8 Simple Self-Care Tips for Fighting the Quarantine Blues
We're dealing with an array of emotions as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes we can experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness and uncertainty in just one day. It's completely normal to experience distressing emotions, but we need to find a healthy way to cope.
As we all scramble to adjust to our new lives, we often forget to take care of ourselves. When you don't nurture yourself, it can be hard to deal with major life changes. Self-care will give you an overall feeling of wellness, which will help you tackle broader issues. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Do One Thing a Day That's Just for Yourself
It's essential to prioritize your health and happiness. The world is scary right now, so it's more important than ever to find ways to bring joy into your life. Make it a daily goal to do something that makes you happy. You could order your favorite ice cream from Uber Eats or let yourself sleep in an extra five minutes. It doesn't matter if it's small or big, as long as it brings a smile to your face.
2. Schedule Off-Screen Time
There's nothing wrong with spending time on your phone or laptop. Technology is a great way to stay connected with friends and stay up to date on current events. However, your screen time can become problematic if it's harming instead of helping you. It can be distressing to receive news notifications 24/7. It's also easy to compare yourself to people on social media when you're spending all your time on your phone. To combat the negativity, schedule time during the day where you put down all technology. Some people schedule it first thing in the morning or right before bed, but anytime you can find 30 to 60 minutes to do schoolwork or journal without your phone will help your mental health.
3. Include Movement in Your Day
Moving your body is an easy way to fight pandemic sadness. Exercise increases energy, boosts your mood and lowers stress. It's not easy to exercise when gyms aren't open, but there are many ways you can move your body without leaving your house. You can follow a yoga flow on YouTube, turn on music and dance around your room or do bodyweight exercises. If it is safe and you feel comfortable leaving your house, you can even go for a walk or run (given that you always remember to wear a mask and practicing social distancing).
4. Create a Schedule and Break Down Tasks
School, errands, social outings and work broke up our days before the pandemic. But now, many of us now find ourselves having far less structure in our lives. Creating a schedule and to-do list will not only help you stay on track of tasks, but also give you a sense of normalcy. You don't have to schedule every second of your day. An easy way to get back into following a schedule is by creating a morning and night routine! A three-to-five-step process to start and end your day will prioritize what is essential, which you can apply to the rest of the day.
5. Sit with Your Emotions
We are hard-wired to run away from negative emotions and try to ignore feeling them. Unfortunately, avoiding our feelings can lead to even more anxiety or depression when our emotions finally catch up with us. Expressing what you're feeling is an excellent way to process these emotions. Open a conversation with your friends or family members about what you're experiencing. You'll be surprised how good you'll feel after you talk about your emotions, and they will probably feel better too. Or, if you don't feel like talking to other people, you can always journal your thoughts.
6. Keep in Contact with Friends and Loved Ones
We are all feeling a little isolated right now. It's frustrating when you're not able to see your friends as much. Ensure you are staying in contact with your friends—and, no, seeing each other during online class doesn't count. Try to schedule a movie night with your friends using Netflix Party or the new Disney + group feature, or schedule a Zoom homework session with your best friend. Social distancing doesn't mean social isolating—it just means we have to be creative when finding ways to connect.
7. Give Your Self A Mini Vacation
It's true—your living room will never be as beautiful or exciting as a Hawaiian getaway, but you can create a sense of vacation fun and indulgence at home. Give yourself a free day to do whatever you want! Put on a face mask, give yourself a mani-pedi and pamper yourself for a DYI spa-day. Set up a tent in your backyard and sleep under the stars. It could be as simple as turning on ocean noises and making yourself a tropical drink. If you can't go on vacation, you bring the vacation to you!
8. Be Kind To Yourself
We are all trying our best right now. It's tough when it feels like everyone manages this time better than you, but we all have different ways of coping. We're living through a pandemic! Think about how difficult that is. It's okay if you don't feel motivated right now, or it's challenging to adjust to new changes. Take it one day at a time and be kind to yourself. You're doing better than you think.
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