Self Care Isn't Selfish
A mere 6 months ago, our daily conversations were probably not filled with terms such as "social distancing," "quarantine," or even "pandemic." Almost overnight, as Americans we were forced to alter our busy day-to-day lives in many ways. According to USA Today, over 20 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the global crisis we know as COVID-19. Many employees who were not laid off were forced to work remotely from home. School-aged children and educators were thrown into "remote learning," no matter the home environment or resources readily available. All of these changes occurred so rapidly that no one had time to plan for what was to come.
Self-isolation, stay-at-home-orders, learning to work from home, and figuring out financial difficulties was not easy for the first few weeks. Months later and many of us are still finding ourselves in the same situation. As an optimist, I was hopeful (and perhaps a little selfish) that my daily life would return to normal ASAP. Almost six months into this global pandemic and unfortunately the thought of normal daily-living as we once knew it may not ever exist again. Wow. Individuals who thrive on routine, control, predictability, and social interaction have had to recreate a new or modified way of being with no time to prepare. Whether we agree or disagree with rules and regulations surrounding this pandemic, one thing is certain and that is we do not really know when the devastation and regulations of COVID-19 will subside.
Since March, stress levels, depression, and anxiety have risen across the nation, and I don't think we need to research to explain why. However, what we do need to understand is that we can all be impacted by stress, depression, or anxiety if we are not intentional about caring for ourselves. One of my favorite sayings is "self-care isn't selfish." Now, more than ever, providing empathy and compassion for yourself is so important. You are probably thinking how busy you are and that there is no way to make time for you. I'm proud you are here because I want to provide a few tips and resources for you today on #InternationalSelfCareDay!
The Miracle Morning, a book by Hal Elrod (referred to me by Robin) teaches the importance of starting the day with Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribe (S.A.V.E.R.S).
Wake early - this takes discipline but the benefits of having time to yourself far outweigh the pain of an early alarm!
Create a daily schedule (paper or digital). This will help you prioritize your day.
Dress yourself for the office even if you are working from home. This will boost your mood and help increase productivity.
Health & Fitness
An early wake time provides the perfect opportunity for exercise.
Find an exercise routine enjoyable for you - If you hate to run, don't run! Yoga, walking, swimming, and cycling are great alternatives.
Pack healthy, accessible snacks
Make healthy choices 80% of the time. It's okay to indulge the other 20%!
Take time to focus on the present moment - not past or future worries.
Gratitude journals are a great way to start or end a day.
Practice deep breathing - in the car, office, outside - wherever is convenient.
When practiced consistently, mindfulness can decrease stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
It Takes What It Takes, Trevor Moawad
Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa TerKeurst
The Go-Giver, Bob Burg & John David Mann