COVID-19 is Taking Its Toll
In a recent article from The Guardian, Eleanor Margolis writes, “With the closure of schools and nurseries, that’s been exacerbated to the point of a crisis in unpaid labor. This isn’t cute. It’s not pleasingly mid-century, it’s – for countless overworked women – a living nightmare.”
This paragraph perfectly sums up the way so many of us are feeling trying to work from home, teach and care for our children, and keep up the house all while dealing with the fear and overwhelm of a pandemic.
So what’s the answer? Some experts might tell you that there is no possible way to feel better right now because anxiety and depression are hanging in the air because of the virus. Others might suggest that all you need to do is take a hot bath or cuddle with your dog for 5 minutes and everything will be better but the truth is that taking time for yourself is really hard right now! Especially when we are supposed to be soaking up every precious moment with our families. Oogling over their sweet sticky peanut butter and jelly hands while they refuse to do their flashcards or learning apps on the iPad.
Ultimately, we can’t read your mind so we don’t know what will make things easier for you right now but we do know that if you take a break or even attempt to find joy in some of your everyday activities, you might feel a little better.
That’s why we created a list of things you can do to get some much-needed rest and relaxation during these stressful times.
Creative Self-Care Ideas
Listen to Music While You Work
There is a connection between increased productivity, better focus, and improved wellbeing as a result of listening to music while you work. Therefore you might actually feel better if you carve out some work time and power through. During these uncertain times- anything goes. Maybe that means work can feel like self-care.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
If you’re anything like us, you might have noticed recently that some days feel more tense and overwhelming than others because of everything going on right now. If this is the case for you, consider trying progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). This relaxation technique is very useful especially if you feel anxiety coming in waves. By doing PMR for just 5 minutes, you can reduce your blood pressure, decrease your heart rate, and more.
Here’s a brief video that talks you through the simple process:
Take a Nature Walk
Vitamin D is key right now and getting some good ole sunshine is even better. If you have the opportunity, sneak out for a quiet walk on a natural trail to breathe in some fresh air to help you feel more grounded and rejuvenate your entire body. After all, breathing in stale air being in your house all the time is not necessarily the best way to prevent brain fog. Bonus- holding nature in your hands can even help boost your immune system. So cool!
Spruce Up Your Work Space
Decluttering may not seem like self-care to someone who has never been intentional about it but now that KonMarie is a regular part of the vocab around in many households I know that almost nothing feels better than a simple and tidy space. The book, “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” is a great place to start if you’re serious about lifting the metaphorical weight of stuff off your chest.
I’ll admit that journaling is kind of a lame self-care suggestion but quite honestly it is one of the most helpful tools out there. If you're feeling depressed, stuck, or having trouble dealing with your emotions, writing them out is a great first step. Another super fun idea is to start a bullet journal filled with crafty lettering, cute stickers, and anything else you love.
Buy a Bird Feeder or New Bird House
Nurturing the wildlife that lives and breaths right outside your front door is a great way to feel more connected to nature and, as a result, calmer. Plus - watching the various species of birds and how they interact with each other is surprisingly enjoyable.
Warm Soothing Drinks
Do you have an awful meeting booked for tomorrow morning? Or maybe you are totally stressed by that report that needs to be written? Try sipping your favorite soothing drink while you check the daunting task off of your list. Hopefully, you’ll feel chill enough to unwind even while you’re working.
The other day a few of us were chatting about how we are literally desperate for a vacation at this point but the reality is that going places doesn’t feel quite right yet. One solution is to daydream about going on a fab trip. Pull out a lawn chair, soak up some sun, and pretend you are in Maui. Drinks by the kiddie pool, anyone? Want to take the next step in making your dreams a reality? Consider making a vision board. Simply print or cut out pictures of the life or trip you’re dreaming about and pin them on a bulletin board.
Plan a Day Camp
Ok, let’s get real, doing activities with kids is not everyone’s cup of tea. What we’re suggesting here is that you plan some activities and then have someone (anyone) else do these activities with your kids while you do whatever the heck you want! Partner, aunt, babysitter (if the rules allow)... it’s brilliant!
Download a New E-book
Since virtual shopping can be a bit hard on the budget right now and window shopping is pretty much closed, downloading free ebook samples from Amazon is a great solution. Cozy up with your favorite blanket and your e-reader or smartphone with a new ebook in your hands. I hear Untamed by Glennon Doyle is all the rage right now!
Take a Virtual Cooking Class
I hear people say all the time that baking is relaxing. If this is you, then consider telling everyone to take a hike while you enjoy a virtual cooking class right from your own home. All you have to do is buy the ingredients ahead of time and then the chef walks you through the recipe. Becky’s Mindful Kitchen offers classes for FREE on Facebook each week. Check it out!
Soft Cuddly things
Honestly, when you’re having a bad day, does anything feel better than curling up in your bed? If you feel like your day is taking a turn for the worse or a dark cloud seems to have been following you around for a while now, it’s either time to take a nap or work from your bed if you’re working from home. Hey, maybe you could even squeeze in an afternoon quickie and if you happen to be on your period, you can wear your nixit for mess-free period sex!
What are Your Creative Self-Care Ideas?
How’s it going for you out there? Have you found a way to break free and take some time for yourself?
We would love it if you would take a few seconds to share your favorite COVID-19 self-care idea(s) below! If you’re struggling to take those much-needed breaks, feel free to vent a little and share what’s holding you back!