Where did the time go? We used to be so good at taking care of ourselves. Do you know that self-care has its roots in ancient times? The Greek philosopher Socrates sees self-care as a political movement. It means improving one’s self to be a better member of society. For how can you love and save humanity if you cannot do the same for yourself? During the last few days of his life, Socrates criticized his fellow Athenians for devoting their time to accumulating wealth than improving their souls.
Today, whether you improve yourself by reading a book or spending an hour in the bathtub or calling a massage therapist for a session, the aim is to improve your mental and emotional health. The end goal is to be at peace with where you are in your life that you can take better care of your family, career, and community. But how can you practice self-care during a pandemic? How can you take charge of the improvement of your life when you are dealing with a crisis?
This pandemic would have made even the most mentally stable person gasp for air. Men were not created to be alone. People are social beings. They love spending time with their friends and family. Now, to ask them to self-isolate sounds easy enough. But to tell them they can’t see friends or go out of the house or consult with their therapists is another matter.
Studies show that during the first two weeks of quarantine, people suffered from these mental health issues: depression, confusion, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anger. These issues won’t end when the pandemic ends. Some of these have long-lasting effects on one’s mental health condition. That’s why it’s important, especially during this time, to practice self-care whenever you can.
Carve Time for Yourself
It is so easy to put yourself last when you’re taking care of your family. You prioritize everyone. What little time left to you every day is all you have. But this is not sustainable. You will end up remorseful. Making time for yourself is not a luxury. It is essential, especially during these uncertain times. Check with yourself. How are you? What have you been doing to take care of your health?
Create a space where you can recharge and decompress. Ask your partner to take the kids for some outdoor activities in the backyard. Take a long bath. Read a favorite book or simply zone out for a while. It would do your soul so much good.
Make Healthy Choices
It can be too easy to forget about doing physical activities when you’re unmotivated by the circumstances. Because of stress, you end up binge-eating fatty and sugar-loaded foods. But these practices could be detrimental to your health in the future While you don’t have to go to work early in the morning, that is not an excuse to sleep late. Be intentional about your food choices and the activities you choose to devote your time to.
Connect with Family and Friends
You are being asked to hold off physical gatherings. That does not mean you can’t connect to loved ones electronically. This pandemic showed just how important technology is at this time. Reach out to friends. Let them know you were thinking about them and are worried about their health. The same goes for your family. Don’t automatically assume they know you care. Tell them. It would do make a huge difference in their days and yours.
Disconnect from Social Media
Although social media plays a big role in connecting families and friends, it can also cause a great deal of stress. Distance yourself even a little from all the bad things that have been going on around you. Take a breather. Remove yourself from the barrage of news and social media for a while. Try not to check your news feed before going to bed.
It is empowering to take a break from these outlets. Embrace this time with yourself and your family. There is nothing more important right now than to take care of your health and the people you care about. If you feel that social media isn’t contributing to your well-being, then deactivate your account or permanently delete your profile.
When this is over, you’ll look back at this time in your life and remember how you managed to pull through. It may be hard right now. It may be confusing and overwhelming but with the right people beside you, it is possible to emerge from this time thriving and in complete control of your well-being.