Whether the crisis is the COVID-19 global pandemic or something or a far more personal nature like a family bereavement, break-down of a relationship, or loss of a job, self-care is crucial for survival. To ensure that you’re physically and mentally able to ride the wave of the crisis, you need to look after yourself, especially if you’re also in charge of looking after others. Follow these tips to practicing self-care during a crisis.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Crises can cause a tremendous psychological strain. It’s natural to feel anxiety, stress, grief, or worry during and after a disaster, but looking after your own mental health will help you to think rationally and practically about the situation in hand. Taking care of your mental health is personal to everyone. To some, it could be talking to family and friends. To others, it could be journaling, painting, or taking a walk. Take some time to explore what helps you to feel better mentally and prioritize this activity at least once a day.
Manage Your Productivity
During this current COVID-19 crisis, you may feel like you have to take up a new hobby, learn a new language or complete an advanced craft project to have something to ‘show’ for your time in lockdown. That’s not true. The need for productivity is usually a helpful and positive driver, but it can kick into overdrive in times like these. So, whether it’s this current situation or a different crisis, keep an eye on the pressure you’re putting on yourself. Keep your goals achievable and unpressured, and make sure you’re being kind to yourself. Why don’t you focus on building self-care into your routine? You will likely see the work that you do produce is better, and the process of getting there is more efficient.
Even if this is an area that you have previously dismissed, consider practicing meditation. Meditation allows you to center yourself and calm your thoughts. In times of stress and crisis, it can be the difference between surviving and thriving. If the idea of sitting down to meditation is daunting, consider signing up for a guided meditation program or choosing from several apps that can teach you what to do. If meditation doesn’t feel right for you, there are a number of other ways of practicing self-care and centering yourself, such as mindfulness or writing in a journal.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Getting organized can help you to feel more in control of what may be a totally uncontrollable situation. Start small – take a look at your calendar and see what the next days, weeks, and months may look like for yourself. From here, consider where you can find time to practice self-care. Is it easier to prioritize yourself in the mornings, when the house is quiet? Or is it easier in the evenings when the sun goes down? Allow yourself to plan small, helpful things like food shops or conversations with friends. Having something to look forward to will help the journey stay a lot more enjoyable. Keeping an eye on your responsibilities will give you more mental freedom to explore things that make you happy.
During a time of crisis, you may feel like it’s important to look after your nearest and dearest before you leave time for yourself. However, this is likely to cause problems than it solves in the long run. If you are exhausted mentally or physically, the help you will be giving to others will not be as good as if you were calm and rested. Try and take some time to yourself at least once a day, whether it’s to sip a cup of coffee in the garden or to draw a long hot bath filled with bubbles. Some time alone will give you the mental space to assess your situation, keep you grounded and help you consider the future. While learning to say no can be hard, it can help you avoid burnout during this hard time.
Maintain Contact with Loved Ones
It may seem like a time to shut down and deal with the matter in hand, but staying in touch with friends and family is a great way to look after yourself. Isolation can negatively impact your well-being, so even if you cannot see loved one face-to-face, engaging in a video call or over the phone can ease any feelings of loneliness that may have crept in. However important connection with others is, make sure the people you are engaging with are bringing positivity and support to the relationship – it’s imperative to surround yourself with the right people during trying times.
Stay Optimistic About the Future
You may scoff at the suggestion of keeping a positive mindset about the future, but it’s essential to maintain the feeling that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. What makes you happy? What have you always wanted to do? Finding true happiness – even when you’re not living through a global pandemic – is a noble search and one that can be best undertaken in times of crisis. If your current situation offers you more time than you may have previously had, consider what your life looks like at the moment and how you like it to be in the future. This can be an incredibly valuable plan for setting out life goals and setting yourself up to achieve all you’ve wished for.
The COVID-19 crisis has united many people across the globe in a crisis, and while it may feel challenging now, there are ways to care for yourself to ensure you’re in the best shape you can be at the end. Taking time away from work and undertaking simple, practical actions can transform your mindset. Whether you’ve been affected by this crisis or another one, hopefully this guide has provided some tips and tricks on how to look after yourself, and some encouragement along your journey to finding true happiness.
This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.