Self-Care During a Crisis

Self-Care During a Crisis

Like many people, you may be wondering how you will manage even one more day. You’ve been at home for weeks. You’re juggling more work and tasks then you ever thought possible. You’re burned out, fried, feed up, and more.

We hear you. We feel this. We hope we can offer some help through these ideas, tips, and resources.

First, let’s focus on how you might be feeling.

  • If you are feeling anxious, you are normal.
  • If you are feeling burned out, you are not alone.
  • If you find that you get angry quickly or cry for no reason, well, you might actually be experiencing some loss and grief given all that has changed in your life and your world.
  • Acknowledge your feelings as you start and end each day as a way to begin to identify how you are doing and what you might need.

What can help?

Most research and professionals’ suggestions for self-care can be summarized in similar categories:

Sleep
Move
Outdoors
Time

Sleep is the foundation for everything

  • How can you ensure you get rest each day?

Movement

  • Move your body in some sort of way each day
  • Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are all helpful practices as well
  • Try a free app such as Calm

Get outside

  • As much as you can, get outside every day
  • Exposure to sunlight, even on a cloudy day, will has a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being and can even improve your sleep

Create time for yourself even if that feels impossible

  • Wake up even 10 minutes earlier so that you are up before others and can set your own mood and tone for the day
  • Have a household chore that is your dedicated time—you wash the dishes alone, you mow the grass alone, you fold the laundry alone, etc..
  • Create a boundary around your bath or shower time so that you can engage in some care without interruption
  • Plan down time into the family schedule/routine so that personal time becomes a family value and expectation and not something you are trying to “ask” for our get as a “favor”

Other ways to manage stress

Food

  • Eat regular meals
  • It is okay to indulge, but also keep good food coming into your body at regular intervals

Relationships

  • Focus on who you are surrounding yourself with and what they are adding or taking from your well-being
  • Create a circle of compassion
    • These are people you talk to, worry with, and complain to.
    • Keep this circle small (no more than 3 people) and consistent to help contain the amount of time you spend being anxious

Hobbies

  • Find something that takes you out of the moment and brings you peace and contentment
  • A good book, music, a project or an activity?

Get friendly with the unknown

  • The unknown can lead us to catastrophize or awfulize and assume the worst is what will happen
  • Resist this urge and instead try to adopt a sense of curiosity and acceptance “I wonder what will happen next?” “I will be able to handle what comes next.”

Redefine how you do things

  • When we are in an unpredictable place, we need to let some of our old practices and ways of doing things go and instead create a new practice.
  • This means you may need to bend and be flexible with:
    • Your family schedule, structure, and routine
    • Your expectation for what is accomplished each day
    • Your expectation for how things are done
    • Your relationships with others—have grace and resist taking things personally
    • Your limits and boundaries for things like screen time

Ask for help: Know when you might need more help. Family and friends care and many organizations are offering easily accessible therapy if you need it.

The resources below contain additional ideas and tips:

Child Mind Institute | Self-Care in the Time of Coronavirus

The Washington Post | Taking care of yourself during the pandemic, from head to toe

Greater Good Magazine | Four Things to Do Every Day for Your Mental Health

Very Well Mind | 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life