When I first started writing this article, Covid-19 wasn’t yet declared a pandemic and many of us in the UK weren’t too worried. In light of the recent escalation, I thought I’d bring you some self-care tips that you can implement even if you are in self-isolation.
When we think about self-care we are usually envisioning face masks, candles and spa days, but what is self-care? Here’s why you don’t need to spend money on it. Self-care is by definition anything that involves giving yourself some time to care for yourself. This can be interpreted in many different ways, unsurprisingly in a capitalist society, we use the term to mean the buying of products to make us feel better. Self-care doesn’t have to mean buying anything, you can care for yourself without having to purchase things branded as self-care products. Just make sure that your self-care practices make you feel better whether that’s a face mask or dancing.
It is normal to be worried about the virus and even more so, worried about the future, especially with all class cancellations and the uncertainty surrounding exams. That’s why my first self-care practise is journaling. Journaling is where you take your thoughts and feelings and put pen to paper (technically you don’t have to even have paper, you can journal on your phone). Generally speaking, there is no right or wrong way to journal but here are a few tips if you’ve never journaled or if you have trouble keeping a regular journal. The first tip is that it doesn’t have to be something you do every day. To make the most of journaling, it is best to do it when you have time to be reflective. If that isn’t something you have time for on a daily basis then that’s okay, journal where and when you feel like it! The second tip is to make time for journaling where you are less likely to get distracted by other things, I like journaling in the morning with a coffee before I start my day. No music, no phone, just me, my coffee, and my journal. This way you can utilize journaling as a method of mindfulness. With a lot of us suddenly having more free time, there is no better time to get into the habit of journaling.
2. Mindful practices
Following on from the first practise, mindfulness is similar to journaling but it doesn’t require any physical tools or even thoughts. The charity Mind have an amazing page on mindfulness tips, I also have an article I wrote back in the summer about mindfulness. The most simple way to start practising mindfulness is to focus on your breathing for 60 seconds. Letting your mind wander and then returning your focus back to your breathing, in the beginning, can help you get used to mindfulness. The aim is to stop thinking too much and instead focus on something physical. Mindfulness is a method that has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. There are quite a lot of resources online that take you through guided meditations and mindfulness. My favourite has to be headspace, a guided mindfulness and meditation app.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or attending group exercise classes. Simply moving your body, especially if you are stuck in self-isolation, can have good effects on your mind. Making time in your day for any type of exercise is vital when you are spending all your time at home. If you enjoy dancing then you can have your own solo dance parties, or follow dance classes online (you can find sooo many on YouTube). If you are more of an exercise class person, then YouTube also has a wide range of online classes. For yoga, Yoga with Adriene is amazing, Adriene’s 30-day yoga challenge is where I would recommend you start.
Lastly, make sure you stay connected with your friends and family if you are alone right now. There is so much going on in the world right now, just make sure you take care of yourself.