Before the pandemic many were talking about our hectic, frenetic, fast-paced and overly stressful lifestyle. Enter COVID-19 and suddenly our stress levels have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels as we are forced to respond and adapt to the current reality.
Life as we know it has changed and things like social distancing, isolation, fear and uncertainty have become the order of the day. However, there is much we can do to keep physically and emotionally healthy and cope effectively during these difficult times.
When we are immersed in a threatening reality, practising self-care is critical and it may help us survive and even thrive. The following are some easy self-care tips we can practise that will boost our sense of well-being.
The Physical Dimension
- Stay on a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables and resist the temptation to snack on sweets and processed food as a quick mood fix. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Get your seven hours of sleep. Sleep stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to calm our internal stress response.
- Exercise daily to help you stay strong and healthy and release those positive endorphins. Practise some daily form of guided deep relaxation.
The Cognitive Dimension
- Try to keep your anxiety and worry in check by limiting your daily dose of COVID-related information. Be selective and get your information from reliable sources.
- Keep your mind occupied by learning something new. This could be an opportunity to learn a new skill or to start working on a qualification you always wanted.
- As much as possible, try to focus on things you can be grateful for.
The Emotional Dimension
- Maintain regular connections with friends, colleagues and family, and find practical ways of helping others by reaching out to those in need.
- Start to learn or practise meditation. There are various forms of meditation and you will need to find a style that works for you.
- If you feel depressed, worried or anxious, reach out for professional help. These are normal emotional states in the current circumstances and can be managed.
The Spiritual Dimension
- Practise your spirituality. Spirituality takes various forms and does need to be religious. It is an important source of emotional and psychological strength.
- Use this period as an opportunity to revisit your values and your lifestyle. Reflect and take stock of your life, your priorities and your direction.
- Try to regard this challenge as an opportunity for a deep learning experience. Times of crisis can often serve as wake-up calls for profound transformation.
Every crisis is an opportunity for growth, and this is no exception. While organisations have the responsibility to safeguard our well-being in the best way possible, there is much that we too can do to make sure that we weather the storm and emerge as wiser and better people.
As humans we can adapt to the changing reality of our environment. By supporting each other we can increase sense of safety and security and face the challenge together. This is a time for maximum collaboration and teamwork to overcome this serious challenge.