With so much happening around us in these uncertain times, daily life can feel overwhelming. Not only are we stuck at home, learning and working remotely, but we also have to deal with strict public health actions to keep us safe from the virus, which in turn can make us feel anxious and lonely.
These strong emotions can take a toll on us both physically and mentally. While it’s natural to feel these things at a time like this, we must find healthy ways to cope with these feelings to enhance our physical and mental well-being and make ourselves more resilient in times of crisis.
Self-care is more important than ever, and we’re here to help you create an effective self-care routine that can help you manage your emotions in these difficult times.
Understand Self-care and What It Means to You
The first step to building a self-care routine is understanding what self-care is and what actions you consider self-care.
Simply put, self-care refers to any activity that allows you to stay physically and emotionally healthy. If activities like baking, reading a book, or even something as simple as taking a shower make you happy, then that can be considered as your own form of self-care.
It’s important to remember that self-care differs from person to person, and what works for someone else may not work for you. However, it also helps to note that an activity that is generally beneficial for one’s physical health doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s self-care when you do it. For instance, going on a run every morning may benefit your well-being, but if it’s not an exercise you enjoy or find comfort in, you can’t consider it self-care.
Find the Things that Matter to You
Self-care means doing something for your own well-being and not anyone else’s. If you decide to do something only because it’s popular and not because you truly enjoy it, you’re less likely to commit to it in the long run.
Think about what matters to you and what things you like to do. Some people like to read a few pages of their favorite books every day, while others like listening to podcasts. If you have any hobbies that you genuinely enjoy, you can start there and branch out to new things when you want to spice things up.
It’s also important to start simple. If you try to do too much at the same time, you can end up overwhelming yourself, and your routine may start to feel like a chore. Start with basic things that leave you feeling recharged and refreshed.
For instance, something as simple as taking care of your dental health can be considered self-care. It can start as brushing and flossing every day, and it can eventually branch out into visiting a dentist’s clinic for a deeper clean.
Incorporate It into Your Daily Routine
Once you have a few self-care activities in mind, the next step is to find a way to make it a part of your daily routine. If one of your self-care activities is listening to your favorite artist’s songs, you can play it in the background to watch his or her music videos.
Some self-care activities may require you to take up more time in your day, such as baking, arts and crafts, and playing video games, among other things. If your routine contains an activity that takes up time, try to set a certain amount of time for you to do that activity.
If you’re starting your self-care routine for the first time, consider choosing one behavior or activity you want to do every day for the rest of the week and see whether it works for you. Once that activity turns into a habit, it will become easier to do and keep track of.
Making time for your self-care routine is just as important as actually doing it. Before the pandemic, you may have thought that you didn’t have time to do the things you liked, but now as most people are spending more time at home, there’s no better time than now to start making time for your routine.
Consider self-care as an appointment that you can’t reschedule by setting reminders or even adding your routine to your calendar.
Set Goals for Yourself
Challenge yourself by setting small goals that can help you stay motivated to keep doing your self-care routine. Remember to make your goals measurable and realistic so that you can track your progress easily. For instance, if one of your self-care goals is to exercise more, then set your workouts to a short amount of time, like 30 minutes. Once you get through the week and achieve that goal, set a more challenging goal by increasing that time to 40 minutes, then 50 minutes, and so on.
Self-care is more important than ever as we continue to live through these difficult and uncertain times. This doesn’t mean we should stop ourselves from finding the good in our lives. With a little discipline and effort, your self-care routine will not only become your best coping mechanism to manage your emotions in the middle of a global health crisis but also bring joy and relaxation back into your life.