How Not to Get Sick of Yourself (and Learn Self-Love) During Quarantine
Being mostly stuck indoors for months on end poses some unique new problems we never could have anticipated.
Despite the extra free time, it can sometimes feel harder to stay connected with ourselves. In fact, so much time in our heads can even make us feel a little sick of ourselves, making it ever tougher to practice self-care and self-love.
Thankfully, meditation and joy expert Josephine Atluri has a few tips for improving this connection and enhancing our relationships with ourselves as well as others during these trying times. Keep reading to discover her top tips, and how practicing them will improve your life.
SH: What does it mean to be truly connected with yourself, and why is it beneficial to be so?
Josephine Atluri: When we're truly connected with ourselves, we're aware of the present moment in terms of the mental, physical and emotional needs in relation to ourselves and to others. When you experience this self-connection, you know how to take care of yourself. You're able to figure out with clarity how to get yourself to that "best-self" level.
SH: What are some ways to improve your connection with your best self?
JA: The best way to connect with oneself is to practice activities in self-exploration such as journaling, silent walks, yoga and—best of all— meditation because it cultivates a present moment awareness and an awareness of self. You need to clear out all the noise in your head so you can really hear what your mind, body and spirit are telling you.
Meditation is like a broom that can sweep away all that noise and help you see what is being covered up. When you can tap into your inner self via meditation or the other activities, you are better able to recognize your needs.
SH: How might being isolated affect our relationships with ourselves, or make it harder to enjoy our own company?
JA: When we're stuck at home in isolation, we can get stuck in the same routine day in and day out. We end up feeling irritated with ourselves for our inability to go after those lofty goals we previously set at the beginning of the quarantine, or our inability to try new things because of our mental fatigue. We have more time to sit with negative thoughts about ourselves without any resolution or distraction.
To prevent getting sick of ourselves, we need to be kind to ourselves. Think about all of the negative things you might say to yourself throughout the day. We put ourselves down in ways we would never do to others. When you notice that happening try to counter the negative thought with something positive that you think about yourself.
This pandemic and resulting quarantine are unlike any other situation we've ever faced. They're very draining on our minds and bodies because of all the stress, anxiety, fear, and loneliness weighing us down. If, for example, you've gained a few pounds or haven't been working out as much, show yourself some kindness by being understanding instead of self-critical. Be kind and remember there's no right way to act, feel or deal with this situation. Our regular routines and lifestyles have been turned upside down. Self-kindness will free up a lot of self-imposed angst and will give you the freedom to try new things at your own pace without judgment.
SH: What are the ways to stay connected with our best selves in relation to the way we engage with others?
JA: It starts with self-exploration via journaling and meditation, which will help you release the weight of the baggage from all the issues and emotions weighing you down. Then you will have the clarity to reconnect with this lighter and refreshed version of yourself because you'll feel more positive. You will see yourself in a new light which will allow your best self to shine through.
You can get your family to join in by sharing the joy you feel about yourself. People are drawn to our energies, so if you exude a positive state of being, you are inviting those around you to reciprocate in that joy. How you treat yourself shows others how you want to be treated, so treat yourself in the best way possible.
Always remember to prioritize yourself and your self-care. If your bucket is not filled up, you'll have nothing to give to other people or projects.
If you've never meditated before, you might want to try a free guided meditation hosted by Josephine herself. Every Wednesday through this health crisis, Josephine is hosting a free 15-minute meditation livestream on Zoom. Click HERE for an invitation to join.
Feeling stressed at home during the pandemic? Click HERE to find out how breathing exercises can help you deal with stress.