Prioritizing Self-Care During COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak, and the social-distancing measures that have been put in place to prevent its spread, have turned all our lives upside down. For now, it appears that physical and social distancing will be encouraged in the months to come.
It is now more important than ever to invest in your health and well-being, including staying active, and eating well. INDEAL Cares is committed to sharing actionable tools that will allow you to live well at work – and at home, and we’re pleased to share resources that will help you to prioritize your self-care during this pandemic:
Maintain A Routine
Ensure you have a work routine to get into the right mindset, feel more productive and keep the boundaries between work and home from blurring. Designate a work area. Even if you are quarantined in a tiny studio apartment, you can set up a home office on a snack tray in a corner. If you normally watch TV or scroll through social media while sitting on the couch, you may get distracted if you try to work from the same location. Click here for tips on working well from home!
Find Ways To “Get Going”
Now more than ever, you need to tend to your own health. Practicing sound mental hygiene can help boost your psychological immunity. If you are prone to depression, you might be finding it harder to get out of bed in the morning, motivate yourself to accomplish chores or get started on a work project.
Exercise is an excellent stress-reliever and mood-booster. Get out for a brisk walk, practice yoga at home – or even work out virtually with a personal trainer.
Try Not to Fixate on Sleep
The changes in your usual schedule, coupled with anxiety, can wreak havoc on your sleep. If you are resting, try not to stew about not sleeping — staring at the ceiling at 2 am will just create a cycle of worry and insomnia. If you find yourself lying in bed wide awake for more than 15 minutes, get up and change the mental channel by watching TV, reading a book, or listening to music.
Stick to Consistent Mealtimes
Sticking to consistent mealtimes, rather than stress-snacking throughout the day, can also help you maintain your mental and physical equilibrium. Nourish yourself with healthy foods. However, it is also perfectly fine to build in some comfort foods occasionally. Click here for tips on eating well for health.
Practice Mindfulness and Acceptance Techniques
Whether you use meditation, yoga, or prayer, focusing your attention on the present moment, rather than ruminating about a catastrophic, uncertain future, can help you manage your distress. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness has generously shared free, guided meditations and useful information about the practice during COVID-19.
Stay Connected to Friends and Family
Even if you aren’t able to gather together in large groups, make sure you take time to connect with others – via email, over the phone or by meeting in a virtual space like Zoom. Reach out to your loved ones when you need them – and remember that everyone is going through this difficult time in their own way …And we will get through this together.
INDEAL Cares is here to support you. If you have suggestions on specific areas of support that would be helpful, please connect with us to provide your feedback.
With thanks to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) who has generously given permission to share many of these tips, that were originally published on the NAMI website.