The global pandemic has forced many to experience a disruption in their daily lives due to its capricious and unpredictable nature. This is why having a self-care routine when you’re stuck at home is very important right now., with Self-care tips.
“I make it a point to practice self-care. I make an appointment with myself.” —Manisha Singal, MD, internal medicine physician on the frontlines of the battle against Covid-1.
Self-care is not just about mani-pedis, facials, or bubble baths. It’s also about caring for and optimizing your physical, emotional, and mental health so you can feel your best. If you’re unsure how or where to start, these 14 self-care tips will help you establish a solid routine when you’re stuck at home.
WHY A SELF-CARE ROUTINE IS IMPORTANT
For most of my adult life, self-care was not a priority for me. Even when I became busy with work and family, I still hesitated to care for myself. It wasn’t until I was forced to deal with several health issues that I realized the importance of self-care. I even started a blog, called Third Bliss, to help me through my crisis.
Having a self-care routine is crucial during these uncertain and trying times because it can streamline your life, so it operates smoother, all while optimizing your health. You can even tailor it to fit your specific lifestyle to give you a feeling of balance and stability.
HOW TO CREATE A ROUTINE
Your self-care routine will be unique to you. While this sounds great, it can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re starting.
When I started my own self-care routine, I focused on just one thing, which was deep breathing. Then I added another habit until I mastered it, then another, until I finally reached a magic number I was satisfied with.
Here are some key things to keep in mind when you’re creating your own routine.
- Be patient and give it time.
For a routine to stick, you have to develop consistent habits. According to James Clear, the author of “Atomic Habits”, if you did the same thing each day, no matter how small it was, it can add to significant results in the long run.
- Keep it consistent.
Consistency is key with routines and usually begins with a habit. When starting a habit, it is typically easier to stick within the beginning because it’s new. Over time, your interest might wane, and so will the habit. I have to admit that I wasn’t always 100% consistent with my habits.
Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit”, says that consistent habits, even bad ones, couple cues with rewards. For example, you grab a cup of coffee and maybe even a doughnut (reward) at 3 pm every day because you need a little “pick me up” (cue).
For the sake of self-care, a better example would be listening to your favourite playlist or podcast (reward) every morning while you go for your walk (cue).
- Keep a log.
Keeping track of your habits and routine is a great way to check your progress over time. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use an app or a small notebook to record the date, time, activity, result, and how you felt. This can also help you make a note of what is working for you and what is not.
You might have to change something in your routine if it’s not working. If you decide to keep a log, you can go back and look at your notes to see what you need to tweak. This can be your mindset, environment, activity, people, etc. You’ll eventually arrive at a routine that works best for your schedule and needs.
TIPS TO BUILD A SELF-CARE ROUTINE AT HOME
Self-Care routine tips 1# MAKE A CONNECTION.
Social distancing and staying mostly at home can affect your overall well-being, so be sure to reach out to people you want to talk to regularly. Be choosy with the people you connect with. You want to stay in touch with people who are uplifting and can make you laugh and smile.
Self-Care routine tips 2# TALK THERAPY
The global pandemic has forced many to isolate themselves in their homes, which can cause stress and anxiety. It is normal to feel these things and more, so don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek a professional’s help.
Self-Care routine tips 3# GET SOME EXERCISE OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
Exercising is not only great for your body, but it can help improve your mood and self-esteem. Studies have shown that exercise can help reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood. Not only that, but it can also improve sleep, endurance, energy, and mental alertness. The recommended amount of exercise is at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes in total.
Self-Care routine tips 4# PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Gratitude can help open you up to more abundance and joy. One great way to start practising gratitude is by creating a gratitude journal. You don’t have to create a long list of things you’re grateful for. Writing down just one thing you are thankful for each day is sufficient if you do it consistently.
Self-Care routine tips 5# PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress. If you’re unsure where to start, try the mindful breathing exercise by focusing on the breath and redirecting it when it wanders. You can also try walking and eating meditation to help bring your attention into the present moment.
Self-Care routine tips 6# HAVE A GOOD BELLY LAUGH.
Laughter really is the best medicine, especially during challenging times. Norman Cousins used genuine belly laughs to help rid himself of different types of diseases. Although this is not a substitute for professional help, if you feel like you’re in a slump, give laughter therapy a try.
Self-Care routine tips 7# SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE.
Many of us have had to slow down and simplify our lives. Simplifying your life can help you focus on the things that are most important to you. I have just two rules to simplify your life: purge and organize. You can start by purging all the things that are cluttering up and adding stress to your life. This includes people, personal things, and limiting beliefs. You can then organize your space and your life to make room for the things that matter most.
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SELF-CARE TIPS WHEN YOU’RE WORKING FROM HOME
Self-Care routine tips 8# ESTABLISH YOUR OWN WORKSPACE.
Having a designated workspace at home can be tricky, especially if you live with other people and don’t have a lot of space. Suppose you can separate your workspace from your bedroom, great. If not, work in a section of your bedroom with plenty of light, which is most likely your window.
Self-Care routine tips 9# CREATE A HEALTH AND BEAUTY RITUAL.
Your beauty routine probably looks different now than it used to, especially if you have to work from home. Although this may be liberating, others may find that a health and beauty ritual still has its place, even in the home. If it makes you feel like a million bucks, go ahead and style your hair, put on your makeup, or wear that cute outfit that doesn’t include sweats.
Self-Care routine tips 10# GET ADEQUATE REST.
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and take frequent breaks throughout the day. Getting enough sleep will help you function at your best while you’re working. Taking frequent breaks, like stretching or walking around, will allow your body to refresh and your mind to reset.
Self-Care routine tips 11# BE SURE YOU GIVE YOURSELF A LUNCH HOUR.
Making lunchtime is important because skipping meals may make you hungrier later and increase your risk of grabbing unhealthy meals and snacks. Plan so you can schedule a lunch hour that is most convenient for you and prepare a healthy lineup of meals and snacks for the week.
Self-Care routine tips 12# EAT HEALTHY.
Eating the right foods is important to keep functioning at your best during work hours. If you’re a grazer like me, it’s helpful to have various fresh fruits and veggies. Keep a stock of healthy proteins, like nuts, seeds, and pasture-raised eggs to feed your mind and body. Choose whole grains and cut the processed foods. If you live with others, getting them involved in meal planning can keep the menu interesting and takes the pressure off of you.
Self-Care routine tips 13# STAY HYDRATED.
Getting enough fluids each day is important for so many reasons. Water helps flush toxins, keeps the body and cells regulated, and helps the immune system, to name just a few. The experts recommend about 2.6 L (or 11 cups) of fluids for women and 3.8 L (or 16 cups) of fluids for men to stay well hydrated.
Self-Care routine tips 14# STRUCTURE YOUR WORKDAY
When you’re working from home, it can be hard to separate your personal life from work because of the constant distractions and interruptions. Try to schedule your hours the way you would in a traditional workplace. By this, I mean, set a time to begin and end your workday and stick with it. Be sure to schedule your breaks in, too.
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A self-care routine can give you a sense of control and optimize your health during trying times. It may even provide stability and balance in your life right now while you’re stuck at home. You can start with just one habit a day, like getting professional help, exercising, and getting adequate rest. I hope these self-care tips will help you create your own self-care routine at home. Remember to have courage and faith in yourself during these challenging times.