When things come out of nowhere, unexpectedly normally they knock us for 10. No one expected that we would go into full lock down #2 in less than 24 hours and not be able to travel to see our loved ones or friends. During this time people often think that taking time for themselves seems indulgent. But looking after your own wellbeing will help you get through this challenging time, and will help you to better care for others.
Physical distancing, good respiratory hygiene and hand washing are important examples of self-care actions you can take every day to protect against COVID-19, and there are many other areas in which self-care can make a difference to your health and well-being during the coronavirus disease pandemic, including for your sexual and reproductive health.
It’s okay to not be okay, we can all work through this together and there are options of help around you! And remember when you take time for yourself and give your body the food, rest, and activity it needs, you will actually have more energy to meet the demands of daily life – however unusual they might be. Bringing more balance to your daily routine will help you be more productive and more resilient to stressors.
Self-Care & Nutrition & During COVID-19
It’s quite easy to let yourself go during this time, not being able to hit the beach with the guys or gals – or not being able to go to the salon for your monthly Pedi on a Sunday with the girls. Sitting at home, pondering on your thoughts and wondering what to do next because all of the linen cupboards are clean will not help your mind frame if you’re sitting in a low place. It’s quite easy to start indulging in self sabotaging behaviours like over eating or drinking.
It’s pretty well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. While gyms are closed, we can look to use online channels and programs to help us get out daily exercise in from home. There are also many free home exercise routines available on Youtube that you could try out.
Good nutrition is always important, but during stressful times there’s nothing better than a tasty, healthy homemade meal – especially if you made it yourself. Exercise and nutrition will help you feel better and boost your mood, so if you are struggling with the lack of social a good steady diet will help you to think clearly when coming up with a solution to help yourself feel better and adapt to the new temporary circumstances.
Amidst the confusion and constant stream of information due to COVID-19, a self-care plan can help you focus, make decisions and stay healthy. Perhaps organising virtual catch ups with friends and calling regularly. Going for a walk to clear your head can help, as well as practicing mindfulness and meditation to help calm and soothe your inner thoughts.
Staying Connected During A Crisis
Contact a friend or loved one to see how they are going, just talking may help how you’re feeling. Even if an in-person meet-up is off the table, try to stay in touch with your mates via text, Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or a good old’ fashioned phone call. Ask them how they’re feeling and share your own experience if you feel safe to do so.
You can seek assistance from your family or friends if life’s starting to get a little hard, there is grounds for caregiving during COVID-19
If help is not available by your friends or family – you can contact charities, salvation army’s, saint Vincent de Pauls and local churches. (a Quick google search should find you some assistance in your area)
Drawing, painting or getting those things done you haven’t been able to do in a while!
Playing, cooking or baking with the kids
When we’re stressed about something (such as coronavirus), our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practise mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness.
- limit your social media and news updates, watching too much about the pandemic can be upsetting.
- Ask your friends how they are keeping busy and active, they may have some really good ideas.
Start a Netflix group, watch the same series as friends and chat online about it.
Have a virtual music party or share a playlist. Enjoy your favourite music.
Read a book, start an online book club
Ensure that you are getting the right amount of attention your body needs, to keep on going and come back with a big swing when all this Covid is over. By incorporating self-care activities into your regular routine, like going for a walk or socialising with friends over video chat, you give your body and mind time to rest, reset, and rejuvenate, so you can avoid or reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Contacting The Right Resources For Assistance
Sometimes situations can become overwhelming, even if you’ve been practising self-care. As most people will be spatially distancing (also known as social distancing) or self-isolating, a great way to access support is through telephone and online services. Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) can be accessed for phone and online counselling. Lifeline phone counsellors are on call from 7 pm to midnight, and Kids Helpline is available 24/7. Headspace also offers free online and telephone support and counselling. If it’s available to you, you could also see your GP or mental health professional for extra help or referral to a counsellor (but make sure to follow the advice of the health direct if you’re showing symptoms or are in self-isolation). You could also ask your mental health professional if they could chat over Skype/FaceTime if you’re in self-isolation.