If you’re fortunate enough to be healthy, then you probably have your pandemic protocol in place. Presumably, you’re practicing social distancing, washing your hands every chance you get and sheltering in place. Now how about your personal wellness plan?
Here are some recommendations to keep yourself feeling good:
Exercise. Fitness is a foundation of self-care. Thank goodness staying at home doesn’t mean standing still. Time to dust off the stationary bike or free weights and show that equipment some love. If you don’t have a home gym, maybe you can get yourself a yoga mat and follow a class for any level on YouTube. Or better yet, go for a walk, jog or bike ride, if you’re able, and luxuriate in the clean air.
Be Grateful. With lots of fear-based news out there, it’s easy to succumb to negative thinking, but don’t forget to focus on abundance. At least once a day, try counting a blessing for each of your ten fingers—or more, if you can. You might also keep a running list of items you’re grateful for on the fridge and let members of the household add to it, ongoing. An instant mood elevator, gratitude is contagious!
Connect: Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to connect with friends and family at any distance. Plan a happy hour with friends or a weekend get together with extended family to catch up and swap stories. Social distancing doesn’t have to leave loved ones feeling isolated. In fact, many people are touching base with family members now, more than ever. If you’re with others at home, take this chance to nurture those close relationships. You may suddenly be spending a lot more time together than usual. Make the most of it with love, kindness and laughter. And if you have pets—well, lucky them!
Play: Despite the pandemic, it’s quite all right to enjoy your life! Dance to your favorite playlist in the living room. Celebrate every bit of good news. Have a board game tournament with your housemates. Do theme dinner parties and attend in costume. Play table ping pong. Decorate. Be silly. Entertainment doesn’t have to be as passive as a Netflix binge. Get creative! Have a jam session. Perform a play. Do a cartwheel if you can.
Be in Nature: This is a great time to reconnect with nature in a big way. Whether you’re able to get out into the wilderness for a hike or just sit among trees in your own backyard, time spent in nature is good for the soul. With fewer people driving, mother nature is enjoying some recovery time. This is her time to shine! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, water is sparkling and the air is crystal clear. Take it in and be soothed. Just be sure to maintain social distancing, even outside.
Unplug: Much as we love our life saving devices right about now, we benefit from regular breaks from the screen. Have you noticed that a Zoom call feels every bit as intense as an in-person meeting? You may save yourself a commute to the office, but you can still feel drained afterwards. To keep from getting depleted, silence your phone and shut your laptop down for several hours every day. Take some quiet time to meditate, journal or curl up with a good book. And don’t forget to breathe deeply. Sign off early at night as well. And keep your electronics out of the bedroom (or at least in a drawer, silenced or shut down) to create a sacred space conducive to rest.
Sleep Well: Give yourself permission to indulge in a good night’s sleep, every night! You need it more than you may realize, to recoup from the collective stress. Although it may be tempting to let go of routines right now, you still need to practice good sleep hygiene. Tuck yourself in at the same time each night. Allow for 9 hours of sleep, if you feel like you need it. Sleep is critical for immunity and overall mind-body health, so get good Zzz’s. Sweet dreams!
I hope these reminders will prompt you to take excellent care of yourself. Also, know that even masters of self-care need a little help sometimes. If you’d benefit from talking to someone during these ambiguous times, please reach out for a free consultation. I’m providing remote therapy for folks who have quarantine-related concerns (at a massive discount ‘til July 1st, by the way!) amidst the enormous uncertainty. Stay safe and be well.
In a time when therapy is needed more than ever, economic uncertainty only adds to anxiety. That’s why I’m offering 40% off session fees now until July 1st 2020.
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