Working from home, never having to commute, shopping without leaving your place. It’s happening now to many of us. It sounded great at first (I can’t be the only one who thought that), but it’s quickly becoming boring and routines are dissolving away.
Why shower if I don’t have work? What’s wrong with ordering out all week, everyone has free delivery now! How many thousands are sick now? I should panic and keep checking the news until things make sense again.
Being home is great, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your self-care routine by the wayside. Here’s a handy self-care checklist during isolation that will help you get through this difficult period. We could all use some self care during coronavirus, so give yourself a break and take care of yourself!
Social isolation is no reason to sleep more or less than you need to. Get your regular 7-9 hours of sleep everyday. For bonus points, sleep and wake when you normally would. You want to stay on a schedule. Shut everything down 30 minutes before bed and let your mind wind down. Good sleep hygiene is one of the best self care tips during COVID 19. This will help you manage stress better, which is ideal in these stressful times.
Like with sleep, isolation is no reason to binge or starve yourself. Bingeing will expand your waistline, skyrocket your blood pressure (COVID isn’t the only medical malady remember), and it’s not good for your mental or physical health. Starving will leave your body lacking nutrients, which means your immune response will go down and you’ll have a harder time with stress. Ration your food appropriately. If you order out, consider saving some of it for tomorrow.
3: Physical Activity
This one seems hard. The gyms are all closed and most of us hated working out anyway. You need to keep your body active. Your body loves activity, it releases all sorts of stress-busting hormones and it’ll keep you happy and fit. Plus, it can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. You don’t have to do anything crazy (again, no gyms), but aim for about 30 minutes of activity a day.
Walk around the house; do 10 push-ups every time you go to the bathroom; have the family race from one side of the house to the other; shadow box (you can pretend you’re fighting COVID); do anything! It’s all good.
4: Mental Activity
Move your body and your mind? Maybe I’m asking for too much. Keeping you mind active instead of bingeing on hours and hours of streaming media will do you a world of good. Do a puzzle, play a challenging game, (etc). If you keep your mind sharp, then you can get through anything.
This coronavirus self-care checklist is just getting harder and harder. Some of us are happy to finally be away from people, but the truth is that humans are social creatures and we need to connect. Call a friend, speak with a family member, message your boss, or say hi to your social media followers. Maybe it’s not as face-to-face as it used to be, but we still need human connections. Talking to just one person a day can make a huge difference.
6: Shower and Cleanliness
Why should I shower? For that matter, why should I clean the house? It’s not like I can see anyone. True, but poor hygiene often makes you feel bad, and it’s a major sign of depression (be careful, depression can creep up and get ya!). Maybe you’re not seeing anybody or hosting any parties (please don’t, we must flatten the curve), but keep yourself and your home tidy. It’ll make you feel better, give you some control of the situation, and nobody really wants to stink.
7: Spend Wisely
We’re all having the double-edged reaction of doing too much or too little. Spend wisely right now. It’s easy to fall into either trap. Everything is doomed, so I have to spend all my money now! No, you fool! We have to squeeze our pennies until our hands bleed. we’ll never make another cent and this has to last the rest of our lives!
Now isn’t the time for risky or unnecessary purchases, nor is it the time to squirrel away everything to your detriment. You need supplies like food, water, and maybe some entertainment. Don’t stop spending money, but be careful about how you use it.
8: Manage Worries
Anyone who says they’re not worried is lying. The whole world is worried and for good reason. However, there’s healthy worry (stop hosting parties, isolate myself until this blows over, don’t touch my face in public) and unhealthy worry (life is doomed and we’re all just dust in the wind).
Manage your worries and concerns. These are turbulent times. You need to keep yourself calm as much as possible. Exercise and activity helps. Try adding meditation to your daily routine. Remember that every problem, even this one, has a solution.
9: Express Yourself
The virus is forcing many of us to turn inward. Many are working from home and away from their normal social connections. Instead of being scared about being alone, now is the time to express yourself and find out who you are. If you haven’t been creative in a long time, then now is the perfect opportunity to start up. Or, if you were never artistic, then now is the time to learn a new skill.
Expressing yourself doesn’t have to be hard. Even simple journaling is great. It will give you something to look back on and see, “gee, remember that pandemic we lived through? I can’t believe I had all these thoughts in my head.”
10: Think of the Future
Yes, there is a future and it will be good. There might be some bumps in the road and some turmoil we have to overcome, but we will smile again. We will see friends and family members again. We will return to work and get back to our goals. Don’t lose sight of everything you were working towards before. If you weren’t working towards anything, then let this be your wake up call.
The future will be there, sooner than you think. Take this time to focus on what you want the rest of your life to be.