10 Free Ways to Take Care of Yourself
by Suzanne M. Harvey
Wow! What a week it has been. Last week it was business as usual for most of us. And within a few hours gatherings were being shut down and schools were closing. Now we are trying to figure out working from home, completing schoolwork from home and social distancing. It can all be too much to even process. The one thing we have much more all of the sudden is TIME. What a precious commodity!! And if we use it wisely we can take care of ourselves & those we love during this difficult time.
I am a big proponent of self care most days. But right now it is even more critical. As women we are more likely to be in a caregiver position. In times of high stress, we tend to act strong in order to create a sense of calm. But this takes a toll – especially when we haven’t taken care of our emotional, physical & spiritual selves.
Here are some simple & free ways to take care of you so you can help all those you love through this difficult time.
#1 – SLEEP
You know you should get plenty of sleep but rarely do. During high stress times your body needs even more. Don’t feel guilty about sleeping an extra hour or two. If you have little kids – take a nap when they do. You need it!
#2 – READ
You have a little extra time at home right now. Take 15 minutes in the morning to read something positive & uplifting. Because focusing on something that brings joy & light will lift your spirits. So you will have the mental energy to tackle the day.
#3 – WRITE
Grab a notebook at start writing. It could be like a diary where you write the events and how you feel about them.Or maybe ideas about what you want to check out or try. And maybe try writing poetry or a fictional story. What you write doesn’t matter. It is the act of putting your thoughts on paper that clears your mind to make harder decisions.
#4 – EXERCISE
Nothing new here…you know it is best for you to move your body. And even when you are stuck at home there are so many free programs on the internet & YouTube. Plus you can get the kids off their tablets & moving too!!
#5 – WASH YOUR FACE
I may sound like Rachel Hollis here but “Girl Wash Your Face”. This is a really important part of self care. When you are working from home day after day, it is easy to let the hygiene go a little bit. Taking a few minutes to do your normal morning or evening routine can really help. And when you look better you will feel better no matter what is going on around you.
#6 – GO OUTSIDE
You are practicing your social distancing but you need to be outside. The fresh air & sunshine have well documented health benefits. And this helps physically, emotionally & spiritually to take care of you. A walk in the woods will do you wonders. No large gatherings here. Just you & your thoughts and the beauty of nature to observe.
#7 – SPRING CLEAN
When you de-clutter your space, it really affects the clutter in your mind. And let’s face it…our minds are overloaded & overwhelmed right now. Take a small space and clean it out each day. I recommend starting with the junk drawer in the kitchen. Or maybe all those clothes in your closet. With a small space de-clutter you will have a great sense of accomplishment!
#8 – TALK TO A FRIEND
You’ve been with your family for a week now with little or no outside interaction. You need a friend to vent to, commiserate with and laugh with! Our friends are in the same boat right now and can relate very well with how you are feeling. And we need that human connection. So pick up the phone and call a friend. Or better yet schedule a virtual coffee date through Facetime, Facebook or Zoom. Because there is nothing better than seeing your friends face to face.
# 9 – LAUGH (ALOT)
You know the old saying “Laughter is the best medicine”…it really is. There is nothing funny about the current situation. But sometimes all you can do is laugh or you will cry. Find some funny movies to watch with your family. I am talking about those absolutely stupid movies that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Also a game of twister would be a great option for lots of laughs. Because this is such a heavy time with need to balance the scales with tons of laughter.
#10 – HUG YOUR PEOPLE
I know social distancing is the buzzword right now. But we all desperately need human contact. Don’t go hugging random strangers. But hug your family as much as you can. It will bring you closer and send those endorphins sky high. We are practicing the family huddle right now. It makes each of feel more connected and less alone. And when this is over we will never take those simple gestures for granted again.
I hope you find these simple steps helpful as we all navigate this new normal. Whether it is a few weeks or months, know that it will be over and we will be stronger & better for what we learned during this difficult time. Sending prayers for well being, health & safety to you and your families.