What was once seen as an indulgence has now been proven to be an essential part of life. Practicing proper self-care is imperative for physical, mental and emotional health. This is even more important during a global pandemic, when practicing self-care during the pandemic can be absolutely crucial for your overall health and wellness. Here are six ways that you can take care of yourself during this challenging and unprecedented time.
Six Tips for Practicing Self-Care During the Pandemic
1. Nourish Your Body
A well-balanced diet can go a long way towards helping you to stay on top of your physical health during the pandemic. It is not uncommon for healthy eating to end up on the back burner during times of stress. However, these days, it is more important than ever to be intentional about nourishing your body with the right fuel.
While it is clearly important to make wholesome foods the cornerstone of your diet, you should also give yourself permission to indulge every now and then. Sometimes it may be that hot fudge sundae with your kids or a glass of wine with a friend that is exactly the type of self-care that you need to get you through this trying time.
2. Get Moving
One of the best self-care practices is simple exercise. Working up a sweat will encourage your body to release those feel-good endorphins. Not only does daily exercise deliver a host of physical benefits, but it also provides a significant boost to your overall mental health. Everyone knows that feeling that comes after a good sweat session. There is no better use of your free time than grabbing a workout.
Exercising outdoors can provide an even greater bonus. The fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your mental health as you deliver benefits to your physical health through exercise. A dose of vitamin D will boost both your emotional health and deliver protective benefits to your body.
3. Make Sleep a Priority
It is understandable if you are having problems sleeping at night. The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic combined with a drastic change to many work and school schedules may make it more challenging to get the rest that you need.
However, getting quality sleep each night is essential for your health. Prioritizing your sleep schedule is a vital self-care practice. You can support healthy sleep habits by creating a bedroom environment that is conducive to rest, staying away from alcohol and caffeine in the hours prior to bedtime and by being intentional about maintaining a regular sleep schedule.
Many people also find success by taking a melatonin supplement designed to support regular sleep patterns. For example, Melachron is a non-addictive and non-habit forming supplement that uses a pulsatile-release formula to encourage a regular sleep-wake cycle.
4. Be Social
This is the time to lean on friends and family. It was all too common to become too isolated during the early days of the pandemic. Now that we know more about the virus, it is easier to find ways to safely socialize, especially if your group has been vaccinated. Being purposeful about planning social activities with the people that you love will ensure that you are doing all that you can to practice self-care during the pandemic for your health during this time.
If you do not feel comfortable socializing in person yet, there are other ways that you can connect with others in meaningful ways. Try starting a text chain with a group of friends so that you can safely stay connected. A funny joke or an encouraging word to a friend may be just what they need to pull them out of a funk.
5. Step Away from the News and Social Media
Many people have fallen into the trap of making social media use a focal point of the day. It is also easy to immerse yourself so much in the latest news that it becomes a detriment to your mental health. You would be wise to limit your consumption of both news and social media.
It is a good idea to set limits on how much news you watch each day. For example, you may want to set aside a certain time each day to bring yourself up to date on the latest news. The same goes for social media consumption. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through your feed multiple times a day, use a dedicated time each day to catch up with your friends and contacts.
6. Seek Out Relaxation Techniques
Do not discount the power of a little peace and quiet when looking to improve your personal self-care during the pandemic. Good ideas include escaping the realities of life with a good book and a cup of tea. Or maybe you want to take a relaxing bubble bath to end your day? Yoga and meditation are also great ways to calm the mind and put you in a better mental place. The important thing is to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace during this time.
Although self-care looks different for everyone, the goal is to find the activities that bring you the most benefits. Taking care of your own needs through self-care during the pandemic will give you the tools that you need to care for loved ones and to live a happy and healthy life.