4 Ways to Care for Yourself During COVID-19

After a very long 2020 and early 2021, the start of the global pandemic feels too far away to remember. So do the little “luxuries” we granted ourselves — like time alone; an afternoon spent wandering through the mall with friends; or sitting belly up at a bar for a cocktail, with a good book in hand. It’s isolating and hard. It's also normal to feel lost about who we were versus who we’re now supposed to be.

And while you’ll find no shortage of articles about the impact of COVID-19 on children, education and the economy, something is all-but-missing from the equation: us, as individuals. Whether it’s because people are too stressed and time-crunched to discuss their challenges or feel ashamed that they’re not “living up to” their best selves, it’s rare to see anyone talking publicly about their struggles 11 months in.

Surely no one article can change that. However, we do know this: homes are our sanctuaries and our safe havens. Now, they’ve become so much more than that, in many cases to our distress. That’s why it’s not just okay to cut yourself slack — it’s necessary.

In that spirit, we wanted to offer some ideas that might help bring comfort and a dose of self-care during these trying times.

 

Get Lost in Nature

Cliche as it may seem, getting outdoors and having the sun shine on your shoulders can — if only temporarily — right some of today’s wrongs. These new realities have meant long work hours, serving as educators to our kids, and endless mounds of meal-making and housework that simply do not pause.

Enter headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Heading outdoors for a walk forces you to take a step away. It’s also a chance to recalibrate and refocus. There are so many things around us to wonder at, whether it’s squirrels trying to locate hidden nuts beneath a blanket of winter snow, the sounds of rustling prairie grass or an eyeful of crashing waves. 

When you set your sights on something other than your own four walls, it takes you out of your own day-to-day and reminds you there’s a world in motion around you. That’s the theory behind the Norwegian way of friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv), which roughly translates to “outdoor living,” whatever the weather. Or shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), a practice that encircles you with sounds of the forest, the scent of the earth, dappled sunlight and pristine air to lend comfort and peace. 

 

Find Ways to Help Others

Just like observing nature takes us out of our own experiences, bringing joy and light to members of your community or the world at large does the same. It reminds us we’re not the only ones facing challenges and it refocuses our energy toward improving others’ well-being. In the process, we improve our own. 

Whether it’s donating blood, creating cards with your kids to send to a local retirement home or preparing a homemade casserole for an elderly neighbor, doing good things for others simply makes you feel good. It also helps you appreciate all that you have and all you can offer.

Not sure where to start? How about here and here.

 

Consume (Positive) Media

Getting lost in a well-told story can transport you to another time and place. If you favor balmy beach reads, delve in. Enjoy a good crime drama or thriller? Have at it. It may not solve your woes but it certainly can help you forget frustrations and help recharge your batteries. 

Been awhile since you’ve picked up a good read? Get hip to the latest books by joining Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

Of course, there's a flip side. While we’ve long known the negative effects of technology (and are seeing it come into focus in many ways), remember also that it helps us stay connected to friends and family; has the power to expand our horizons; and offers endless opportunities to learn and try new things. Add that to the fact that all news isn’t bad news. The perfect case in point can be found right here.

 

Treat Yourself in Unexpected Ways

No doubt many of us have turned to online retail therapy as a way of self-soothing. But does it work? According to a 2011 study that looked at 407 adults in three different experiments, it actually might. Mind you, we’re not talking about going overboard. We’re merely suggesting that a treat here and there helps you feel less “deprived” — especially when it falls under the category of self-care.

Consider making a restorative bath concoction or aromatherapy experience for your shower from scratch. Maybe score some exotic ingredients and prepare a far-flung meal. You might even transform your home into a welcome vacay. 

While we realize none of this is a catch-all panacea, we do hope it’s a springboard to help you keep on keeping on. Being in the business of relocations and home services, we know the importance of feeling at home. To help you along that journey, our blog brims with decorative and well-being ideas, in addition to indispensable lifestyle (and moving) tips.

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