Self care is difficult lately. There’s no time, motivation, or energy to take care of yourself while there’s a pandemic, natural disasters all over, and civil rights movements sparking up around the globe. On top of that, we all have our own obligations and responsibilities to our job, education, family, kids, friends… the list goes on. But self care and self love are more important than ever in tumultuous times like this. Here are 5 simple ways to take care of yourself and reconnect even when you don’t want to.
1. Take a Media Break
I know, this is in every self care handbook out there. But I don’t just mean social media, I mean all media, especially the news. We receive so much information every time we open our news app or our social media accounts, and a huuge part of that is all about all the injustices and disasters going on in our communities and world. While it is important to be informed and active citizens, all that information, sadness, and anger can really take a toll on us. Not to mention that the pressure social media inherently puts on us. Many of us care a lot about the world and can be deeply emotionally affected by news, and want to be good allies and activists for movements that we care about. We can feel pressured to constantly advocate for our passions, and feel exhausted by all of it. It’s okay to take a break, even if it’s just for a few hours or a couple days.
2. Set Aside Time for Yourself
Our lives are so busy! We all have so much to do, and there’s never enough time to do it. Especially now, with many of our lives being turned upside down, our schedules torn up and spat out by the whirlwind of Covid19, lockdowns, and business closures. Everything can feel so hopeless, like you need to constantly do Things in order to be worthy of rest. But you’re always worthy of rest, even when you don’t finish all of your tasks. Set aside an hour or two during the day to just sit, journal, scroll on Pinterest, do yoga, watch an episode or two of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Whatever you like to do to calm down and stop thinking about all the Things you have to do.
3. Get Yourself Ready for the Day
Many of us are now spending the majority of our time at home, especially people who are working at home because of Covid restrictions. It can be really tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, not shower regularly, and forget to brush your hair and teeth. But I promise, getting dressed and ready when you get out of bed will make you feel way better and be more productive. If you really don’t have the energy to take a full shower or get fully dressed, at least wash your face and tie your hair out of the way. Hopefully this can make you feel fresher.
4. Drink Water, Eat Fruit and Vegetables
This is kind of a no-brainer, but it might be hard for you if you struggle with lack of motivation or you hyperfocus. Drink water as much as possible, even if needing to pee can be a little inconvenient when you’re in the middle of a project. Water will help you stay refreshed and can being properly hydrated can even stop you from having weird cravings (if you get those. I know I do)! Eating fruits and vegetables, even ones that have been frozen, can help fend off that groggy, gross mouth feel that we sometimes get in the middle of the day, or when we’re really hungry. Plus, they’re good for your brain!
5. Move Around
Working out is hard, it’s annoying, and it’s boring. And if you’re like me, it’s probably one of the last things you think about when you’re studying or working at home and you start to feel frustrated and tired. But low-intensity work exercise has been shown to actually make you less tired and boost productivity, and one study suggests that yoga helps make people less stressed out.
Taking care of yourself is the best way to get stuff done and be the best, most productive you. Self care often gets put on the backburner because we don’t consider it to be “productive,” but we really should emphasize it more and take care of ourselves as often and consistently as we can!