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Self-Care in a Pandemic

 

COVID-19 has been hard on everyone. And I’m sure you’re tired of talking about it. And hearing about it. And tired of wishing it would just disappear. I don’t know about you, not only am I tired of talking about the pandemic, but my body and mind are tired. Most days I’m left exhausted mentally and physically. The weight of the unknown and stress of the virus can sometimes take its toll.

So, what do we do about that?

I guess my best answer is to love and take care of yourself. When contact is limited with other people, find ways to perform self-care in your home.

Here are some top tips for self-care:

 

Sleep

Okay, this might seem like an obvious one here, but seriously, get some sleep. I often find myself watching endless of hours of Schitt’s Creek before bed, and then I’m confused why I slept so horribly… Unfortunately, the blue light emitted from devices like a TV or a cell phone are like poison for quality sleep. Instead, try listening to a podcast, music, or an audiobook. By simply eliminating screens before bedtime, you can dramatically increase your sleep quality.

Neurologist Dr. Randall Wright stated, "Before we can answer the question of how to improve your sleep, the first question we need to ask is what's keeping you from sleeping?" This is an important question to ask yourself, and if you’re struggling sleeping, you may need to try a variety of potential solutions to fix your problem. Here are some simple ones:

  • Implement a consistent sleep schedule
  • Exercise WHILE binging a Netflix series
  • Have a screen time curfew
  • Separate your work-from-home space and your bedroom space
  • Lower the temperature in your room (62-68 degrees)
  • Cut your caffeine off by late afternoon

 

Talk to People

Again, you might be asking, “Corrie, why are you just stating the obvious?” But, if you are anything like me, I have not been wanting to pick up the phone or participate in another Zoom call. I’m tired of putting forth the effort to try and connect in the same way we connect with people in person. It’s hard. And frustrating. And draining. BUT. We need people. Especially in a pandemic and in the winter, we need the affirmation and love of those close to us. As Dr Natasha Bijlani, a psychiatrist, points out, "Social connection is crucial for our mental and physical health, and our relationships with others are vital to our survival and well-being." We are so fortunate to have the ability to connect with anyone anywhere without face-to-face contact. This is so crucial to battle loneliness in isolation.

 

Celebrate the Small Things

There are so many things to do in a day. And with the pandemic providing a barrier and forcing us to think of creative ways to do our normal tasks, it becomes exhausting. Dr Elena Touroni, a psychologist recommends committing to doing one thing every day that's just for you. "Make self-care a priority by taking time to do things that nourish you, like running a nice, long bath, practicing yoga, or reading a chapter of your favorite book." Take time to do things that make you feel good. Recognize the small moments and the small beauties. Celebrate them. Set a small goal for the day. Take a walk. Make a meal. And celebrate it. "Achieving small goals will help self-esteem and confidence," says psychotherapist and life coach Andre Radmall.

 

Take care of yourself, love. And reach out to those who love you when you’re not okay.

 

To read more, check out these sources:

Mashable’s 7 acts of self-care you can practice during a winter lockdown

Mayo’s Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

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