Now more than ever, self-care has become a prevalent need in our communities.
Since the pandemic started, anxieties have been high for a lot of people, including folks who already suffered from anxiety, and those who may be experiencing it for the first time.
Prior to the pandemic, many viewed self-care as something we earned, and not something that we need. How many times have we worked ourselves to exhaustion in the name of productivity? We live in a society that tells us if we are not stressed, then we are not adequately working. And now, working has become impossible for some, and dangerous for the rest. It is imperative that we learn to properly care for ourselves, so here are four tips for self-care in the middle of chaos.
1. Relaxing your body
We hold stress in a number of places in our bodies. Identifying those places can make a world of difference. If you hold stress in your shoulders, spend 5 minutes each day stretching them. This can look like rolling your shoulders back at your desk, or doing yoga stretches that focus on the shoulders. Substitute a bath over a shower once a week. Consider putting things in your bath water, like Epsom salt to relax your muscles, essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus to calm your mind.
2. Reading a book
This is a great way to detach from what is happening around you, if only for a few moments. In addition to living during a pandemic, people are still experiencing everyday life stressors, like work and family related problems. Reading not only relaxes your mind, but gives you a break! I highly recommend fiction right now.
3. Pick up a new hobby
Now is a great time to start that project you’ve been putting off for years. During the pandemic, I picked up painting, crocheting, and podcasting (3ALove). These have been excellent resources to help me destress, and give my mind time to rest from the events happening around me. This hobby does not have to be monetized. There is a ton of societal pressure to capitalize on everything we do. Find something you like, and do it for the sake of doing it.
4. Rearrange your space
Have the vibes been off lately? Rearranging your space can be the kick start that you’ve been looking for. Consider moving the couch to the other side of the room, instead of where it’s been for the past 3 years.
Also, consider smudging. Smudging can clear out any negative energy that may be weighing you down. If you are non-indigenous, consider writing what you want to release on a bay leave, and burning it, burning juniper, or sprinkling lavender on the floor.
These tips are a starting point, but can help generate ideas if you’re feeling stuck.
The important thing to keep in mind is being intentional about our self-care, and treating it like a priority. Take time for yourself and be unapologetic about it.