The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc not only to many economies worldwide but to the mental health of the majority. Humans are social creatures, and many were not prepared to go into lockdown or be isolated from friends and family. There’s also the constant paranoia of catching or passing the disease to others, along with all the unmet expectations and canceled plans.
Be easy on yourself. This pandemic has taken a toll on many, and it’s not fair to expect that you will bounce back as soon as possible. While everyone is riding out the pandemic, it’s essential to pay attention to yourself and your needs. Whether you’re going through this on your first job or you need some self-care tips for parents, this list has you covered.
Below are some examples of self-care tips you can do to maintain your wellness during this pandemic.
- Manage your exposure to the news
The news can be a toxic place right now. A lot is going on with the world besides the pandemic, and it can increase your stress and anxiety levels even more. While it’s good to be updated with news and current affairs, it’s all too common to get bogged down by the news and set appropriate times to consume it.
Whether you get updates from social media, your friends, or the television, choose to be notified only on specific times of the day or mute all notifications until your next news catch up.
- Take real breaks
Because a lot of industries had to shift to the remote work set-up, many have been experiencing work-from-home burnout. Some managers may think that being at home all day is synonymous with being available all the time, but you and your peers know by now that this isn’t the case.
When you eat your meals, make sure to close your laptop and relish your breaks. You don’t have to munch on your food while being in front of your computer. You can do something else, like read a book, catch up with your friends, or simply enjoy the silence. Make your home relaxing and have a spot where you can take your breaks for a change of scenery.
- Get enough sleep
Being home all the time tends to make you lose a sense of time. Suddenly, weekdays and weekends go by so fast, and you suddenly don’t know what time it is. It could be tempting to stay up late since you might not have to wake up as early for work, but note that this would be harmful to you in the long run.
For one, no one knows when the pandemic will be over or when the quarantine measures will be lifted. You may be caught off guard when you need to return to your old routine sooner than you think. Also, if you don’t get the recommended 7 hours of sleep at night, your focus and overall mood will be affected the next day.
Regardless of how well you think you’ve adapted to your new schedule, just remember to always get enough sleep.
- Build a routine
Some people think that building routines are boring. But, if you’re working from home, it’s necessary. You’ll be wearing multiple hats, such as being a sibling, daughter, and employee over 24 hours, and it can get overwhelming to juggle all of them at once.
Putting up boundaries by setting schedules for each of your responsibilities will help you create a more positive space. Set up a home office and work your 8 hours a day, eat your meals at the dining area every day at the same time, and wind down in your room at the end of the day.
- Stay active
Have you never had the time to go to the gym because of your tight schedule at work? Maybe this time, you can engage in some home workouts that could inspire you to get moving!
Staying active doesn’t just mean reaching a goal of attaining six-pack abs after two months—but if you’re committed to doing that, then go ahead. It simply means remembering to move around and get your daily dose of endorphins, as being at home most of the time will give you a sedentary lifestyle.
You don’t have to do it every day, especially if you’re just starting, just enough so that your body gets used to it. Thrice a week of 30-minute sessions are good enough and can lift your spirits, as well.
- Make time for socializing
Some of us will be missing how it was like before the era of social distancing. If you’re one of those people who feel lonely because of the COVID-19 precautionary measures, you’re not alone. So, why not set some time to catch up with your friends? You can have scheduled virtual game nights, frequent video calls, or time to catch-up via chat.
Do everything you can to feel connected to your friends and build on your relationships even if you don’t see each other often. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things that are bothering you the most about this pandemic. If anyone is out there to understand you, it’ll be your friends. It’s going to make you feel loved and supported.
- Eat nourishing food
Last but not least, don’t forget to put good food in your stomach. If you’ve been snacking on a lot of junk food lately, there’s no use in feeling guilty or making yourself feel bad. You’ve gone through a lot of stress, and as a result, had to resort to a few unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Instead, try creating a meal plan that nourishes your body and boosts your immune system. You can even try your hand at cooking meals you truly enjoy!
Adjusting because of COVID-19 takes time. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not there yet. With the simple steps above, you can try to create better and more positive days for yourself. Hang in there!
Written by Miguel Juancho “MJ” Fernandez