Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Maybe I've binge-watched a few too many outbreak movies on Netflix the past couple of days, but it is getting pretty scary out there! It is no-doubt a stressful time in the world right now, especially if you are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, are out of work, own a small business, or are just human. There's a lot of pressure to remain as productive as possible, working from home and keeping the hustle going. It's O.K. to take a moment to slow down and take a beat. In fact, you probably should. Getting some needed self-care in right now is not only going to help keep you healthy but will help you keep a clear and level head, prevent panic, and contribute to better decision making moving forward. So what can you do to give yourself some love during this scary time?
1. Give yourself permission to take a breath. Allow yourself some time to decompress and adjust to all this craziness. LiTry this box-breathing exercise: Close your eyes and place one hand on your belly, the other on your heart. Take a slow inhale through the nose for a count of 4. Hold your breath in for 4. Exhale slowly through the nose for a count of five. Repeat.
2. Tidy up your Home. You don't necessarily need to do a big spring clean (although if you feel like it, go for it!). Just going through and clearing off the clutter from your home surfaces will go a long way in decreasing your anxiety.
3. Get Comfortable. Now more than ever I am thankful for yoga pants! Grab your favorite pair and a cozy top (I've been living in my new super soft tencel Sweet Savasana Sweater 😉), make some hot tea, light a candle or diffuse some essential oils, turn on your favorite relaxing playlist (I've got Norah Jones radio on repeat), curl up with a good book or watch a feel-good movie with favorite fur baby. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and safe.
4. Keep a regular schedule. You might be cooped up at home but try and stay on a regular schedule. Wake up at your normal time, get dressed, plan your meals. Try to keep life as normal as you can.
I am loving all of Ellen's posts right now 😂
5. Get your exercise on! If working out wasn't a part of your day-to-day schedule, now is a great time to incorporate it! There are so many online platforms offering classes from yoga and meditation, to HIIT and boxing. Just remember that free classes are great but many fitness instructors are also out of work during this time so if you can, show your support by purchasing online fitness classes.
6. Eat Healthy. I know, the last thing you probably want to do is go to the grocery store. Now is a great time to get creative in the kitchen and use up everything in your fridge. Get some inspiration from Queereye star Antoni Porowski (@antoni) and his IGTV series "Quar Eye" on cooking in quarantine. If you do really need certain ingredients, consider ordering from grocery delivery services. Don't feel like cooking? You can still get a healthy meal delivered from most restaurants. Try and buy from small, local businesses who need your support!
7. Limit exposure to anxiety-provoking media. Staying informed is important but it seems everywhere you look is a post, video, or story promoting panic and anxiety. Limit your exposure to this type of media and make sure you are getting information from reputable sources.
8. Stay Connected to Others. Hopefully, (if it is possible for you) you have decided to stay home and practice some social distancing. It is day 5 for me of completely staying home and honestly, I am feeling pretty isolated. Stay connected by calling a loved one or participate in a virtual happy hour with some friends. Now's a great time to reconnect with people we've lost touch with. We're all in this together!
9. Reconnect to yourself. Use this time at home to connect back to yourself and the things you truly love. Give your garden some love, read a book, finally start knitting, meditate. Whatever it is, remind yourself what makes you.
10. Back to Basics Self-Care. Don't forget the basics. Shower, put a face mask on, do your nails, shave your legs (or not). Even though you might not be interacting with others all that much right now, make sure you feel good about yourself. For yourself.
Now to take my own advice...