The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down and brought about drastic changes to all our lives.
If you’re struggling to cope with these challenging times, always remember that it’s okay not to be okay all the time and that you deserve a breather and some self-care when you feel the negative emotions kick in.
Self-care often involves being engaged in activities and behaviours that you find enjoyable and can improve your physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental health. While everyone deals with emotions differently, we hope our suggestions may help you practice self-care at home this MCO!
Take A Day Off
When was the last time you carved out some time-out for yourself? Our number one idea to practice self-care is not a mind-blowing one, but many people need to be reminded of it. The work-life balance line has become blurry for many, with work-from-home measures becoming part of the new normal. Long hours spent staring at a screen and cracking your brain isn’t healthy for you. While we can’t take a day off to go on a holiday or embark on a spontaneous trip as of now, you can still take a day off from work when you’re feeling burnout creeping in.
Apply for a day off and allow yourself to do activities that can help you recharge and restore the zen you need. You get to decide how you’d like to spend your day – whether it’s in bed binging on a new Netflix series without feeling sinful or committing some time for your hobbies like painting, cooking, reading, or working out. Time to clear off some of your accumulated annual leaves, especially if you’ve brought forward some from 2020!
Do Something Therapeutic
Therapeutic activities that are capable of injecting you with feelings of calmness are great for self-care. Many professionals in mental health suggest having a go-to list of therapeutic self-care activities that ‘work’ for you which you can turn to whenever you’re dealing with stress or negative emotions.
On days when you need some self-care, take your mind off your problems by engaging in therapeutic activities or tasks that calm you down, may it be heading out to do some casual grocery shopping, going for a walk as the sun is setting, cooking your ideal meal, listening to soothing music, painting, or even doing the dishes.
Set Aside Time To Unplug
Most of us have been spending more and more time glued to our screens and on social media, particularly when we’re stuck at home. Unless you feel like spending all that time online contributes to your emotional and mental wellbeing, it’s good to set aside some time to unplug and exercise some digital detox from time to time.
Stop scrolling through social media mindlessly or getting flooded with emails or texts and give your eyes, brain, and heart a break from your newsfeed. If this sounds difficult to you, allow yourself to start with small steps that can be fused into your daily routine, like avoiding your phone for the first hour when you wake up or the hour before you go to sleep.
Instead of choosing up your phone, start and end your day with a healthier routine – make yourself a nice cup of tea or morning coffee, spend half an hour reading, do some stretches, plan your day, or go out for a short walk. Take this time to declutter your mind and train yourself not to check your phone every few minutes.
Declutter And Marie Kondo Your Life
Using the words of Marie Kondo, the best way to choose what to keep and what to discard is to decide each item in your life and ask yourself: “does this spark joy?”. If it does, keep it; if not, it’s time to let it go. Getting rid of things that bring you unhappiness is vital in self-care and one of the most powerful ways to make you feel better in the long term. While you can, of course, clean out your closet or declutter your work table as part of your self-care routine, decluttering can also go beyond just that.
Besides the clutter of physical items, chaos can also come in the form of negative thoughts, toxic relationships, and noise that contributes to your unhappiness—practice self-care by decluttering your room, physical space, phone, and even your social circle. Reorganise your social media life by heading onto Instagram and ‘clean up your following list; delete photos from your phone gallery that remind you of unhappy times; subscribe to Youtube channels that only create content that you genuinely enjoy. These small actions can do wonders in improving your overall wellbeing without you noticing!
Treat Yourself Once In A While
If you don’t love yourself, who else will? On days when you desperately need some extra love, treat yourself to something that makes you happy, may it be ordering in your favourite dessert after a particularly draining day or finally clicking ‘buy now’ to that dress you’ve been eyeing on for the longest time.
Treat yourself to the simple pleasures that can elevate your mood – like taking a long, hot shower or allowing yourself an extra hour of sleep after a long week. It’s easy to be hard on yourself, so even while you push yourself to your limits, always remember that it’s ok to slow down and treat yourself to some kindness once in a while.
Just Do Whatever You Want
While most advice on practising self-care focuses on embracing healthy habits such as eating well and sleeping well, it’s ok if you’re not yet ready for that. We’ve suggested a digital detox and getting some exercise in the earlier points in this article, but know that it’s okay if you don’t want to do any of that. If you’re going to sleep in or stay in bed all day, binge-watch your favourite Netflix series for hours, and are wanting a cheeseburger at night, do it!
Do whatever you want for the day, give your mind a break, and stop worrying about whether you should. Think what you love doing is a waste of time? Well, there’s a saying that the time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time. If you feel like not eating or being healthy for a day, then don’t be.