There is no doubt that the last few months have been very different, difficult for most and often disturbing, as life as we know it has changed. Sometimes self care is the last on the list of things to think about but it's times like this when we need to look after ourselves and our mental well-being even more to enable us to cope with changing circumstances. Below are a few things you might find helpful to help you maintain some balance:
Be kind to yourself
Firstly just bear in mind that we are living in unprecedented times at the moment and with all the uncertainty around you may find that you are not functioning at your best and may be less motivated than usual. This is completely understandable so don't be too hard on yourself.
Make a list of simple activities you enjoy that make you feel better
This can be anything from walking the dog to crafting, cooking, reading, listening to music or watching your favourite soap. Make sure you schedule in some time to do at least one of these every day.
Keep in mind the things you are grateful for
There is a lot to be anxious, upset and afraid of during uncertain times but there are also many things you can be grateful for amidst the chaos when you take a moment to notice. Write down, or bring to mind, 3 – 5 things at the end of every day to lift your mood before you go to bed.
Make a 'done' list
Instead of a 'to do' list at the end of the day, write down or just make a mental note of some of the tasks you have managed to accomplish, big or small. Staring at a long list of tasks on a 'to do' list can often make you feel powerless and overwhelmed, although they can be helpful sometimes.
Create a bed time routine
Getting a good nights sleep is essential in helping you manage stress and anxiety. Create a routine that helps you wind down such as sticking to a regular bed time, having a relaxing bath, meditating, turning tech off and lights down and avoiding over eating and drinking too much late at night.
Try breathing exercises
If you find yourself feeling anxious be aware of your breathing and try to slow it down.
A simple exercise is to feel your feet on the ground and take a deep breath in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 2 count and breath out for 6 counts.
Move your ass!
For your own health and well-being you should be doing some for of exercise ever day. You don't have to attend the gym or an exercise class, although there are plenty on the internet. Just make sure you are moving around. This can be house work or gardening or a quick walk, anything to get your heart rate up and circulation going and bring stress levels down.
Set work boundaries
If you are working from home try to keep your work area separate and stick to the same routine of when you start and finish to create structure and make it easier to stick to. This also helps you to keep time out for yourself or your family. Try to avoid checking your phone for work related issues during your time out.
Make sure you are eating healthily
Its so easy to slip into bad eating habits and comfort eating during stressful times so try to keep an eye on your diet and also alcohol intake to avoid storing up problems for the future.
Don't watch too much news
It is important to keep up to date with the news at the moment but when there is a lot of bad news around try not to focus on it too much and make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources rather than social media.
Check in with yourself
Make time to actually notice yourself throughout the day. How are you feeling, is there anything you need? Nobody will check in for you. Your well-being is your responsibility.
These are just a few things to bear in mind, the list could go on but for now every little helps!
Look after yourself, you are worth it.
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach