During the past few weeks we have to adjust to a new normal. Yes some of us may still be getting up and leaving for work. But our new wardrobe now includes a mask and gloves. For many of us that new normal may be working from home, or being furloughed or teaching our children from home. We are all trying to find our new normal and balance during this time all while trying to stay safe, healthy and sane. During the time that we have been running our groups via Zoom there is a theme we keep hearing over and over, “I don’t know how to take care of myself.”
The thing we have to remember is many of the things we did before coming to a screeching halt when we were issued the Stay at Home Restrictions. Self – care starts with baby steps and we count the victories each day not the defeats.
Here are some simple ways you can take care of yourself.
Turn off the news – Limit yourself on how much news you watch. I have a 15-minute limit.
Get into a routine –Try to form a routine. Getting up the same time each day, showering, getting dressed, brushing your teeth. Each day try to incorporate one new thing.
Drink water – Many of us are forgetting to hydrate while home. Try drinking at least 3 glass of water a day. But even if you only drink one count that as a victory for the day and tomorrow try drink 1 ½ glass of water.
Eat healthily – I know it is easy to reach for that comfort food while shut in. Try putting a bowl of fruit on the counter (apples, oranges, tangerine) or cut up some carrots and celery or other veggies and put them in a container so they are easy to grab. When you get the munchies reach for a piece of fruit or some veggies.
Exercise – Stay at home doesn’t mean you can’t get outside. Try walking around the block each day. I had a friend who would increase her walk each day by walking to the next dog on her route. Remember small steps are steps forward.
Encouragement – Write encouraging messages or your accomplishments either on post it notes or on your bathroom mirror. When this first started I wrote ‘Is that a positive thought on my mirror?” This helps me to focus on the good things not the things I can’t control.
Sunshine – Sit outside for 20 minutes each day. Did you know that 20 minutes outside each day supplies your daily allowance of vitamin D.
Treat yourself – Do something nice for yourself. Maybe it’s sitting down and reading a book, a long bath, a mask, polishing your nails, burn candles or defuse oils, play a game.
Do meditation – This is a time to learn to sit and focus on your breathing and clear your mind. There are lots of apps and websites that offer free services.
Make a blessings or gratitude journal- Write down those things that are blessings or you are thankful for. Reflect on them on the days where you feel like nothing is going right.
Plant a garden –Remember it will take time for the plants to produce its fruits. You get to care for it and watch it change daily.
Learn something new – What have you wanted to learn to do? Take the time now to learn how to do it.
Journal –write whatever is on your mind
Listen to your favorite music – Sure crank up the tunes and sing along you can’t have bad thoughts when you’re singing songs.