As reported in the CCA Blog, COVID-19 is reminding everyone what self-care means. When we can’t rely on turning outwards to seek joy and comfort and good health, we must turn inwards and help heal ourselves from the trauma of this global crisis. CCA’s blog, which has written tips for mental health healing, notes that our community has experienced and endured health hardship before, and is “uniquely prepared for this time in our nation’s history, battling the COVID-19 pandemic.” Of course COVID-19 is causing a whole host of problems unrelated to health- an economic crisis, homeschooling, and social isolation. But handling all of these can be aided by a calm self with the mind and body. Being comfortable in it allows you to work through the other big questions right now. How can you work on putting that space at ease?
Care For Your Mind
Right now, you’re probably being bombarded by media reporting on many hard turns the world has just taken, or maybe you’re just stuck at home with your thoughts. CAA ‘s blog recognizes it may be impossible to clear the mind, but there are ways to calm it. Maintaining clarity in your mind can be pertinent to maintaining your everyday duties and hobbies, the deficit of which could cause more mental distress.
This can be done through journaling, which could take just 10 minutes. Writing things down allows you to recognize what’s filling your mind and work through it. It can be done with meditation and mindfulness, which you can be guided through with YouTube videos or apps like Headspace or Calm with options to do just three, five or ten minute guided meditations. It can also be done with to-do lists to map out your time. You can track your schedule to measure your habits and keep you on track doing what you want to do, rather than mindlessly scrolling through social media.
You can set limits on media and social media, which can add negative thoughts and clutter. I’ve started a habit of not allowing myself to open social media apps until 11AM and it’s made me realize I don’t even want to afterwards. You can make sure to keep a consistent sleep schedule so you’re not suffering due to exhaustion. Starting and ending the day with these can be a really good way to ease into the day and then into sleep. Beginnings are important, they set the stage for the day. Focusing on your mind allows you to be aware of what is bothering you. You become an observer of the processes and it allows you to become more in control of the flow that is taking up space inside of you.
Get Your Heart Pumping
We all know exercise is good for us but we and can still be resistant to the idea of getting all tired and sweaty and uncomfortable, and that can be the moment to hit the red X, thanks but no thanks. All of us can move our bodies in comfortable ways though, and I promise your brain and body will thank you! You don’t have to dive back into the horrors of high school gym class and do sprints in baggy basketball shorts.
You can devote time to dancing around in your bathroom, stretching, a long walk, five minutes of running, or YouTube yoga. Without your daily walks to work or a spin class, your body may feel the sedentary nature of the new routine. I am chronically resistant to planned exercise, but I made sure I would walk to far coffee shops and roller-blade to get moving. Without that in my schedule, I have for the first time adopted a habit I once dreaded- running. I don’t run the whole time, but getting my heart pumping feels good, I come home with a burst of energy, and feel good for finally facing a fear. Set a goal to do something just once and notice how you feel after. Habits come day by day.
Massage, Skin-Care, and Hugging Yourself
There’s other general self-care to look after your body that doesn’t necessitate moving. You can take care of your skin, putting on lotions or dry brushing, and applying oils. You can do this to your loved ones your sharing quarantine with too. CCA’s blog attached a video that explains how these skin care methods can help reduce stress by focusing on the body. You can also do a self massage or massage each other. Finally, a good ole hug would be nice right now, but you don’t need to touch anyone else to do it. Hug yourself! It’s hard to go so much time without much physical touch, because it’s cleansing and connects us. It has been shown in studies to reduce pain and connect with yourself.
Finally, they suggest a method called ‘hookup’ used for people with Attention Deficit and Hyper Activity Disorder. CCA explains that to do a hook up, you should “Sit, stand, or lay down. Cross your legs. Stick your arms straight out, then cross your wrists one over the other, and face your palms together. Then interlace fingers and swoop your arms down and into your body, hinging at the elbows. Your hands will land just below your chin. Now breathe deeply, from the abdomen, in through the nose, and out through the mouth.” Keeping a positive and loving mindset while you do this gives you a moment to become present with positivity as you self connect.
To read about these tips, visit CCA Kids blog, which has more stories like this one.