We’re almost one full year into this pandemic, and so many people I know are hitting a wall.
In the last week alone, I’ve gotten phone calls from three different friends who needed to be talked off the ledge. It’s also coming up in all of my client sessions. The pressure of work, childcare, family, and trying to keep a semblance of a social life have all come to a head.
In the beginning, we could take care of ourselves with a bath, puzzles, and Tiger King, but that just isn’t cutting it anymore. The weather is cold, the puzzles have been done (and redone), and all of the Netflix series have been watched. So now what? We have to dig a little deeper, get a bit more creative, and be RELENTLESS about our self-care routines.
To put it simply, we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. In a time when our kids and parents might need more attention than ever, it becomes even more important that we make taking care of ourselves a priority. Plus, we don’t know exactly what’s coming in the next days and months, so it’s essential to have the strength to move through it all. Ready to take your self-care up a notch? Here are three ways to be relentless about your self-care.
First off: boundaries!
It all starts with boundaries. Why? Because boundaries make room in your life for the stuff that fills you up.
Aside from taking a day off of your phone (which we always recommend around here at AB coaching) setting boundaries also means making things that make you feel good a priority. Another example might be blocking time on your calendar to rest and/or have fun, which is essential to a healthy mental and emotional state.
For me, a “Chatty Cathy” of an extrovert, connection is essential to my happiness. For obvious reasons, connecting with people has been even more of a challenge during the pandemic. Believe it or not, my big, extended family got on a Zoom call every single day for the first three months of lockdown.
While that was great initially, everyone quickly got sick of being on a screen at the end of the day when we were doing all our work virtually too. So, now we have to get a little more creative about how we connect to one another. Here are some ideas:
Pop onto a one-on-one FaceTime (I do this with my sister and her wife all the time while we’re all cooking dinner!)
Lastly, take care of yourself.
When you go through your first self-care toolbox, instead of giving up, create a new one. In that spirit, here are some other ideas so that you can take care of yourself to be strong for those around you:
If you’re feeling stuck, move your body. I’ve been working out in a parking lot gym, but a long walk does the trick. (See my cold-weather uniform above!)
If you need alone time, sit in your car by yourself while listening to music or a podcast. Or just close your eyes and simply breathe.
If you need to relax, take a bath while reading a book. This time. dim the lights and light a candle. (I’ve been meaning to get my hands on one of these trays to support my bath obsession.)
If you lack motivation, get your art on and tap into your creativity — my favorites, obviously, are tie-dye and embroidering.
I know that being in a worldwide pandemic for almost a year now is challenging, and I know that this might sound like more work. But I can promise you that, if you dig deep and practice some of this self-care relentlessly, you’ll be way better off in the long run.
I’m sending lots of love and hugs.