“Self-Care is how you take your power back.” – Lalah Delia
Self-care is especially important during this time of quarantine. You must guard your mind and monitor your self-talk, because “A man is not what he thinks, but what he thinks, he is” – Norman Vincent Peale. As you are taking care of others, spare time to take care of yourself. Your mental health matters a lot. We can rarely choose our circumstances in life, but we can learn healthy ways of choosing our thoughts. Practical Self-Care routines can help put our thoughts in perspective and manage stress. You can still maintain a Wellness lifestyle while practicing self-quarantine.
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” ~Brian Andreas
Mindfulness: A simple practical form of mindfulness is paying attention to activities such as eating or brushing your teeth in the morning. This will help you switch from autopilot to engaging your senses.
Playtime: Just goof around and be spontaneous to interrupt your thought patterns, especially if you are prone to negative thoughts during this quarantine period. For example, 5 to 10 minutes per activity and many sessions.
Start A New Habit: Engage your brain by doing something new to keep your mind youthful and active. Let the new habit become a routine, for example, writing a love note to yourself every night before bedtime
Become A Handyman: Look for annoying or nagging projects in your home and try to work on it for 15 to 30 minutes per day. Your brain loves small challenging projects and releases happy hormones when attempting and finishing them. It is an unusual kind of self-care but the results are very rewarding and can improve your wellness or mental health.
Mini-Meditation: Take time to pause and indulge in self-awareness of your inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and your physical surroundings for 5 to 10 minutes daily. Remember to keep a small record on your phone, nothing major. Start with a deep breath in and out, and end with a deeper more relaxing breath. Self-care cannot be completed without paying attention to your mental and emotional health.
Me Time: There is no better time to schedule “me time” than during this quarantine period. Do one simple thing that makes you happy: watching tv, reading a novel, taking a hot or cold shower.
Declutter: Use this time to declutter. A clean and organized environment promotes mental clarity. You can break it down into smaller projects, nothing overwhelming. Remember it is self-care, learn to enjoy it and not dread it.
“Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.” ― Akiroq Brost.
Unplug Social Media/ Devices: Turn everything off for one to two hours daily. Imagine yourself living in the garden of Eden, surrounded by natural beauty
Meaningful Connection: Remember that self-quarantine is about “Physical Distancing” and not “Social Distancing.” You still need some connection, because human beings are social beings “Everything about us – our brains, our minds, and our bodies – is geared toward collaboration in social systems” (Bessel Van Der Kolk). We thrive when we have support systems of people who love and care about us.
Food Choices / Diet: I know it is a hard time to be picky, but your food affects your mood, mental wellness, sleep, and even how you interact with others. Brain, Mind, and Body have a connection that your food intake can affect (Bessel Van Der Kolk in his book “The Body Keeps The Score”). If possible, rotate your meal plans and include a lot of vegetables and fruits
Take Naps: Take short naps and rest your mind for 10 to 20 minutes. Or just lay down and close your eyes, relax, and refresh.
Reading: There is no better time than now to read non-academic material. Read books, articles, or magazines that rejuvenate you, or make you laugh so hard that you forget all the worry of this season.
Writing: Write 10 to 30 minutes per day. Writing to yourself will help you to understand your inner thoughts or feelings. “When you reread what you wrote, you often discover surprising truths” (Bessel Van Der Kolk). Writing can be very therapeutic. Therefore, writing is a great tool for self-care.
Practice Relaxation Techniques: There are a bunch of them on YouTube for free. All you need is a phone and internet
Art, Music, And Dance: “The capacity of art, music, and dance to circumvent the speechlessness that comes with terror” Bessel Van Der Kolk. The arts are becoming more popular as a form of trauma or stressful emotional treatment. Use expressive art, listen to music (uplifting music or whatever calms you down), sing, and dance till the sun sets. Expressive art is a great form of self-care.
Self-Care is whatever activity that makes you happy, calms you down, or refreshes you. Remember Self-Care is a part of a Wellness lifestyle