Our lives have completely changed in the past month. It is easier than ever to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Self-care has become more important than ever in daily living. There are several things you can do for yourself daily to manage anxiety and stress, especially during these uncertain times.
#1: Take a break from the media (social media included)
While it is crucial to stay informed on what we need to do to stop the pandemic, it is imperative that we take breaks from the constantly shifting news. Try setting a designated time of when you will watch the news each day. Say, "I'll watch the news from 8-9 am and then again from 6-7 pm and I will not scroll through social media for more than 30 minutes at a time."
#2: Stay Active
Move as much as you can. Give your eyes a break from the screen. Go for a walk, try that workout video you've been wanting to try, get your friends to participate in a push-up or plank challenge to hold each other accountable. Just keep moving!
#3: Make a Schedule
We are so used to having a schedule to follow each day that it is important to stick to a routine. Using a planner is a great way to stay organized and hold yourself accountable. Look at the week ahead and jot down the things that need to get done then, split them up between the days. Once you've split up the necessary tasks, go ahead and add the things you'd like to do each day, as well. For example, this morning my planner had written for the day: 8am: Workout, 10:30: Get groceries and return items to the UPS store, later in the afternoon: start thinking of a subject for a blog. It doesn't have to be a strict timeline or a mile long. Put a couple things on your planner each day, even if it's one simple task, and then cross them off when you get them done. It leaves you feeling accomplished and content at the end of the day.
#4: Express Gratitude
Before you go to bed each night, jot down 5 things you are grateful for. Some things I'm grateful for today are; a roof over my head, a stocked pantry, a loving family, friendly neighbors, my dog. If you focus on the positive instead of the negative, you will feel much more fulfilled.
#5 Stay Connected
Staying socially distant doesn't mean you have to completely isolate yourself. Connect with your friends. Host a zoom call, google hangout, there's this fun app called Houseparty where you can virtually play games with friends. They are all free to use and a fun way to stay connected. Start making plans for the future so you have something to look forward to together.
End with saying this to yourself:
"Today, I will not stress over things I cannot control."
Repeat this as many times as you need to throughout the day and each day following.
Always remember that self-care is not selfish.