Updated: Aug 21
Redoing my self-care practices allowed me to rethink how I treated self-care. Check out my six self-care lessons I added to my self-care routine amidst covid.
Practicing self-care is the basis of managing life stressors and mental health in our day-to-day lives. However, it has taken on a new meaning during the covid-19 pandemic.
By following quarantine measures and social-distancing guidelines - the pandemic has completely derailed our sleeping patterns, adjusted our workout routines, and forced many of us to redo our self-care practices.
What we thought would last for only a short period has been going on for six months with no end in sight. Redoing my self-care practices allowed me to rethink how I treated self-care. It is not rigid, and when it fails, it may be time for a change. I discovered new ways of operating because of the pandemic, and in some cases, these habits are better than my old routines.
Read on for six self-care lessons I added to my self-care routine amidst covid.
When All Else Fails, Go Back To The Basics
As the pandemic continued to progress, my workdays became longer and my daily self-care routine - like starting each day with meditation or completing weekly emotional check-ins - became harder to maintain.
To maintain some sense of self-care and not be too hard on myself, I motivated myself by sticking to the basics of self-care:
Get at least 8 hours of sleep
Follow skin-care routine
Take a shower and set dressed daily
Incorporate fruits or veggies in every meal
These became the foundation on which my self-care rested. When you find it hard to stick to your more elaborate self-care routine, come up with basic habits, you easily stick to and measure when and how much you deviate and adjust accordingly.
Create A New Routine
Finding a new workout routine was one of the most significant adjustments during the pandemic. My studio closed, and because I was fully remote, I was unable to work out at my job’s gym. Working out was one of the dedicated activities I would do for myself and helped me break up my day between work life and personal life.
I had to discover different activities to stay active and completely adjust my daily routine to fit into my covid routine. I watched youtube videos, took up running, and ordered workout equipment before settling on the best workout activities and methods for me (pilates with resistance bands if you are wondering).
If your routine has shifted significantly, creating a new routine is an easy solution that may have a big impact on your emotional and mental health.
Relinquish What You Can’t Control
One of my most prevalent fears is losing control - and uncertainly is where my anxiety thrives. My biggest lesson from the pandemic is that power can be taken away in an instant. While it was hard to adjust to at first, it ultimately helped me realize that my need for control actually gives me a false sense of security. I discovered that a better way of managing my anxiety is to relinquish what I can't control.
Now, I choose to understand and accept things like the pandemic are beyond my control. Also, like the pandemic, this embrace brings opportunities for growth and life lessons.
Less Busy Yourself - Find Your Stillness
I use to make myself busy for varying reasons. At work, being busy is a status symbol for me, and at home, it prevented me from overthinking. Seeking distractions, jumping from one task to the next offered little time for me to be present in the moment or time for myself. The pandemic forced me to be still and leave the busying work in my pre-pandemic past.
Inactivity helped me work through my spinning thoughts and other mental patterns and allowed me to developed better processes at work to be more organized and productive.
Some simple ways to practice stillness in your life:
Set reminders to get away from technology.
Place your work laptop and other technological devices in a separate room and walk away.
Morning or Evening Meditation.
Use a notebook to journal or complete your morning to-do list.
Learn When To say Yes and No - No More FOMO
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the feeling that you are missing out on life compared to others. I have always been the person that would succumb to FOMO pressure to hang out with friends. I engaged in meaningless social activities and interactions because I was afraid of missing out.
The pandemic has helped me reflect on what I value the most, where and with who I should invest my time and energy, and more importantly, learn when to say yes, and when and how to say no.
Spend more time engaged in what truly matters to you, and your FOMO will become a thing of the past.
Check Your Bad Habits as Often As Your Good Habits
When I slipped in my self-care routine, bad habits started to quickly form. My screen time and social media usage increased, I drunk wine during the weekday (a personal no-no for me), and skipped lunch more often than partaking. After seeing my screen time jump 15%, I took a look at the bad habits I let creep into my daily routine and adjusted accordingly. I set a limit on my screen time and phone usage, paused my monthly wine club, and scheduled two lunchtime reminders to be less likely to snooze or ignore the reminder.
Check your bad habits as often as your good habits. Breaking bad habits is just as crucial to your self-care routine as building good ones.
Have you adopted new self-care habits or practices during Covid-19? Comment and share with us one habit, practice, or tip, you have added to your self-care routine.