As our nation and world around us is surrounded by news of the COVID 19 epidemic, it can be very easy to neglect self-care due to the different struggles that can arise from this unique situation. It is not uncommon to experience feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, confusion, and even anger during this difficult time. Because of this, it is important to deal with these emotions in ways that are helpful and healing. Self- care is one way in which we can deal with difficult emotions and situations. Keep in mind that self-care is what we do (or stop doing) to take care of and improve our mental, physical and spiritual lives. Below are a few ways in which you can practice self-care during this particular situation that we are all facing as a community.
Practicing gratitude has been found to have a positive impact on how our bodies and minds feel. When we practice gratitude, this stimulates oxytocin in our brains, and this helps relax the nervous system. There are two ways in which we can practice gratitude. The first is to practice gratitude for within, that is to say, being grateful for your life, body, breath, mind, strengths, etc. The second way we can practice gratitude is outwardly by being grateful for others, our pets, nature, resources, and other elements outside of us.
Seek Social Connections
During the quarantine, it can be difficult to maintain in touch with others, however it is still important to seek out those connections for support. Having a community or a tribe of people that you can count on can help reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Some ways we can keep in touch during this time is via video phone calls, writing text messages, writing letters, or social media. With any relationship, it is important to be intentional about the type of communication you have, so find ways to be creative with your communication during the time of Corona.
Keeping an active lifestyle can keep improve your mood and boost your energy levels. During the quarantine it can be hard to find ways to exercise, so take some time to research various at home workouts that are available on the internet. Find ways to be creative with your workouts, try new forms of exercise that perhaps you have always been interested in. Make it a social activity by including your family members or roommates. Consider making a schedule that fits your daily activities so that you are more likely to stick with it.
Lastly, if you find yourself having a hard time with the isolation and the issues that have come up as a result of the quarantine, it is highly encouraged to seek professional help. Many organizations including our own (Fuller Life Family Therapy Institute) are offering tele mental health services. If talking to someone about your struggles is something you are considering, now might be a good time.