I really don’t think I care to complain about being in lockdown. Honestly, I’ve never enjoyed myself more than I am right now. Yes, I am very aware of the pandemic and how it is affecting lives in a big way. But I am on the other spectrum, I’m happy and grateful. I get three meals a day, sleep in air-conditioning, watching everything I never had time to watch when I had to spend time out in the real world. And cooking up a storm in my kitchen and learning new things. So as you can see I have a lot to be thankful for. But there are days when I feel the weight of this pandemic and need a quick self-care routine to bounce right back into action.
In the grand scheme of things, we as humans care about lots of things, don’t you reckon? We care about family, friends, work, what we do with our time? We either leave taking care of ourselves for the very end or sometimes just don’t think self-care is important enough. I’m here to tell you that you are in fact very wrong and that self-care is essential to your growth.
It’s been a little over two months since we’ve gone into lockdown, so of course life as we knew it came to a standstill. The amount of time and energy we expelled to travel to get to work has reduced considerably. So even if you weren’t someone who went to the gym often to work up a sweat, you were still able to make up those steps to feel fit. The body is probably lazy. But you need to remind yourself to not let go during this time.
Try to take a quick stroll in your building foyer or if you have a terrace with access then go enjoy the view and the wind and take a walk. Or just do what my dad does, he walks all over the house every evening for at least half an hour all part of his self-care routine. Another fun thing to do would be to walk or run up and down the stairs. You can even practise yoga and build a routine that allows you to work out from home.
Limit your access to information. Yes, knowledge is power but you don’t need to burden yourself with everything that is happening. You really do not have to acknowledge every Whatsapp forward you’ve been getting. And, you are allowed to switch off, not answer calls and texts when you want to and this should be part of everyone’s self-care routine. Also, you’re allowed to be enraged by some insensitive content you see on the Internet. Just remember those people having different ways to cope with situations.
While you might feel the urge to give grief to someone showing off their bag collection on Instagram or TikTok, it is their way to release stress. Do not judge, it is not your place to. I follow one simple rule, if I don’t have anything nice to say then I just don’t say anything at all. Tune out all the garbage, the less you pay attention to these things the more peaceful you remain. Make sure to switch off from all your gadgets ten minutes before bedtime to get restful sleep.
In continuation, instead, pursue a hobby, find something that interests you. Like for me I’m obsessed with cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Every day I find a recipe I want to try out and work to perfect it. It has been such a fulfilling experience because it is something the whole family seems to enjoy. I also make sure to spend time pampering myself thanks to the luxury of time and I am not going to feel guilt for doing so. I’ve been watching a lot of new movies and shows too. You could pick up painting and get into cleaning and up-cycling your clothes too. Frankly, this is the happiest I’ve been. And being happy makes the self-care bar rise higher every day.
Make sure to spend quality time with the people you love and your support systems as part of your self-care process. You can’t physically spend time with anyone but you can video call almost everyone in any part of the world. I speak to my best friend in the states almost every day on Whatsapp and on video at least once a week. Last week, I caught up with my old office colleagues and played a fun game of Codenames with them. It really was such a fun and healthy way to end the day. I try to plan a little activity with friends every week to maintain the strength of the connection as well.
This is a tricky one, you need to do the emotional work to then venture into the spiritual world. I always find articles to read when I’m curious about something specific. When it came to spirituality, it found me instead of the other way around. I felt this urgent need to slow down and find some stability. I was craving peace of mind and that’s when I asked a few of my friends who were more spiritually adept on what they were doing. They told me I could chant or just meditate and focus on my breath.
I somehow turned to affirmations, I started by writing about all the things that made me unhappy about my life. I was deeply honest about my insecurities and I wrote about how I could tackle them. The affirmations came from there. I would stare into my eyes in the mirror and say it with belief until I truly stopped feeling the anxiety and fears that would crop up from before. I did meditate, I’d sit by the window and just breathe. I would let my thoughts come and go and I challenged myself to change every negative thought into a positive one.
Ok, being on lockdown can also be incredibly stressful for the emotional human self. Why? Because the way we lived before allowed us room to not acknowledge or fears and emotions. We were able to suppress it and fill our time with work and other out of office activities that facilitate escapism. It is a lot harder when you have nothing else to do and must also be spending a lot of your day being idle. Honour how you feel, you are not small for feeling things, you are not small because someone else’s problems may be bigger.
This is the time to hug the inner child in you, deal with past traumas and heal what you haven’t yet healed within yourself. Then decide who you want to be and where you are headed because even If life resumes it will not go back to the way it was. You will need to adapt to a new world. Don’t force or hasten this process and remember you will always end up exactly where you are meant to be. I still do this
What are the steps you follow to enhance your self-care? Let me know in the comments below.
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