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SELF-CARE DURING CHAOS

The simple things I've implemented each day to up my self-care and ease my anxiety.

Photographer: Fi Mims
Photographer: Fi Mims

In a time where the world has no answers, no one knows how long this ‘new normal’ will last, and we are forced to spend more time with ourselves than ever before, how do we take care of ourselves?

The media has daily, sometimes hourly updates that don’t provide any clarity. How does this help?

When we can’t see our friends, have a hug, go to the gym or go outdoors, how do we stay sane?

For the last few weeks I’ve been waking up anxious every morning. There have been nights I go to sleep and feel good, feel positive and think tomorrow will be a better day, but when my eyes open the following day, my body is instantly tense, my brain is ‘on’ and the anxiety creeps in.

Why? Because I have no control over anything.

I get up to go to work, but will I be going to work tomorrow? Not sure…

Are there going to be further announcements that impact me or my loved ones? Maybe…

Will life ever go back to the way it was, where I can hug my friends? No one knows…

During this time, I’ve found myself falling into old, unhealthy habits despite knowing they are not going to make me feel any better. I’ve found some of my old demons coming out to play, the ego returning and trying to pull me down. I could very easily allow negativity to take back the reigns, instead I’ve chosen to see this as a sign to spend more time reconnecting to me, my feelings, my goals and my purpose.

I’m going to share with you how I’m tuning in to me, easing my anxiety and feeling really good about myself in a time when many don’t know how to feel.  

I’ve created a morning routine, that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how I’m feeling, how much time I have and what I need to spend more time focusing on.  It’s allowed me to start the day in a really positive way that clears all of the external ‘noise’ and inner chatter. It includes:

  • Journaling – I connect with how I’m feeling and why. I ask what I need for the day. I make note of the main task I want to achieve for the day and then I go into free writing, which varies from day to day.
  • Meditate – This varies from 5 minutes to 40 minutes and very much changes depending on what comes up in my journaling. I use my journaling as a guide for what I need for the day and choose my mediation based on that.
  • Cold shower – yep that’s right. Cold! But because jumping into a cold shower feels a bit too extreme, I have my normal shower first and then turn the tap to cold for 1 minute before I get out. This is an absolutely INCREDIBLE way to clear your mind.

Throughout the day I’ve upped my supplement intake to ensure I’m fuelling my body well. I have a greens shake and natural energy booster first thing in the morning (usually while I’m journaling). I have fibre before lunch to ensure my digestion it working well, especially given I’m not moving as much as I normally would and I take magnesium before I go to bed.  I’m also drinking more herbal and green tea because it gives me a sense of comfort.

Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Exercise is a non-negotiable for me! If I don’t train for a few days, I get really moody, which no one wants, so I’m moving my body every day. I’m fortunate to have some equipment at home (that I’ve borrowed from my gym), but I certainly don’t have the options I usually do, so I’m going for runs, weight lifting, I’m doing some CrossFit / interval / Hiit type workouts, some strength work and a lot of stretching. Sometimes I’m exercising in my lounge room, sometimes it’s in the garage and other times it’s at the oval by myself.

A few other bits and pieces I’m doing to stay calm is having Zoom catch-ups with friends and training buddies, sleeping when I need to, resting when I need to and allowing myself to explore the niggles when they come up.

One incredible thing to come from this is that I am more motivated than ever towards my goals. Some people use difficult and uncertain times as a way to ‘give up’ on what they want, and previously I would have to. But now, there’s deep burning fire in my belly that I haven’t experienced before, however, working on my goals now looks a little different.

I’m not just going hell for leather all day every day, I’m allocating pockets of time to be super productive, and then time to rest and relax. I’m giving myself permission to be creative and do the things I wouldn’t normally ‘have time’ for, which is why my ‘What do I want to achieve today’ component of my journaling is so important.

Above all else – I’m being kind. Kind to myself. Kind to my loved ones and kind to every single person I come into contact with. These times are unknown and we could easily tear each other apart… or we can use it as a time to improve connections, build better relationships, have those deep conversations we ignore and go inwards while we all wait this out together. It doesn’t take any effort to be kind, and it makes you feel good, so wouldn’t I want to be kind.

In times of chaos, I genuinely believe we all need to be a little selfish and make sure we are filling up our own cup before we spend all of our energy helping others.

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