Self-care is often one of the first things that we neglect during times of stress. This can look like neglecting to drink water, overconsuming sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, or eating convenience foods rather than nourishing meals. It might mean that you’ve cut out going to the gym and not replaced that with another form of exercise. It might mean never taking a moment to yourself. We can make the mistake of viewing self-care as an add-on activity, rather than a necessary aspect of our wellness. Here are some self-care tips for you to consider:
Treat yourself. Self-care means caring for yourself, just as you would a loved one. When we love someone, we get to know them, we care for their best interests, we work to provide them with opportunities to pursue their best selves. Imagine looking at yourself as you would a friend. What would you say to that person? What would you suggest that they do? How would you care for them?
Self-care is not selfish. Sometimes we resist self-care because we fear that it will take time away from others or that there isn’t any time for it. If you have a hard time accepting the importance of self-care, remember that it helps bring out the best in you, and in turn, benefits the lives of those around you.
Make a plan. Whether you had a solid grasp on self-care pre-COVID or it has been on the back burner for a while, it’s important to prioritize this need in your life. In order to be successful, we need to make a plan. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Movement: Take a walk or run, do an exercise video, do some yoga poses, stretch, practice a sport skill, dance.
- Connect with nature: Watch fish in an aquarium, do bird watching, examine leaves, smell a flower, observe a sunset.
- Nurture: Water plants, garden, fill bird feeders, pet family pets,
- Embrace creativity: Color, draw or paint, create a playlist, play an instrument, sing, bake.
- Control the environment to calm the senses: turn down the lights, turn on soothing music or sounds, light a scented candle/watch the flame, wrap yourself tightly in a blanket, drink ice water or warm tea, give yourself a hand massage.
I hope that the above tips help you to find comfort, along with some tangible ideas to impro
-Jessica Smith, MA, LMFT
Owner, Encompass Hope, Llcve your self-care. Remember, you are not alone! If you notice the need for additional support or significant difficulty during this time, consider reaching out to speak with a therapist.