Social media is a buzz with everyone sharing their ‘iso’ life. While I’m loving being connected with friends and family in this way and seeing what others are getting up to, how people are being creative and what they are achieving, a part of me also feels a bit overwhelmed by it all. It’s almost as if I’m somehow falling behind others and should be achieving more during this time. I’ve had to take a deep breath and remind myself that we’re all different, everyone has their own challenges and struggles and it’s okay to just be during this time and get through it as best you can.
While this is a unique opportunity where everything is cancelled, we’re at home and there’s suddenly extra time on our hands, it doesn’t mean you have to fill this time with busyness and see how much you can get done.
It’s okay to focus on just getting through the days and your own self-care, because the most important thing is to make it out the other end with your mental health in a good place. Having high expectations of what you want to achieve during this already stressful time, may just add to your stress and anxiety levels.
Self-care is more important now than ever. Taking time out and looking after our own emotional and mental well-being leads us to be healthier and happier and more equipped to deal with the ongoing challenges we’re facing. Take some time out each day to tune into what you really want and need, and do your best to honor that.
While it may look a bit different to your usual self-care routine, there’s still a lot you can do at home to look after yourself.
Taking some time out to practise mindfulness can help you relax and cope with stress and anxiety and deal with difficult times. Mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment. There are many ways you can slip a little mindfulness into your self-care routine:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Practising being present with everyday activities such as enjoying a good cup of tea
- Try mindful activities such as colouring in (you can find templates online) or a puzzle
See our article on mindfulness for some more detailed information
Chat with your loved ones
Although we can’t catch up in person with our friends and family, calling and texting isn’t cancelled. Check in on your loved ones, ask how they are coping and share your own experiences. It can help to have someone to de-brief a stressful day with!
Whats App, Facetime and other Apps such as Houseparty and Zoom have emerged as great ways to stay connected, particularly to bring groups of people together. If you haven’t already, plan a virtual party. See our article on some fun activities to do with your kids here.
Watch, read or listen to something inspiring
Allow yourself to zone out and distract yourself from what is going on in the world. Find a documentary, show, podcast or book that inspires you that you can turn to when you need a break and some positivity.
Make a self-care playlist
The power of music is amazing. The right song can change your whole mood for the day and make you feel so much better. Put together a play list of songs that lift your spirit and make you feel happy. Listen to this music when you need a boost even if it’s just a couple of minutes to start your day.
Make time for relaxation activities
While we can’t go off to a day spa at the moment, preparing yourself a hot bath, doing a home facial or simply reading a book can be enough to relax. Allow yourself some ‘me time’, to re charge and have a break. This may even mean a day time nap if you can, when else will you have the luxury to catch up on sleep as you’ve got no other external pressures?
Make some time, whether it’s 10 or 30 minutes, to be active. Physical activity is not only good for your physical health but can do wonders for your mental health and mood as well. There’s a lot you can do at home, with so many home workouts available on line, and many gyms have turned their businesses online as well. See our article on home exercise here.
Take a break from the news
Between the news and everything on social media, we’re a bit overwhelmed with COVID-19 at the moment. It’s important to stay informed but try to limit your media to once or twice a day just to stay on top of important announcements. If you find yourself turning to social media because you’re bored or lonely try one of our other ideas here instead.
The key is to remember to try to do something for yourself each day. Self-care looks different for different people, so it doesn’t matter what that ‘something’ is, so long as it contributes positively to your well being and helps you reset and re charge.
We’re all in different situations with varying challenges so while you might fill your time with doing an online course to keep your mind busy, getting your home DIY projects done, or picking up a new hobby or two, it’s also okay if you’re not doing these things. It’s okay if some days is about just breathing and getting through the day.
Prioritise your self-care and if you’re really struggling, please reach out to family and friends or seek some professional support. Telehealth services for your GP, counselling and psychology are available as are the wonderful help lines we have such as Lifeline (AUS 13 11 14, NZ 0800 543 354).