Paying attention to self-care can be an ongoing challenge. During times of high stress, practicing quality self-care is often a mere after-thought.
As we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing, let’s take a few minutes to pause, take 3 deep breaths, and remind ourselves to engage in aspects of self-care. Here are some things to consider:
- Keep exercise in your routine: Take some short walks outside to discover how Spring is progressing.
- Strive to eat nutritious meals: Remember to include fruits and vegetables “across the rainbow” to obtain a variety of needed nutrients.
- Stay hydrated: Don’t forget to drink plenty of water each day.
- Get a good night’s sleep: Set up an evening routine to promote restful sleep, including time away from electronic devices for a while before heading to bed.
- Learn to “let go”: Whether you meditate, pray, or consciously work through daily challenges, “letting go” is a coping strategy towards moving forward.
- Deal with negative emotions: Feeling overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, depressed, anxious, and fearful during times of uncertainty is a challenging part of the human experience. It is important to recognize these emotions and take steps to resolve them. Participating in online support groups is one way to assist in this process.
- Keep a positive outlook on life: Humor and laughter soothes the soul, can help with relaxation, and may assist in resolving those negative emotions mentioned above.
- Try out some new relaxation techniques: Imagining a favorite vacation spot can help reduce stress. The more senses you “engage” while using your “mind’s eye” (think about what you might see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in your created environment), the more real your vacation image will seem and the more relaxed you will feel.
- Think “outside the box” to get the job done: As we refrain from in-store shopping, order from a local pharmacy with delivery services or complete your grocery list online and pick up your order after a store employee shops for you.
- Reach out: As we practice social distancing to protect ourselves and others, take time to communicate by phone, text, or email with those you know. Have a virtual meal or play a virtual game with friends or family to spend your evening together when in-person visiting isn’t an option.
When we move past this pandemic, let’s not forget how we connected during this challenging time, continue to do so, and remember to practice good self-care.
Written by Elaine Wilson, LCSW, CCM, Director of Outreach at Care Around the Block. If you are caring for someone during this time, Elaine facilities a free online support group for family dementia caregivers in which you can participate from your own home. Call our office at (865)444-6787 to sign up.
For additional resources and ways to remain healthy during this time, click here for CAB’s blog website, and follow us on social media!
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