I’ve talked to many clients and others lately; and I am finding more and more people who are feeling burnout from the pandemic. During the last few months, we have experienced some levels of quarantine along with restrictions on social gatherings. We have been wearing masks and practicing social distancing with limitations on celebrations and get-togethers.
After dealing with months of being home, many workers will still be working remotely into the new year and schools are in any number of different types of configurations from completely in school to completely remote. It is more important more than ever that we implement and double down on our self-care.
We need to make sure that we are doing at least two self-care activities a day for over 30 minutes each. Many of us have a little more time since we are not commuting or there are fewer commutes to the office. Now is the time to use that gift as a way to take care of yourself. Self-care will help you avoid health problems caused by stress and anxiety during this time. Here are a few self-care practices that you can implement very easily.
With so much going on and with negative news, we need to focus on what is going right for us. Try to do things that make you happy. Force a smile when you start to feel bad and focus on times when you have been successful. Tell a joke and watch something that makes you laugh. Even a forced smile can bring you happiness. Research suggests that when you feel happy you may even prevent disease and minimize health problems.
Meditation promotes a healthy sense of perspective in your life. You are learning not to turn off your thoughts and feelings but to observe them without judgment. Meditation does not take that long; it can last a few minutes or much longer. I love to meditate in the morning while I do some mindfulness exercises. Typically, I meditate for around 15 to 20 minutes. Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also increase your compassion and emotional stability, along with improving your quality of life by preventing illness.
Everyone can get out and walk. Make it part of your daily routine so that you walk for at least 15 minutes, but preferably for 30 minutes. You can do this around your neighborhood, or you can get out into nature by going to a local trail in a park. By getting outside and moving your body, you will feel more revitalized and energetic as well as less tense confused and depressed. Other health benefits could be losing weight or improving your cardio. There are no excuses with this one; just open your door and start walking.
You can easily change what you eat by adding more fruits and vegetables. It’s a great way to practice self-care on a regular basis and it doesn’t require extra time. Research has shown that eating berries boosts brain health while eating peppers may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s. No matter what you do, it’s important to make some minor changes in your diet, eating more healthy fruits and vegetables that will help take care of your body and provide more energy and focus in your day. Also important: limit your sugar intake.
These are just four self-care activities that you can do on a regular basis and that will change the way you feel. Book these into your schedule now so they become part of your routine and your daily habits and you will start to see your energy and focus increase along with stress and anxiety decreasing. You can research other self-care activities on the web and add ones that you like, to give you some more variety in your weekly and monthly routines.