During a time of panic, as we’re all experiencing now, it’s easy to forget about all self-care tasks and practices. Suddenly, it feels like the best you can do is make it through the day with your sanity intact. What if I told you that recommitting to your self-care is more crucial now than ever before? What if I told you this is how you will weather the challenge, not get sick or fall apart?
Trust me, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the hype and panic of the headlinesandeat the wrong foods to rescue your feelings, but that’s not the answer. Taking care of yourself and your health is the answer, and I’m here to help you get back to those self-loving and self-healing tasks.
You already know eating healthy is the right thing to do, but now comfort food has become a magnet, right? Eating right is paramount to support your hormones, manage how you feel as well as strengthen your immune system, which we all know is crucial right now. If your diet could use some help consider:
- Start your day right with a healthy breakfast complete with lean protein, whole grains, and delicious fruit. Eating breakfast not only helps speed up your metabolism and balance your hormones,but it gives you the energy you need for the day. You’ll start your day more focused and able to handle what life throws at you.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Water fills you up, which helps you avoid unnecessary snacking on processed and sugary foods, which can make you feel sluggish and dampen your mood.
- Try adding supplements to boost your nutrient intake so you can give your body the added support it now needs to deal with the higher than normal stress. Adaptogenic herbs helpthe body resist and adapt to stress. Nutrients like Vitamin A, B6, B12, C boost the immune system. Spicessuch as turmeric will support your hormones, immune system, and liver.
It seems like all we do right now is rest, right? But are you getting the right type of rest? I’m not talking about lazily laying on the couch. Are you mindful of your body’s needs? Do you recognize when you need to slow down and relax? Are you aware of the different ways you can relax/rest? Check out my favorite ways:
- Keep a journal. There is something relaxing about writing out your feelings. It gets them out of your head and onto the paper. It’s as if you release them away from you when you get them out.
- Take a walk. Mask up, get out, and enjoy nature. This walk isn’t your brisk, burn calories type of walk. Instead, take a nurturing walk through nature. Admire the birds and the trees, breathe in the fresh air, and let your body relax.
- Meditate, pray, or just be still. Give your mind and body time to just ‘be.’ If you don’t love sitting still, meditate for only a few minutes at a time, but spread it out throughout your day. You can meditate with music or without. Experiment to see what makes you feel the best.
GETTING IN EXERCISE
You should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise weekly. That’s 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic activity and 15 minutes of intense aerobic exercise. Don’t forget to add in strength training too. If that seems like too much, break it up. Even exercising 10 minutes at a time is great for your body, mind, and soul.
Not sure where to start, especially since you have to work out at home? Here are a few ways:
- Try a new exercise routine on YouTube. There are thousands of free exercise videos on YouTube. Try something you’ve never done before or stick with your old favorites, just get your body moving.
- Make your own workout routine with strength and cardio exercises. Choose the exercises your body is comfortable doing, whether it’s jumping jacks, planks, running in place, jump rope, or even lifting light dumbbells.
- Sign up for virtual exercise classes. Many local gyms have gone virtual, but since you’re in the comfort of your own home, you can join classes from anywhere you want. Find classes you enjoy, whether it’s Pilates, yoga, a HIIT program, step aerobics, or even kickboxing.
REDUCE YOUR STRESS
You may think it’s near impossible to keep your stress levels down when you’re in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s more important than ever now. If you eat right, rest, and get enough exercise, you’ve given yourself a good start, but you’ll need to be mindful of ways to reduce your stress too. Here are a few of my favorite ways:
- Create a schedule. If you can’t handle all of the ‘unknowns’ that the stay-at-home order creates, make a schedule for yourself. Schedule everything from your shower to your meals, exercise time, rest time, and time for hobbies.
- Start a hobby. What do you do in your free time? If you don’t have a hobby, now’s a great time to pick one up. Try puzzles, learning to knit or crochet, sewing, crafting, woodworking, or drawing. The sky is the limit, and YouTube has tons of tutorials.
- Stay away from social media. It’s nice to be able to connect with friends and family during this time away, but sometimes it can be too much. Do a social media cleanse and remove the toxic news and people spreading ‘bad’ news from your feed. Keep it simple and friendly or avoid going on social media and talk on the phone instead.
- Stop and breathe. If you find yourself caught up in a moment that feels like too much, breathe and give yourself grace. None of this is going to be perfect, and no one is living the perfect life. You are doing your best, so just breathe.
Recommit to your self-care. As my mother would say, “an empty bag cannot stand up,” and equally,a full bag won’t fall down easily. Self-care is a necessity. You cannot afford not to engage in it,especially now.So, up-level your self-care not down level so you can activate your inner gumption to get beyond this.