Our world has changed.
If we are to meet the coming challenges we must have internal resources to draw upon, both emotional and physical.
The only way to build and maintain these resources is to care for ourselves well.
Self care is our first and most important task. We are all experiencing significant stress, we must care for ourselves in ways that honor the impact this stress has on our emotional and physical health.
We are grieving losses we’re experiencing and those to come, we are struggling with new financial realities and the pain of watching others struggle while our hands are tied.
The stress we are living with is unsustainable without a consistent and effective self care plan.
Try to include each of the following in your plan in whatever way works best for you.
Rest. Make time for rest, even if you must schedule it. And be sure it’s something that feels restful for you.
Eat regularly and well. Do not stress about what you’re eating right now. Do your best to eat things you enjoy that make your body feel good.
Move your body. Walk around the block or house walk. There are lots of workouts to choose from on YouTube, but you can also do something as simple as stretching.
Reach out to someone. Share your feelings with the people in your life that are supportive and nurturing. Do not feel you must keep it all in or always be the strong one. We humans value vulnerability in others. It makes us feel that our feelings are okay, too.
Go outside (as long as this is allowed where you are). If you can’t go outside, spend some time near a window, preferably when the sun’s out.
Be prepared for resistance. Self care doesn’t come naturally to many of us, even less so when we’re under stress. It may not feel okay at first to schedule self care into your routine when you could be doing something “more productive”. That’s okay, persevere. It will get easier with practice.
For me, I’m making sure to contain my work to certain hours. As those of us who can are working from home we are finding more than ever that work expands to fill all the time we give it.
I’m walking outside with my dogs and my family once a day.
I’m reaching out to others, checking on them, sharing my worries and concerns and inviting them to do the same.
Rest is a tough one for me in times of stress so I’m making sure to go to bed as early as possible and I’m setting aside time each day to read something light.
I’m journaling regularly. This helps me process a lot of what I’m feeling. It also helps me give dedicated time and space to those feelings so they aren’t ever present throughout the day.
Please share in the comment section how you’re caring for yourself right now and/or the resistance you experience when attempting self care.