I cannot believe we are about to kick off week #8. It is wild to think back on how different life is now from what it was like several weeks ago. Wow. It is also hard not to worry about the future and what our “new normal” will look like and all the “what ifs.” However, it is essential for your well-being to live in the present moment and try not to worry about the future.
Traditionally, self-care is not something you grasp when stress is high, or you are feeling overwhelmed. However, in this situation, you must find ways to take care of yourself…even if it is something you have not done routinely before.
The definition of self-care stresses that it is a daily, foundational practice of attending to our needs. This foundational work is required for physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Now more than ever, you must make time for self-care. Ideally, you already have some sort of self-care routine that keeps you feeling good, but if you don’t, don’t worry…you can start to plant the seeds now of a beautiful routine that will carry you into our new normal. Now is a great time to experiment and figure out what works for you.
For me, I like daily reminders and prompts. I am always working on self-care and attending to my needs. If not, it is easy to neglect my needs and put the needs of others before my own. I also do very well with a schedule. Even though things are crazy right now, you can still make a routine and schedule self-care time. There is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. You do what works for you and makes you feel good.
There is a really great resource that I recommend called Action for Happiness. They offer lots of great tools, but one you should check out is their monthly calendars. Their calendars always have a theme; May is “Meaningful May.” You can download the calendars right onto your smartphone calendar app for daily prompts/reminders or print the calendars to hang up in the home. In response to COVID-19, they also created a Coping Calendar for 30 days of skill-building. Every day gives you a quick prompt to promote well-being and happiness—a nice addition to an existing routine or a good starting point.
Additionally, I know right now I need to make a conscious effort to move my body. I cannot be tethered to my computer all day long and not move. Luckily, many wonderful instructors are offering virtual workout classes, which I love, but I like to plan, and many offerings change week to week in the virtual realm. One thing that was missing for me was stretching/yoga. So I hired my cousin, Allison Derrico, who is a certified Yoga instructor to lead a virtual gentle yoga class with my mom and me on Mondays during our lunch break. I also have a standing Wednesday evening adult tap class, so again, building a routine and blocking off the time weekly to make sure I am taking care of me is very helpful.
I have also been going on Facebook LIVE for “Talk-Back Tuesday at the Cabaret” and connecting with my “Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret” community. This gives me a way to engage with others while also taking care of myself in the process. Last week we talked about gratitude, breathing exercises, and I led my first guided meditation. Check out the video below. Be sure to join me next week on May 5th @ 12PM!
My Reiki master, Amber, has also been holding weekly lunchtime sessions to check-in with her clients. This is another aspect of my routine right now that I can rely on that helps me cope with what is going on. It is a nice bonus to our regular bi-weekly Reiki session which are occurring remotely at this time too. I look forward to my time with Amber, where she provides us with her insight and holds space for us to share our feelings and support each other. For more on Amber and Reiki, check out my previous blog post.
By building these regular events into my routine, I know that I am taking care of myself instead of leaving it up to chance. Of course, it ebbs and flows, and I certainly do more as part of my routine than outlined here, such as daily calls with my mom, bonus time with my husband, zoom calls with friends, eating healthy nutritious foods, and hydrating. These regularly scheduled weekly events are my anchors that I can rely on for my routine. For more information about building a self-care routine, please read my previous blog post.
What are some concrete parts of your self-care routine that you are relying on these days? Or what do you need help with to get started? Comment below and let me know.