Human civilization is going through a difficult time. And let’s be honest – it’s not easy to cope with a change of this magnitude. This global emergency resulting due to the COVID 19 outbreak has impacted every aspect of our lives – physical, social, economic, psychological and emotional. It has drastically changed the regular lives of people that were fairly independent and less restricted. Additionally, we are surrounded by negative news of death and illness almost all waking day. These restrictions of the daily routines along with the anxiety related to death and illness has the potential of having a significant impact on our mental health and it’s safe to say the effects are already visible. Here, we present 9 healthy ways to practice self care during this Covid 19 pandemic.
One does not really prepare for situations like this . Frankly, who would have thought that it will be a lifesaving precaution and a heroic act to stay at home, but here we are. Life does take topsy-turvy turns that are never expected. Since we are in going through this collective experience let’s look at why suddenly do we need to be aware of our mental health and practice self care all the more.
Human beings,, have both physical as well as mental/psychological system to cope with difficult and stressful situations.
Yes, our body fights unwelcome guests such as viruses (read as enemies) but it also has a sophisticated coping mechanism that is intricately linked to the thought, feeling and behavior triad .
As much we would like our physical immunity to be on our side and hold the fort of our bodies, it will be a good idea to look into the psychological coping system as well.
Let’s look at some of the healthy ways to take care of our mental health and practice self care in the midst of this Covid 19 outbreak. These are all based in self-kindness and empowerment. We are already struggling and the last thing we want to do is give ourselves and others a hard time.
1. Music as Medicine
One of the best ways of self-care during this Covid 19 pandemic is simply listening to Soothing music and blocking all other distractions. Being present with just one sensory modality with full attention can be a very relaxing experience. A lot of us like to multitask. (Because honestly, who has the time to do one thing at a time), but the experience of focusing one activity at a time is a good way to calm your mood therefore go ahead and listen to some soothing sounds and music available in a quiet corner.
2. Namaste to life
Ancient sciences have a lot of interesting activities to offer that are good for the body and the mind. For example – Yoga, Tai-chi, and Pranayama to name a few. I am personally a big fan of all of them because they are excellent ways to be present and mindful with the body as well as in slowing the supersonic speed of thoughts. There are plenty of options available online that are for people of all levels of expertise and inclination.
3. Dancing it out
The phrase ‘shake it off’ has both a literal and figurative meaning to it. A good 30 minutes or an hour of a fun dancing session when you dance like no one’s watching to your favourite tunes can do you better than you can imagine. Dancing releases a rush of endorphins to the bloodstream making your feel elated while exercising most of your muscle groups.
It’s a fun way to start your day on a positive note or end it feeling great. I cannot even begin to explain the psychological benefits of dancing. People experiencing various kinds of mental health symptoms benefit from dancing. It relieves symptoms of stress, and anxiety and emotional fatigue just to name a few.
P .S :My personal favourite dance routine is the five rhythms dance.
Make sure you warm up beforehand, we don’t want to cramp our muscles.
4. Laugh out loud
Undeniably, majority of us are are spending our ‘stay at home’ times just sitting on our couches binging our favourite shows and films. But, for the sake of our personal mental health and self care during this Covid 19 pandemic, one can focus more on watching content that is relaxing, funny or uplifting There are tons of things to watch in comedy genre out there that will make you laugh hard. Laughter boosts our immunity and honestly a strong immunity is the need of the hour. It’s interesting to me that movies based on pandemics and global apocalypse- basically the ones based on the ultimate doom of human race are becoming quite a rage these days.
However , they may lead to increased fear and anxiousness and to be fair, none of us want to add to our pre-existing fears.
5. Writing a Journal
During unpredictable times like these, a lot of us may have overwhelming emotions and feelings, that may be difficult to express. However, one can resort to journaling down their feeling and experiences in a journal. Psychologically speaking, writing a thought journal or simply diary writing is a tried and tested method of self care. It is surely a cathartic process and it also gives us a chance to really reflect on our experiences and emotions and express them in the most unapologetic way. And of course, a diary will never ever judge you.
6. Talk – o- talk
Speaking of expressing emotions, we may have a little circle of people that we truly confide in and feel comfortable in sharing our innermost feelings. It can be members of the family or our friend circle that we find close and intimate . A selective group that is more often non-judgmental, empathetic and caring. They relate to us and what we’re going through.
This change that we are facing at the moment is global. Therefore, each one of us going through similar emotions and experiences in different ways. This increases our capacity and that of our loved ones to empathize with each other and listen and understand.
Connecting with our dear ones at this time while taking care of their convenience and safety is a great way to deal with acceptance of these situations. There are plenty of apps that help us stay connected from the comfort of our homes.
7. The hobby club
Let me remind you that time flies when you’re having fun and HOBBIES ARE FUN. Hobbies are essential in helping us grow and learn. They are not only heart-warming and uplifting but they also help in keeping us occupied and encourage our creativity. Hobbies such as reading, baking, painting, playing an instrument or dancing are all easily doable at our home. They are are a great way to fill our times with optimism and joy.
8. Reach out
Some situations and experiences can be discussed with the family and friends. However, sometimes we may feel like we’re not heard and our emotions are too overwhelming. We may find it difficult to clearly express it to our dear ones. To manage such situations, there are various helplines across the country with professionals with various expertise available to assist people. The opportunity to share and speak about one’s feelings is very therapeutic in itself.
9. Road to routine
Just a rough idea of the activities one is going to do in a day can be a huge relief. Especially when we are at home all day, for days and days, it can be confusing and frustrating to continue in a vague manner. The routine doesn’t have to be 100 % accurate. Even a rough outline or a little checklist of tasks you want to complete as this will give your day a structure. For example, the first half of day is centered towards self-care followed by work and then the evening is family time. This allows us to have sense of control which is crucial at this time.
I hope we are able to lead our days safely and joyfully.
We, at Starlit, provide psychology related services to children with various special needs. To know more about our services, visit www.starlitservises.com