What is self-care and how to practice it in times of isolation
These days, self-care is becoming quite a popular topic. We see it everywhere, from social media posts to TV ads and magazine articles. However, the meaning behind it is often inadequately explained. No matter how many times people speak about it, most of them don’t really have a clear sense of how to practice self-care, or how to implement it into their daily routine.
So, what exactly does self-care mean, and do we really need it?
In its essence, self-care includes almost any activity someone does in favor of their own wellbeing. It’s about appreciating your personal achievements and being as kind and compassionate to yourself as you would be to others. Moreover, practicing self-care helps you reconnect with yourself and listen to your own body. This means, knowing when your mind needs a rest, instead of draining all of your energy till the very last bit of it. Therefore, it prevents the possibility of severe burnout.
However, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean doing every little thing that makes you feel good. And it’s definitely not promoting adopting unhealthy habits that temporarily may make you feel better, but have dangerous consequences afterward. That’s the main difference between toxic coping mechanisms and genuine self-care. Not only the effects of self-care are long-lasting, but they are also nourishing your health, rather than destroying it.
What are the benefits of self-care?
Now that we have brought some clarity to the term self-care, we can start considering ways of implementing it in our everyday lives. There are numerous benefits to regularly practicing the art of self-compassion and love. From restoring your energy levels and promoting happiness to increasing your productivity and your self-esteem, taking care of yourself is essential for both your mental and physical health.
Once you learn how to properly prioritize your needs, you will start making enough time for the things in your life that truly matter. This will boost your productivity levels and help you focus on your goals like never before. What’s more, making special time, particularly for being good to yourself, will build up your confidence. Establishing a good connection with yourself will remind you of your self-worth, and will teach you how to appreciate your own achievements, no matter how big or small they are.
In addition, regularly practicing self-care also makes you more generous, empathetic, and compassionate towards others. While taking care of your own soul, you are learning how to be more patient and humane to everyone else as well. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.
Self-care in times of isolation.
These days, many of us are put under quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Depending on where you are in the world, the situation around you may be incredibly serious and terrifying. However, instead of spending our time in fear and confusion, we need to do our best to remain as calm as possible and keep ourselves and our families safe.
Fortunately, many of us are lucky enough to have the chance to study and work from home. While being self-isolated between the walls of our homes may seem like a punishment, we need to be grateful for it because this is actually a time when staying home is saving lives. And in the meantime, we have the opportunity to use our free time for self-reflection.
Below are listed 7 ways you can practice self-care while being under lockdown.
1. Unwind with a relaxing playlist.
Setting the mood for your brand new self-care routine is essential. Putting on your favorite cozy tunes in one playlist can help you clear out your headspace and ease your mind while struggling with adapting to the social distancing.
2. Withdraw and detox from the noise.
These days the news, our social media feed, and our emails are overflooding with information about COVID-19. Consuming unreasonable amounts of content that add up to your anxiety is extremely damaging for your mental health. Instead, put your phone down for a while, and try to spend some time disconnecting from all the excessive noise.
3. Start the spring cleaning you’ve been delaying for so long.
When the outside world feels completely out of control, you can focus on the things you can actually control. The least you could do is clean and organize your own space. When your home feels tidy and cozy, your mind feels more relaxed as well.
4. Start exercising at home.
In most places, the gyms and the sports centers are closed until the lockdown ends. However, this shouldn’t stop you from giving your body the energy and tone it needs. The Internet is filled with workout tutorials you can practice at home, so find an interesting routine that suits you and start taking care of your body.
5. Get lost in a good read.
As long as you enjoy it, reading has many benefits for your mind and your soul. It serves as a great stress-reliever, it enhances your memory, it increases your sense of empathy, and it is quite a lovely way of entertainment while you’re stuck at home.
6. Binge your favorite show.
Yes, you read that right. When you have nothing else to do but stay at home and wait for the epidemic to end, you have the perfect excuse to watch all ten seasons of “Friends” for the millionth time. Watch something that makes you feel good and distracts you from all the chaos outside.
7. Turn your home into a spa center.
Take a relaxing bubble bath or a long shower while listening to the unwinding playlist you’ve made. From all the pressure and anxiety you’ve been experiencing lately, your skin might need some extra care and love as well. For instance, you can do a hydrating face mask. And as you’re washing your face, along with all the dirt, imagine washing all the stress away as well.
The great French writer and philosopher Voltaire once said, “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”.
Self-care gives you the chance to listen to your own body and reconnect with your mind.
Loving yourself teaches you how to love others. So start taking care of your own happiness, because you truly deserve it.