Taking Care of Yourself While Social Distancing
As the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, health officials are recommending social-distancing and self-quarantine practices to slow the spread of the disease. This means, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be spending a lot more time at home. Our daily routines will shift, we’ll be without the face-to-face social contact that helps keep us feeling connected and positive, and we’ll need to adjust to this new normal.
That’s why now, more than ever before, prioritizing emotional and mental health is so important. Luckily, there are so many things you can do at home to show yourself some love and boost positivity. Not only are these practices a great way to manage anxiety, but they can also help you stay healthy and give your days more structure.
To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best self-care tips from professionals in the self-care and wellness field that you can start practicing today.
Be kind to yourself
One of the best self-care tips you can follow right now is to be kind to yourself. While there is a lot you can’t control, you can, at the very least, pay attention to your feelings and practice self-compassion.
No one can figure all this out in one week. Give yourself a little grace and remember you are resilient! – Martha Rosado, Owner, Anxiety Specialist Counseling Center
Even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety are experiencing more worry and anxiety now. So, practice self-compassion and don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual. – Anxiety Canada
Limit information intake and screen time
While it’s important to remain informed, if you spend your entire day watching and thinking about the news, it creates a mindset of powerlessness and panic. Taking a break from it all can help reduce stress and give your mind room for positive thinking.
It’s important to put time limits on media exposure to avoid feeling overwhelmed. – Kevin L. Gyoerkoe, Psy.D, The Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center
Set a timer on your phone and when it goes off walk away, play with your kids, take a walk outside, play a game, or do a guided meditation. The amount of information we are taking in right now can be overwhelming and counterproductive to making the best choices for ourselves. – Angela Saeger, Cedar Point Therapy
Create and stick to a daily routine
With so much change, it’s crucial that you try to maintain your routine as best you can. Doing so can give your days more structure, purpose, and hopefully a bit of normalcy.
Schedule your exercise, work, and food at a specific time and it will give you a balanced day. – Yvonne Phillips, Feng Shui World
Your morning and bedtime routines are particularly important. Get your kids dressed, spend time on schoolwork, play, and connect with loved ones via technology (virtual dinner parties!). – NW Anxiety Institute
Reduce stress and anxiety with meditation and deep breathing
For most people, anxiety levels are rising as the days go by. However, panicking and stressing provide no protection against this crisis. If anything, doing so makes you more vulnerable. The immune system can’t function at its highest potential when the mind is worrying.
Take care of your nervous system and reduce your anxiety with a practice such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping. EFT Tapping can support you so that your body is able to handle the electrical load of the huge amounts of stress we find ourselves in. I am also sharing a free EFT meditation that anyone can download and practice by themselves. – Damla Aktekin, Vibrational Healer, A Drop Of Om
Other than chocolate and wine, our self-care tip is to go to our website and press our “panic button.” Don’t worry–no one will show up at your door–it’s just a recording of us talking you through your anxiety. It’s anonymous and free so press away! – Abs & Mags, The Anxiety Sisters
Find a quiet place for a few minutes to focus on your breath to ground yourself and increase feelings of calm and relaxation. – Mindful Soul Center for Wellbeing
Several times a day, pause to do some conscious breathing. Relax, be very still, and then silently count out ten slow deep breaths. For that short period, focus your undivided attention on the passage and feel of your in-breath and your out-breath. – Morgan Dix, Cofounder, About Meditation & the One Mind Podcast
Deep breaths connect us to our whole selves, deliver much-needed oxygen to our cells, and keep us present. Aromatherapy with pure essential oils in addition to mindful breathing is a treat for our respiratory system and can lift the mood. – Amanda May-Fitzgerald, Owner, Wild at Heart
Don’t forget to stay active
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to lounge around on the couch all day. Moving your body for 30 minutes a day is a great self-care practice to get endorphins flowing and boost energy.
Aerobic exercise and resistance training are my go-to activities to reduce anxiety levels. There are a ton of free high-quality home workouts on YouTube. One work out will improve your day greatly. – Salmon Ptasevich, Anxiety Social Net
You can practice self-care and boost alertness by waking up with a meditation or morning stretch. I’ve made it more enjoyable by misting our Wanderlust Room & Linen spray on the yoga mat before practice or around me before I begin a meditation. It’s calming essential oils of organic Lavender and Ylang Ylang. – Aba T. Gyepi-Garbrah, Aba Love Apothecary
Use this time to make note of the positives in your life
As the world deals with uncertain times, it can be easy to look at this entire experience negatively. But what if you paused and decided to focus on the positives instead? What if you used this time to be grateful for all the good in your life?
This is a great opportunity to slow down, be present and have gratitude for moments that we oftentimes take for granted, like taking a leisurely walk or having more time with kids, partners or pets. – Lori O’Mara, LCSW, CST, Cope Better Therapy
Evaluate opportunities for self-growth
All of this free time provides the perfect opportunity for introspection. Maybe for years, you’ve wanted to start meditating, or maybe you’ve always wanted to read more. No time is greater than the present to tackle some goals and make changes you’ve always wanted to.
Think about what changes you are making that improve your well-being. How can you keep up those habits when the crisis passes? – New Dream
Use this time of rest as an opportunity to let go. Assess the life you’ve been living and what you would like to change. Start by looking within. How can you declutter your mind, body, AND spirit during this virus? What positive things can you add to your life to help you get through this? – Kristin Fehrman, Mindful In Style
Boost your immunity
Unfortunately, we don’t yet know how to fully prevent or manage the damage caused by the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean our efforts are completely hopeless. In addition to staying home, there are a number of simple self-care tips and practices you can incorporate to boost immunity and improve your health.
Sea salt baths are a great self-care tip to reduce stress and enhance immunity. They increase mineral levels and lower inflammation. I am also a huge fan of castor oil packs, placed directly on the abdomen or the liver because they pull toxins out of the body and can be done while laying down or relaxing. – Mindful Health
Don’t let the fear and panic get under your skin. Every time you worry or surf the net looking for the updates, your cortisol level (stress hormone) goes up, and stress is not your immunity’s best friend. – Zara Martirosyan, CEO & Founder, inKin Social Fitness Platform
Intervals in the shower between cold and warm temperatures. To boost your immune system do 1-minute warm followed by 15 seconds cold.- Dennis Simsek, The Anxiety Guy
Remember – YOU ARE NOT ALONE
It’s vital to stay connected during this time. Practice this self-care tip by video chatting with your grandparents or having a virtual dinner party with your friends.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Isolation is highly risky behavior for anyone, especially given the anxiety and fear that has been embedded in the overall social reactivity. Creatively reframe the phrase self-quarantine to safe social connection. – Barry Philson, Ph.D., Barry Pilson Therapy
Realize we are all part of a community and we’re all in this together, from New York City to Sacramento (and everywhere in between). We’ll only come out stronger and more united in the end. Do things to help others in your community who may be in need, who may have difficulties helping themselves.
Some teenagers/young adults are seeing how they can help the elderly in their neighborhoods with grocery runs, etc.- Dr. Daniel Binus, MD, Beautiful Minds Medical
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Originally published by Redfin