Self-care Strategies during Pandemic
Self-care strategies during pandemic are good for your mental and physical health and can help you take charge of your life. Take care of your body and your mind and connect with others to benefit your mental health.
▪︎ Take care of your body
Be mindful about your physical health as first step of self-care strategies during pandemic –
• Get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. Stick close to your typical sleep-wake schedule, even if you’re staying at home.
• Participate in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Find an activity that includes movement, such as dance or exercise apps.
• Eat healthy. Choose a well-balanced diet. Avoid loading up on junk food and refined sugar. Limit caffeine as it can aggravate stress, anxiety and sleep problems.
• Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. If you smoke tobacco or if you vape, you’re already at higher risk of lung disease. Because COVID-19 affects the lungs, your risk increases even more. Using alcohol to try to cope can make matters worse and reduce your coping skills. Avoid taking drugs to cope, unless your doctor prescribed medications for you.
• Limit screen time. Turn off electronic devices for some time each day, including 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone.
• Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself. Even a few minutes of quiet time can be refreshing and help to settle your mind and reduce anxiety. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, mindfulness or meditation. Soak in a bubble bath, listen to music, or read or listen to a book — whatever helps you relax. Select a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.
▪︎ Take care of your mind
Secondly mental health is as important as of body while planning for Self-care strategies during pandemic which could be managed by following ways –
• Keep your regular routine. Maintaining a regular daily schedule is important to your mental health. In addition to sticking to a regular bedtime routine, keep consistent times for meals, bathing and getting dressed, work or study schedules, and exercise. Also set aside time for activities you enjoy.
• Limit exposure to news media. Constant news about COVID from all types of media can heighten fears about the disease. Limit social media that may expose you to rumors and false information. Also limit reading, hearing or watching other news, but keep up to date on national and local recommendations. Look for reliable sources.
• Stay busy. Healthy distractions can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Enjoy hobbies that you can do at home, such as reading a book, writing in a journal, making a craft, playing games or cooking a new meal. Or identify a new project or clean out that closet you promised you’d get to. Doing something positive to manage anxiety is a healthy coping strategy.
• Focus on positive thoughts. Choose to focus on the positive things in your life, instead of dwelling on how bad you feel. Consider starting each day by listing things you are thankful for. Maintain a sense of hope, work to accept changes as they occur and try to keep problems in perspective.
• Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support. If you draw strength from a belief system, it can bring you comfort during difficult and uncertain times.
• Set priorities. Don’t become overwhelmed by creating a life-changing list of things to achieve while you’re home. Set reasonable goals each day and outline steps you can take to reach those goals. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small.
▪︎ Connect with others
Build support and strengthen relationships along with Self-care strategies during pandemic –
• Make connections. If you work remotely from home or you need to isolate yourself from others for a period of time due to COVID-19, avoid social isolation. Find time each day to make virtual connections by email, texts, phone or video chat. If you’re working remotely from home, ask your co-workers how they’re doing and share coping tips. Enjoy virtual socializing and talking to those in your home.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, be creative and safe when connecting with others in person, such as going for walks, chatting in the driveway and other outdoor activities, or wearing a mask for indoor activities.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can more safely return to many indoor and outdoor activities you may not have been able to do because of the pandemic, such as gathering with friends and family. However, if you are in an area with a high number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public or outdoors in crowded areas or in close contact with unvaccinated people. For unvaccinated people, outdoor activities that allow plenty of space between you and others pose a lower risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus than indoor activities do.
• Do something for others. Find purpose in helping the people around you. Helping others is an excellent way to help ourselves. For example, email, text or call to check on your friends, family members and neighbors — especially those who are older. If you know someone who can’t get out, ask if there’s something needed, such as groceries or a prescription picked up.
• Support a family member or friend. If a family member or friend needs to be quarantined at home or in the hospital due to COVID-19, come up with ways to stay in contact. This could be through electronic devices or the telephone or by sending a note to brighten the day.
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