5 Self-Care Activities | COVID-19

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Self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health”. So, how do we do this during times of crisis? The current climate with the COVID-19 pandemic has many people feeling isolated, scared, anxious, depressed, bored, lonely, stressed and etcetera. It is normal if you are experiencing any of these feelings or more related to COVID-19.

Although this time of isolation or quarantine will be temporary, self-care is a tool you can implement and use to increase and support your own health and well-being throughout your lifetime. This blog post will provide you with 5 tips and activities you can do to increase the care of yourself.

  1. Self-Care Tip #1: Take care of your body
    First, let’s talk about why it is important for us to take care of ourselves. Cortisol is the stress hormone and its levels can rise when we experience feelings of anxiousness or stress. When our cortisol levels have increased, research has shown that it can compromise our immune system. By partaking in activities that will reduce our stress we will ultimately increase our immune system, making us healthy mentally and physically.

    So how do we accomplish this? Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, stay active by exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Try to stay consistent with bedtimes, meals, and exercise. You may also want to add in meditation if you are finding it challenging to slow down your thoughts. This could be a good thing to do before bedtime to allow your body to relax and prepare for sleep.

Here are some apps to help you take care of your body:

Meditation/Sleep #1
Meditation/Sleep #2
Exercise #1
Exercise #2
Nutrition #1
Nutrition #2

2. Self-Care Tip #2: Connect with others
As human beings we were made to connect with others. Try to stay in touch with your friends, family and chosen family during this time. Even if an in-person meet up is off the table, you can use zoom, FaceTime, messenger, WhatsApp, call or text. Make a list and reach out to the one’s you love, because they are probably needing the support and connection just as much as you.

3. Self-Care Tip #3: Stay informed while avoiding too much exposure to news
Yes, it is important to stay informed. It is also important to check your sources as there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. However, it is also important to take breaks from the news. It can be upsetting, and overwhelming being exposed to a crisis on every single level of your life.

Try to make specific time to stay updated AND specific time avoiding exposure to the news. If you find yourself feeling low, upset or overwhelmed while receiving your news information, maybe you only listen to the news when you are on a walk or exercising. Try to incorporate activities that will make you feel good to offset the negative feelings.

4. Self-Care Tip #4: Try new things
I encourage you all to explore and find curiosity in trying new things during this time. Pick up a hobby, try cooking a new recipe, learn how to roller blade, or maybe do that home project you have been putting off. We live in a culture of hustle that has been put on hold. What better time than now to prioritize you. By trying new things, we are feeding our minds and bodies in a way we typically can’t engage in on a day to day basis. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything. So, go explore, create and invest in you.

5. Self-Care Tip #5: Seek help when needed
Lastly, if distress is impacting your ability to engage and complete your daily activities, seek help. As a country, we are all experiencing this together. You do not need to feel alone in your distress.

Help Resources:

  • UHC/Optum (866-342-6892) is offering free emotional support to anyone who needs it right now with the stress and anxiety surrounding our pandemic. It is available 24/7.
  • SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

24/7 Mobile Crisis Lines:

  • Dakota County: 952-891-7171
  • Washington County: 651-891-7171
  • Ramsey County: Adult- 651-266-7900; Child-651-266-7878
  • Hennepin County: Adult- 612-596-1223; Child- 612-348-2233

Article written by:
Sarah Sandvik, LSW MSW Clinical Intern

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