No matter where you are in the world, you've been affected in some way by COVID-19. As things have started to open up in my home state of Michigan, I wanted to take the time to reflect over this crazy, weird, stressful time and think about some of the positives that I, and we, can all take away from our time staying at home.
Although I usually work from home, COVID brought things to a next level. I had dwindling time (and, to be honest, patience) for my self-care routine. With clients I see a pattern that in times of stress, we begin to neglect the one thing central to every situation- ourselves.
Why are we so ready to sacrifice ourselves and our well-being when we're stressed out? If anything, that's the most important time to move your body, get enough sleep, eat healthy and nutritious. meals, and engage in things that truly nourish you.
Here are some self-care practices that I used in quarantine, and will definitely continue long-term:
If you've never meditated before, I highly suggest you try it. Even just 2 minutes is so grounding, It's a natural stress stabilizer, improves problem-solving strategies, enhances empathy, and even lowers your cortisol (so helps with your health goals!) If you suffer from depression or anxiety, meditating is clinically proven to treat them on the same level as actual medication. There are a lot of apps you can use! Personally, I use Peloton but I have a lot of clients who love Buddhify.
Moving your body- in an actual workout or just a walk outside- releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. No wonder when in times of stress, everyone was taking walks during quarantine! I encourage some type of movement on a daily basis, but especially during quarantine when we're mostly sedentary from not leaving our homes. It's been extra fun for me to try new workouts posted by companies during the quarantine, and get back into more of a routine. If your routine got disrupted from studio closings, use this as an opportunity to experiment with different workouts- you never know what you could end up loving!
This can mean different things for different people! I'm not worried as much about putting makeup on, however diy-ing my pedicure, washing my hair or putting on something other than the same sweats I've been wearing every day makes me feel confident. Quarantine has really opened my eyes to the non-negotiable's of my personal care routine. I've grown more confident in the parts of self-care I can do myself (like my eyebrows), and the parts I can't (like cutting my own hair- if my hairstylist is reading this, I missed you). Even just taking the time for an extra-long shower can make you feel so much better. I implore you to discover what parts of your personal-care routine have changed in quarantine, and adjust to "normal" life accordingly.
As things begin to open up, I really want to encourage all of you to take time and reflect upon the self-care practices you may have used to get through this quarantine. Just because stores and salons are opening doesn't mean we need to leave these behind! Self-care is the opposite of selfish- you can't give to other people if you yourself aren't being taken care of.
I hope you continue to stay healthy, physically and mentally- oh, and wear a mask!
What self-care practices are you bringing out of this quarantine?
Hit 'reply' and let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this article be sure and hit the share button. My goal is to be the last dietitian you ever need. I personally love food and firmly believe you don't have to give up what you love to reach your goals. My services are virtual so no matter where you are, we can find a way to help you have your cake and eat it too!Click here to inquire.