As a therapist, I know and teach skills about coping and self-care…

…so I am well aware of their importance. But even my routines went astray when this pandemic hit and flipped everything around. I was just as affected by some of the bad habits in the beginning as everyone else…

self-care during the pandemicI laid around in my PJs for 6 days straight – I did shower though! I’m not going to lie, I loved it, but I’m over it now. I want to wear real clothes again.

I watched all the things on Netflix. My husband and I watched all 11 seasons of Shameless in about 3 weeks. Impressive, right?

I ate pasta for the entire first month of lockdown – it was gluten free pasta but it was still a ton of carbs. I gradually got back on track, but a few things are still out the window. I’m still fighting my battle of not ordering extra rice with my Pad Thai takeout!

It’s normal during this time to resist and think you can’t handle the stress of all these unknowns.

But actually, you are handling this and it is really good time to create new routines. Focusing on what you can control can help you feel more grounded… here are some ideas!

What does the best version of yourself do in the morning? Perhaps it’s time to start Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube for 30 minutes each day. It’s free and yoga is so good for your body and your mind. If you’re up early enough to beat the heat, you could even take a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Exercise is a great way to begin each morning (or end the evening).

Being in a space that is decluttered can help you focus and breathe a little easier. It literally lifts yours spirits when you have a Zen space to live in. Watch Marie Kondo on Netflix to inspire yourself to clean up your space. Tackle your closets, bookshelves, and cupboards. Buy those organizational containers online that you’ve been admiring for years to help you out!

Have you considered learning something new? There are tons of online classes that are free or low-cost that teach a variety of skills. You could learn how to up your game with some social media marketing for your business, study a new language in preparation for that bucket list vacation, take creative writing or water-color painting. The world wide web is your oyster!

Now that you are working from home, how often have you taken a full day or entire weekend off? It’s important to give yourself permission to do this. With your laptop conveniently nearby and the notifications continually popping up on your phone, it’s too easy to end up working 24/7. It is OK to set aside some real days off – and it is necessary so you don’t burn out.

In regards to diet, it’s easier now with many of our favorite restaurants closed, to establish a new, healthier way of eating. Start off simply by adding more color to your plate – white and brown are good, but yellow and green are great. You can also try making popsicles with fruit and a natural sweetener, or bake something low-carb like blueberry muffins. Listen to music while you cook! Enjoying the food you prepare with love does indeed bring you happiness.

How about giving some additional lovin’ to your pet? If you have a fur baby or four, you might have noticed that they are really happy to have you around the house more. Taking a few minutes away from your computer-time to address them directly and focus solely on them is actually beneficial for YOU. We all need connection and these moments with our pets are all precious and heart-warming. If you don’t have a pet, now is a great time to get one so long as you are willing to make that life-long commitment to a loyal new family-member.

Perhaps, instead of just reading all the negative news in social media and having it drain all of your energy, you can use social as way to do something extra positive. Challenge yourself to spend at least 10 minutes every day giving kind and/or helpful comments to others. This can brighten your mood (and theirs) and it helps to energize you for the day.

For all you pumpkin spice lovers, why not celebrate your love all year long. Bath and Body Works sells those candles all year long, and I support you burning them all the time! Whatever your favorite scent, candles are truly soothing to the soul. Try lighting a few candles and having a bubble bath, or open your preferred meditation app (such as Calm) and focus on the glorious scent that surrounds you while you fully relax.

These are a few of my favorite ideas for self-love during this crazy time and into the future – whatever that may hold. I’ll leave you with this… every thing in moderation is good. Even too much water can kill ya! So be gentle with yourself, laugh as often as possible, and just take it 10 minutes at a time. We’re not supposed to have mastered this – it’s a life long journey whether we’re in a pandemic or not.

Sending you light and love,
Claire

~ You are worthy. You are capable. You are enough! ~