Self-care is about preserving your physical, emotional, and mental health, which is essential, especially in challenging times like during COVID-19. When we engage in daily self-care, our brain recharges and responds positively.
"We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list," Michelle Obama told Vogue in 2016.
Summer is in full swing, and COVID-19 is still part of our life. We have adjusted to some degree, but we are still dealing with the uncertainty of COVID-19 in the future.
This period of our lives is impacting us all differently. For some, it means time away from work and family, while for others, its juggling children and work, or even adjusting to the new slower pace as many clients are taking time off. Whatever it means for you, your routine of taking a mental recharge (aka focusing on your self-care) should stay the same, and if you don't have that in your routine, you need to!
Don't worry, I'll help you start one!
Develop a Healthy Lifestyle That Includes Self-Care
Due to stressful situations like COVID-19, we need to practise self-care more than ever. It's not a selfish act. When we make time for ourselves like taking a lunch hour, having a cup of tea with a friend, or going on a long walk, we give ourselves permission to refresh and re-energize. These necessary acts reduce stress in our lives. When we make self-care a part of our daily routine and schedule, it benefits us and everyone around us.
Recharge Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally
Taking a mental recharge doesn't have to mean taking a hiatus.
Gardening, yoga, massages, bicycle rides, and any other type of physical activity releases such chemicals as serotonin and endorphins in our brains. They not only assist us in being alert and happy, but they also engage and reinforce parts of the brain that help us reason, plan, organize, and make decisions.
Participating in physical activity supports the flow of natural systems and our body and mind recharge, which leads to improved self-management, a critical emotional intelligence personal competency.
The list of what you can do for a mental recharge is endless.
Wherever you are; however, your schedule is interrupted, you can adapt and still give your mind and body what it needs. Consider taking a mental break at work daily; meditate for 10 minutes or go for a walk in an area outside of your regular path. Creating a practice similar to this, planning and implementing a routine that works with your schedule and lifestyle will be very beneficial.
If you're travelling with your family and are off your routine, go for a long walk, play with your children in an activity you usually wouldn't have time for or choose a day trip that provides some physical activity. Recognize that changing things up is also a mental recharge, not an escape, but a deliberate action on your part. Taking good care of ourselves makes us a better caregiver to others.
If you're not going away, then plan to add in something you haven't done before. Start by waking up 15 minutes before you plan to start your day, slowly take five deep breaths and calmly visualize your day. This practice is excellent and one that has helped me manage during COVID-19.
Keep in mind when we take good care of ourselves, it benefits everyone. Remember, we believe the story that we tell ourselves each day! Marshall Connects offers Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Coaching to enhance skill development in all areas, including self-management techniques like self-care.
This article was originally published on August 1, 2017, and has been updated (August 2020).
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