Self-Care While Social Distancing
Ideas & Tips Written by Dr. Edward Group – Global Healing
Uncertain times like these can feel stressful. But much of how we cope depends on our mental attitude. Instead of stressing over things beyond your control, use this time alone to improve your health and well-being — from getting more exercise to taking up the meditation practice you’ve wanted to start for years.
You can take on home projects, take in a pet, or take up a hobby. Even if you’re busy, working from home while trying to entertain or educate kids or grandkids, you most likely will have some extra time on your hands, since most activities have shut down temporarily. Understand that as hard as it is, your simple action of staying home keeps your community and yourself healthy. Use the extra time for things you always wanted to do! Be intentional.
We don’t expect you to do all of these things but try picking one or two and staying with it. You will feel great with your results when your day-to-day life gets back to normal.
Best Ideas for Self-Care During Social Distancing
Keeping yourself and your immediate family at home can be great for some people. Introverts might relish the extra time to themselves or with the family. Other people may feel antsy and uncomfortable with the disruption to their normal schedule or may miss their social life and feel lonely. Being isolated can really affect people struggling with depression or recent heartbreak. If you are in the latter category, make sure you have support — we will give some ideas below.
Keep Calm & De-stress
Staying calm and peaceful when everything around you is changing and uncertain can feel tough. The truth is that worrying can not add anything to the situation but additional stress. The truth is, we have little control over certain situations. Accepting the situation for what it is and making the best of it may ultimately make you feel better. Try to stay centered and grounded, grateful for what you have, and focused on the things you can control.
Use Your Time Online Wisely
The internet is our modern-day connection to the world. It’s great! But it can also be a source of stress, particularly when endlessly reading the latest headlines. Limit how often you check the news — no more than once in the morning and once in the evening. Especially, don't stay up late online or watching television because it changes your sleep patterns, which weakens the immune system. Instead, use your time online to do something positive. Join an active online community that supports you, and where you can connect with like-minded folks. You can find social media groups that support hobbies, remote workers, homeschooling, or fitness and natural health group.
Look, we even love funny cat videos as a way to relieve stress! But make your online time useful for you — and mix it up with other "in real life" activities.
Ease Stress With Meditation
If I had a nickel for everyone who told me that they would meditate if they just had the time… Well, now is the perfect time to start meditating! Meditation changes your brain in a positive way; this calming practice reduces stress, decreases anxiety and depression, eases pain, and improves memory. Wow! It physiologically changes your body by lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rate and breathing, improving oxygen utilization, and improving blood flow to the front part of the brain. It’s simple; all you have to do is to do it!
Meditate first thing in the morning if you can, but anytime will work. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can be uninterrupted for at least ten minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. If you can’t get the hang of it on your own, there are many apps or Youtube videos with gentle calming music or guided meditations. Start a lifelong practice today.
Take a Healing Bath
Baths can transform your day — calming your mind and relaxing your body. Just hot water alone can do this. But when you add relaxing mineral salts like Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), Bentonite clay, or others, you can transform your bath into a healing “hot spring”.
A bath doesn’t have to take long. Just fifteen minutes, and it will change your mood and physiologically calm your body. Take deep breaths and enjoy this peaceful moment away from the world.
Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea
Nothing soothes the soul like wrapping your hands around a warm cup of tea. People have used herbal teas for healing, immunity, and comfort for centuries. Each tea has different properties. Some of the best teas for calm include chamomile, tulsi, passionflower, and lemon balm. Teas that also boost the immune system include green tea, elderberry, ginger, and nettle. Get ones that work for you! Just the act of sipping hot tea creates a psychophysiological response in the body, lowering stress hormones like cortisol and creating more relaxation.
Try an App for That!
If you use your home-time to take up meditation, yoga, exercise, cooking, or finding an online therapist to talk with — there’s an app for that! Explore your options and download a couple, try them out, and see what works for you. Some of the best apps cost money, but some are free. If you need to de-stress, there are amazing apps that help you calm down. You can choose a peaceful background image, play gentle music for a few minutes, or listen to a guided meditation. If you want to bring your fitness to the next level, there are apps that log your food and calories, apps with exercise videos, and apps to motivate you to take more steps (most people can go outside while social distancing as long as you keep your distance — go for a walk!) If you’re feeling low and need a professional, there are several apps where trained and educated psychotherapists offer both text, voice, and video counseling.