We’ve spent a lot of time in crisis mode over the last ten months. Unsurprisingly this can its toll on our mental health and energy reserves. Now that we’ve found ourselves with tightened restrictions from the pandemic again, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and it may call for taking time to make wellness and self-care a priority in your life.
We’ve pulled together five self-care tips to help promote self-care as we navigate the coming months.
Go easy on yourself
First things first, don’t overthink it. Self-care is about doing things that make you feel good so check in with yourself, ask yourself what can you do today to feel joy and have fun. Cook yourself a nice meal, call a loved one, curl up with a book, watch your favourite movie. Do whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed.
Ditch the devices
It’s easy to get caught mindlessly scrolling through your phone and emails at the best of times. Right now with what can feel like an endless stream of bad news right at our fingertips, the rabbit hole of mindless scrolling has only deepened. Put your phone in a drawer, leave it in another room while your sleep, turn off unimportant notifications. Even if only limiting screen time for an hour before going to sleep at night, find time to step away from your phone and laptop, focus on the environment around you and check in on yourself and those around you. Take time to really switch off from the digital world and relax.
The silver lining to lockdown restrictions is taking time to explore and enjoy our local areas. During lunch breaks or in place of your usual commute time (for those who are working from home), close your laptop, step outside, stretch your legs, lap up the fresh air and give yourself the real break you deserve.
Start your day on your terms
Bill Gates treats his ‘me time’ as a non-negotiable, committing to an entire ‘think week’ within his calendar. He spends this time in the forest with nothing but books and quiet. Granted this isn’t something we can all afford to do, nor is it advisable during a global pandemic, but it highlights the importance of taking time to reflect, to gather your thoughts and to take stock of where you are while also looking to where you want to go.
This kind of downtime is just as effective when built into regular, shorter sessions such as a morning routine that allows room for you to slow down and enjoy that morning coffee rather than rushing straight into checking your inbox or running out the door. Whether meditating, journalling or taking time to stretch your legs for a morning walk, starting the day on your terms allows space for quiet moments to check in with yourself and start the day with a clear mind.
Know when to call it a day
There’s a fine line between working hard, being passionate about your work and burning out. Somehow when working from home, that line becomes even more blurred. Now, perhaps more than ever, we’ve got to pay attention to our mind and our mental health and that includes setting boundaries in place to set a clear end to the workday while working from home. For some, that’s the physical boundary of closing the office door at the end of the working day but with more of us working from home right now, you could switch up your workspace to a different room. It might be as simple as closing the laptop and putting your work belongings out of sight for the evening. This is not to underestimate the need to get work done and not to say that as in your normal working environment there will be times when late nights are necessary. Just don’t make these late nights the norm while working from home simply because you can.