Most of us have some desperately needed free time now. How are you using yours?
Are you spending it worrying a lot about the pandemic and using unhealthy coping strategies as a way to manage your anxiety and fear? That’s ok if you are.
Tomorrow is a new day and you can change your mindset around getting through this time. You have what it takes, if you don’t, these are skills you can learn. You don’t have to turn to food or alcohol, netflix or endless social media and scrolling news articles incessantly. You can decide to take charge of your emotions and use this as a time where you come out on top, stronger than ever and ready to take on the rest of 2020.
It looks like this is going to last a little while yet. This may finally be your chance to focus on SELF CARE, putting yourself first for possibly the first time ever. You can come out of this as someone who had the time to work on personal growth through this. Take a course, read a book, re-connect with old friends.
As therapists, we see people every day who don’t do self-care, who run themselves into the ground mentally and physically. People who help everyone but themselves. Self-care isn’t selfish. It helps us help others.
Good self-care acts as a way to help us cope with stress. This pandemic is a reminder to take care of ourselves now because we never know when we're going to need to rely on our mental health to get us through the next thing that comes at us. I was a little stressed going into this, so this is a lesson learned. Unfortunately, life still happens, and you will need to get through that…in one piece.
The reality is that other people cannot take care of you, you need to take initiative, realize you are worth it and intentionally do things that “fill your cup”. You're the only person living in your body, doing your life. Make it count.
Some of my favorite self-care activities include, planning my week, exercise, yoga, going to bed early, using humor, gratitude, journaling, meal prepping, speaking kindly to myself and planning fun in my life.
The girl in this picture hiked the Fundy Footpath, something my non athletic self NEVER thought would be possible.
If you make yourself a priority and commit to your self care you can surprise yourself at what you're capable of. You are worth it!