5 Ways to Practice Self-Care During Quarantine

Challenging times, like say a worldwide pandemic, reveal a lot about a person’s character. And for every person that’s tried to take advantage, be selfish and hasn’t shown concern for others, there are thousands of other people stepping up to help their families, friends, neighbors and communities through acts of generosity and selflessness. Most of us have some caregiver inside, especially women who are taught to nurture since birth but there comes a time when you must step back for a minute and ask, “am I caring for myself as I would another?”

You are as important as others.

Helpers are a valuable resource. While you’re being strong for the kids, powering through work like a boss, managing a household like uh, a household manager, who is taking care of you? Self-care is an act of generosity not selfishness like some people believe. Taking good care of your mental and physical wellbeing helps you be the best for those you love and who depend on you.

Chronic stress is a serious health risk.

Stress is a killer. By practicing self-care regularly, you’ll find your life has less stress, you feel happier more frequently and you are a better parent, partner, lover, employee, human.

Here are 5 easy ways to practice self-care while social distancing:

1. Get more sleep. We know it’s not easy but improve your chances of a restful nights’ sleep by addressing the problems that can keep you awake. First, take a good look at your bedroom. Remove electronics that always emit light or tape over the light. Darken your curtains. Fix the rattling fan. Whatever it takes for your room to become a sleep oasis. Stick to a good bedtime routine. Limit screen time before bed so you’re not upset at current events or social media. Watch a sitcom or something cheerful before retiring or read a fiction book. Go to bed earlier and sleep in when you can!

2. Eat good food. If you’re being a good citizen and limiting your grocery trips, you’re probably eating take out, freezer food or canned goods more frequently than usual. While there’s no time like the present to eat a package of Mallomars for breakfast, just make sure you’re still regularly eating healthy food too. Yes, like salads. And whole grains and lots of fruit and vegetables! Not only will it give you a better mood and more energy, high fiber meals will keep you regular and promote a healthy gut. Eat mindfully!

3. Give yourself a daily time out. Everyone needs alone time. Whether it’s hanging out in your closet and organizing your shoes or taking an extra-long shower with a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, find a place that’s just for you where you can decompress and just be. Not mom or dad, not husband or wife, not roommate or son/daughter. Just be a fragile authentic human for a while.

4. Move your body. It’s easy to become sedentary when you’re stuck at home, especially if the weather isn’t good or you have limited outdoor space. Make sure you move your body in a meaningful way every day. Stretching is one of the best things you can do for yourself and doesn’t require a lot of space.

Check out this 10-minute yoga for small spaces!

Keep things fun. Instead of a routine of exercises you learned in gym class, learn a new dance routine. Ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, African, Bollywood… all the tutorials are there for the watching!

5. Play. You should be treating yourself to some playtime every day. You can play games on your tablet or break out the art supplies. Craft, create, draw, paint, sculpt, weave, sew, color, build with Lego, create an obstacle course for your cat; whatever you think is fun, make time for it! As adults we often let go of “childish” fun and say things like going to the bar/club is fun, or shopping, or spa time. Let go of your adult “fun” meter and let your inner child do something that will make them smile ear-to-ear. Squish your play-doh, go play in the mud, make some paper dolls. If anyone asks what you’re doing, you tell them, “self care.”

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