This is part 1 of a 2-part series on this topic.
Beneficial habits like self-care often go by the wayside during stressful times. And many people have been finding the past few months stressful with e.g. working from home, maybe being temporarily stood down from their job, or having to change their exercise and social routines.
It can be more difficult to focus on what you need to do during these times. The fact is, though, that you still need to take care of yourself.
One way to have a self-care toolkit to help you out during these instances. Having a list of self-care routines can make it easier for you to implement them when needed. There are some other techniques you can employ to get you through these interesting times, too – see below.
Lots of people get the wrong idea about self-care. They feel like it’s splurging to do something good for yourself. It can seem extravagant. I’d like to disagree with that mindset. Self-care is something you deserve. Everyone does. It benefits us all, along with those around us, when we put our own well-being at the forefront. You can’t take care of others – at home or at work – when your own well-being is being neglected. Let’s take a look at some free and low-cost ways you can care for yourself.
Make a List
Let’s start with your self-care backup plan. This is a list of at least five activities you can easily fit in your life during the most stressful periods. Having such a reminder on hand will let you gain the benefits of caring for yourself without having to think about it too much.
This list can include simple reminders like:
- go to bed early so you get enough sleep,
- eat nourishing food to keep your energy up or
- ask for help you need it
These are all things you might forget when you’ve got a lot of responsibility and change on your plate. During these times, the basic foundations of self-care can be the most important. I wrote about some of these in an earlier blogpost.
Make a Care Package
Another way to boost your chances of keeping self-care at the focus during hard times is to prepare a care package ahead of time. This can include some of your favorite little indulgences like a good book, herbal teas, facial mask, fuzzy slippers and classical CD. Include anything that brings you joy. Being able to reach for this package when you’re stressed can mean the world and make a huge difference to your outlook.
Involve Your Support Network
It’s a good idea to reach out to trusted friends and family now to enlist their help for the future.
Talk to your closest confidantes and let them know you would like them to always encourage your self-care routine. Share with them the benefits it’s provided you and tell them you’d appreciate their assistance if they see you aren’t caring for yourself as well as you should be. They may even copy a few tips that you can give them! Sometimes those who know us best can see things we don’t. When your friends and family know to look out for you in this regard, they can reinforce your self-care needs during times of stress.
Reach Out to Someone
Socialising is a crucial part of self-care. Even introverts benefit from interpersonal connection. Humans aren’t meant to be isolated. Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Sit down and Zoom or Skype with your favourite friend. Meeting up in person for a walk together or a cup of coffee is even better. Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing. It’s easier to do this now that COVID-19 restrictions on socialising have eased in many locations.
Change Your Perspective
A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling fed up in your home. You’ll be surprised what this change of perspective can do for you.
While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jumpstart you need to begin exploring this concept. You truly do deserve to spend time, energy and effort on your own well-being.
Taking steps to plan now can make maintaining your self-care routine easier in the future. Always remember it’s during the hardest times that you need to nurture yourself the most.
Next week, I’ll be focussing on reinforcing that you deserve self-care. See you then!
- Barth, F.D. (2019). Self-Care Is Important: Why Is It So Hard to Practice? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/the-couch/201905/self-care-is-important-why-is-it-so-hard-practice
- Nazish, N. (2017). Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits To Get You Started. Forbes.com. https://www.forbes.com/sites/payout/2017/09/19/practicing-self-care-is-important-10-easy-habits-to-get-you-started/#5526a6b9283a
© 2020 Lisa Billingham
Sunset Coast Hypnotherapy
Perth, Western Australia