In order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, health officials are asking us to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. This means that we will all be spending much more time in our homes for the foreseeable future. We will have to adjust to a new normal of our daily routines changing and not having the face-to-face social contact that we are used to, which helps us feel connected and positive. Due to this, it’s extremely important to prioritize our emotional and mental health. There are many ways you can show yourself some love and positivity while at home. These self-care practices not only help manage anxiety, but they can also support your health and give more structure to your days.
Treat yourself kindly
Being kind to yourself is one of the best self-care practices you can follow right now. You can’t exactly control what is going on in the world right now, but you can at least give yourself some self-compassion and acknowledge your feelings.
Even those who do not frequently struggle with anxiety are feeling more worried and anxious right now. If you are experiencing more anxiety than normal, practice self-compassion and do not be too hard on yourself.
Limit screen time and information intake
It is important to remain informed on what is going on in the world, however, watching and thinking about the news all day will only create unnecessary panic. Reduce stress and give your mind a break by taking some time throughout the day to give yourself space for positive thinking. Too much media exposure will leave you feeling overwhelmed – to avoid this, set a timer on your phone and when it goes off, go for a walk, spend time with a pet, play a game, or do a guided meditation.
Establish and stick to a daily routine
There is a lot going on right now, so it is imperative that you try to maintain your routine to the best of your ability. This will make your days feel more purposeful and structured. To give yourself a more balanced day, schedule your exercise, work, and food at a certain time. It is especially important to maintain your morning and bedtime routines.
Practice mediation and deep breathing to help reduce stress and anxiety
As the days go by, many people are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and when your mind is worrying, your immune system cannot function at its maximum potential. It’s important to keep in mind that panicking and stressing does not offer any protection against this virus.
Find a quiet place to take a few minutes to focus on your breathing to ground yourself – this will increase feelings of calm and relaxation. Throughout the day, pause to do some conscious breathing. Relax, be extremely still, and then silently count out ten slow deep breaths. During this time, focus all of your attention on the passage and feel of your in-breath and your out-breath.
Deep breathing unites us to our whole selves, provides necessary oxygen to our cells, and keeps us present. For an added boost to your respiratory system and mood, you can practice mindful breathing and aromatherapy with pure essential oils.
Just because you are social distancing does not mean you have to lay around on the couch all day. A great self-care practice to get your endorphins flowing and to boost energy is to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day.
To reduce anxiety levels, try aerobic exercises and resistance training. You can find a variety of free home workouts on YouTube. A great way to increase alertness when you wake up is to start with meditation or a morning stretch.
Make note of the positives in your life
It can be easy to look at what is going on in the world and view it all negatively, but what if you started focusing on the positives? Why not use this time to be thankful for all the good in your life?
This is a great chance to slow down, be present and thankful for moments that we often take for granted, such as taking a relaxing walk or spending more time with family or pets.