Self-Care During A Lockdown

May 21, 2020

Self-Care During A Lockdown

Don't feel guilty if you need to turn away from the constant stream of news updates and social feeds, and find some space for yourself. Self-care isn't self-indulgent or selfish. It plays an important role in staying positive, motivated, and optimistic. It helps us to remain connected and grounded with ourselves and the world around us. We can't take care of others unless we take care of ourselves.

All forms of self-care are valid, whether you use your anger and frustration to campaign for change or try to release some of that stress through relaxation or creativity. Getting through the bad days can be a struggle, these are a few ways to make it easier.



Eat Well

Eat whatever makes you feel good. The last thing we need during a lockdown is pressure to "eat healthy" or guilt over what is considered an "essential" purchase. Any kind of restrictions or scarcity surrounding food can be triggering for a lot of people for many reasons. Reduce any kind of stress of anxiety you have about food or eating by giving yourself permission to 'eat well' - whatever that looks like to you. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Eat when you're hungry, eat what makes you feel good, and eat however feels best during these troubling time. I encourage you to follow accounts such as @drjoshuawolrich and @taylorwolframrd for weight-inclusive anti-diet support.



Get Fresh Air

Walk, jog, run, sit outside, move your body. Getting fresh air is important, whether that's in a form of exercise or simply going outdoors for a little while. Feeling the sun on your skin is important not only for your physical health (most people in the UK lack Vitamin D without also being confined to their homes) but also for your mental health. Don't feel pressured into staying indoors all day. It's safe to go outside, take a walk, exercise, or even sit on bench and eat your lunch. I take regular walks and sit on our apartment's roof to ensure I'm getting outside and feeling the sun as often (and safely) as possible.



Sleep Well

A good night's sleep is important. Your sleep schedule might be messed up right now but try to work with it. Listen to your body and find a new rhythm for your daily routine. I've noticed I've started waking up slightly earlier than I typically do around 6am and getting tired at the usual time of midnight. I'm rolling with it and adjusting my routine instead of trying to fight the natural change. Sleep is important, particularly during stressful times, so figure out a sleep cycle that works for you right now. Try these tips for getting a better rest.



Get Creative

Just because we're in a lockdown doesn't mean we can't have fun. You might want to learn a new language, redecorate your home, or try a new skill. But you shouldn't feel under pressure to be productive with your time. If you want to watch TV, listen to a podcast, or read a book - these are all valid ways to spend your time. Now is a great time to do something for yourself simply because it's fun to do it. Getting creative can mean all sorts of things: making, doing, cooking, painting, building. I made a silly egg bonnet for Easter and a cardboard bus for my companion animal. I've also been folding little origami shapes and tending to my house plants. It's enjoyable, relaxing, and stimulating. It doesn't even have to be good, it just needs to be fun.



Indulge

Indulge - whatever that means to you. Maybe it's making your favourite meal that takes more effort that usual, perhaps it's a marathon of Netflix or video games, even something as simple as a long bath with a good book might feel like an indulgent. Give yourself permission to indulge in feel good activities you enjoy without any hint of guilt. For me, it's a proper day off. No guilt over not doing any work or feeling productive. I can do whatever I want. Having a long bath with an extensive skin care routine followed by dinner and a film or games in a comfy loungewear set. That usually sets my mood right.



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