Millions of lives have radically changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. It has brought us a unique set of challenges that forced us to adapt quickly to long-term changes. While we focus on preventing the spread of coronavirus, many may have put self-care in the backseat.
The past year has brought incredible anxiety and stress. Learning to care for yourself, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, has become more important than ever. Self-care allows us to focus on the things we find enjoyable and at the same time, promote our overall well-being. This includes considerations regarding nutrition, hygiene, leisure activities, and exercise.
Take time to step away from the stressful events and focus on yourself to ease your anxious feelings:
- Unwind – Free up a few hours for your hobbies or favourite activities, such as painting, reading, yoga, knitting or whatever you enjoy. If you love cooking, plan healthy dishes for the next few days. Using whatever you have in the kitchen can challenge your culinary creativity.
- Enroll in Online Courses – Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring. Taking an online course is an effective way to optimize your brain power while caring for yourself. Health experts believe that learning new things helps stimulate the brain to produce more serotonin and dopamine. If you are into nail art, for example, you can take online nail technician courses offered by Ontario aesthetics schools to keep you busy.
- Order Your Favourite Restaurant Meals – Although many restaurants in Canada have reopened for business, enjoying your favourite restaurant dishes has taken on a whole new meaning. Some are restricted to offering carryout, delivery, or curbside pickup. If you feel too tired to cook or simply want to take a break from the kitchen, why not let a professional cook do the cooking for you? Also, spending a few dollars at your favourite restaurants helps support the local economy during these difficult times.
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- Pamper Yourself – Pampering yourself helps you cope with stress. With many businesses reopening their doors, you can visit various establishments that offer avenues for self-care. You can book a laser skin treatment in a Toronto beauty salon or an acupuncture session in a Mississauga physiotherapy clinic. Indulge, unwind, and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures.
- Start a Home Garden – If your area is still on lockdown, why not start a home garden tailored to your needs? Various studies have shown the mental health benefits of gardening. Taking care of indoor or outdoor plants is a great way to interact with nature while on lockdown. New to home gardening? Check out blogs and videos on the Internet to kickstart your green thumb project.
- Try Some Home Workout Exercises – Being stuck at home should not mean turning into a couch potato. Stay active by engaging in home workout exercises to keep your body physically healthy and boost your mood and well-being. Exercise helps release feel-good hormones, sharpens focus, and improves sleep.
- Connect with Family and Friends in Social Media – Social interaction helps improve mental and physical well-being. However, you do not need to travel to see your family or friends. If you feel lonely, hold a virtual night to enjoy the company of people close to your heart. Choose a few movies to binge and watch together with a shared screen on Skype or Zoom.
- Practice Self-Meditation – The quality of our thoughts has a strong impact on our behaviour and emotions. Practicing daily affirmations of self-love through meditation helps encourage self-compassion and self-love. Meditation helps open your mind and attitude without judgment and keeps your focus in a positive light.
- Enjoy a Long, Relaxing Bath – While a warm bath is incredibly relaxing, it also helps reduce inflammation. Studies claim that taking a hot bath is a great way to take a break while calming your stress response. If you think stress is taking a toll on your mental health, get into self-care mode and enjoy a long, warm, relaxing bath.
- Eat Healthily – The stress of staying at home causes some people to indulge in junk foods and fast foods. Choose what foods to eat wisely. Eating the right nutrition helps support the immune system and protect us from potential health problems, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Make it a habit to eat nourishing meals to keep your body and mind strong and healthy.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken our normal routines and activities that made us happy, but your love for life should not stop there. Despite the uncertainties and disappointments right now, we should never let our inner critic win.
Listen to your needs and practice self-love and care. It is an inward journey that may take some work to build up your self-worth. If you doubt yourself sometimes, reach out to professional life coaches or therapists. You can also find support in books, podcasts, mindfulness, and positive self-talk. You would be surprised to know that practicing self-love can help us become more resilient in the face of adversity.