Finding ways to take care of our mental health and practice self-care is so important right now!
The way in which so many of us live our day to day lives has massively changed, and this is likely to stay the same for the weeks ahead. With any change comes the potential for disruption to our emotional wellbeing. However, there are ways to protect against this and this is something we can all try to give some energy to.
I know I talk a lot about self-care, and how the things that make us feel good are unique to each of us. But today I want to share a few simple self-care acts that we can all surely benefit from as we continue to stay at home!
You may find that some of these things are less effective for you than others. You may also find that one or two of these self-care ideas are enough to settle your mind and refresh your outlook.
The key is to find what works for you, but also to be open to embracing new ideas and actions that can help ease you through this challenging period.
Discover Enjoyable Exercise
Moving your body is a simple way to engage in a burst of self-care! The physical and mental health benefits of exercise should never be overlooked.
The fantastic thing about exercise as self-care is that there are so many different options to choose from. If you already have a physical activity that you enjoy, but are struggling to do it from home, then there are ways to mix things up.
For example, if you love running but are unable to do this outside — as much as you would like or at all — then there are different types of cardio that you can do indoors. You can combine a few different movements, such as jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and burpees. If you are fortunate to have a garden or outdoor space, then a skipping rope can be a great way to get your cardio in.
If lifting weights at the gym is your usual way of staying fit and releasing stress, but you don't have any equipment at home, then you may try different bodyweight workouts instead.
It is possible to challenge your body and maintain your muscles without any equipment at all! Look online for some great workouts that you can follow along with.
Engaging in some form of exercise, at least once a day, can serve as a serious act of self-care. This can help to motivate you in other areas of your day to day life, and to keep your mind focused.
Make Time To Relax
It is easy to buy into the idea that we should be spending this time at home in a productive way. However, putting this added pressure on yourself can actually serve to increase your stress and damage your self-esteem.
Whether you are working from home, looking after your children, or have other responsibilities keeping you busy, it is essential that you still find the time to relax. It may seem as though you have much more time to get things done now that you are completing the majority of your tasks in the home, but feelings of overload and overwhelm can still seep in.
Carving out some time for yourself each day where you can truly relax is so important. You can use this time to process your thoughts and emotions from the day, or to simply breathe and let some calm and normality wash over you.
You may take this time in a hot bath, in a seated meditation, or perhaps on the couch with a herbal tea. Find what works best for you and give yourself permission to enjoy this time.
If you are finding it hard to stay positive at the moment, then consciously expressing gratitude is an amazing way to combat this. It can be so easy to feel as though so many good things are currently missing from your life. If this is the case, then remind yourself of the fantastic things that are still a part of your reality.
Take a pen and paper and make a physical list of everything that you are grateful for. Try to include the more subtle things as well as the more significant ones.
You may be feeling very fortunate to have a safe place to live, perhaps with your family around you. You may be thankful for your health and your ability to continue to work.
Think also about the small comforts, the little things that make you happy, and the acts of kindness from others that you may sometimes not always acknowledge.
Share Your Thoughts
Sometimes the simplest act of self-care can be to share your difficulties with others. Doing so can help to alleviate some of the pressure that you are feeling, and to help you better understand your thoughts.
If you do not have someone at home that you can talk to, then social media is a fantastic tool for communicating with an online support network. It can often feel easier to be completely honest when you are talking things through with someone online — as opposed to face to face.
Writing to yourself can also be a great way to explore your feelings. If you do not keep a journal then now is a very good time to start!
Even if you just write a few lines each day about what's going on and your experience of it, then this can help to bring negative thoughts out of your mind. It can also be helpful for processing these thoughts if you are able to read back through them later — to better understand them once some time has passed.
Have A Routine
A couple of weeks ago, as the lockdown measures had just begun, I shared my advice on the health and happiness benefits of having a routine.
It may seem as though having a routine is restrictive and boring, but it can actually be really fun and of great use to you.
Click here to read more about the importance of having a routine, and how to get started!
Self-care is something that we have to continue working towards and embracing in a number of different ways. As we move through this tough time, it becomes all the more important to prioritise ourselves and pay attention to how we are feeling.
If you are looking for additional ways to make positive changes in your life right now, then my weekly newsletter can help!
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