engaging both the mind and body is meditative and restorative; if you introduce some gentle yogic exercises when you wake up, it can help to put you in a positive headspace for the day to come.
Arguably one of the scariest aspects of the situation we’re facing is our lack of control. This is why it is so important to be mindful of the things we still have autonomy over. From deciding when to set your alarm or go to bed to the way you nourish your body and the kindness you show yourself, you have a great deal of power over your day. And by focusing on what you can influence, it will keep you firmly in the driving seat, helping you to stay motivated and in control.
As with so many of life’s challenges, acknowledging the ‘issue’ is the first step in managing or overcoming it. Be present and honest with what you’re experiencing, but more importantly, be kind to yourself about it. Remember, there is no right or wrong emotion in response to the current circumstances.
Feel what you need to feel first – once we’re at a place of acceptance, we can then make greater strides towards overcoming those feelings.
You don’t have to use this time to prove anything – to yourself or anyone else. Take stock of what brings you joy and put your energy into that – perhaps you’ll dive into a cookbook and try out some new dishes, get stuck into a TV series or take on a 1000-piece puzzle.
Remember, this is an extraordinary, unprecedented challenge that we’re facing, and it doesn’t have to be the golden opportunity to accomplish all your goals or break fitness PBs, it can simply be about finding the best way to navigate this for you.
If you are struggling during this time and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our sessions are available 7 days a week and are booked in at a time that suits you – we offer appointments between 8am – 10pm. For more information, please click here.