The Importance of Self Care
It’s not surprising that we often tend to focus on the wellbeing of our families and friends and neglect taking care of ourselves.
How often do you take of yourself?
Before the pandemic struck us like a freight train in the middle of the night, I did not understand fully how important it was to make sure that I was doing well. I think this was due to a lack of self-awareness. As I grew up, I further understood the importance of work and often put the job first- before family and self. These unprecedented times have caused me to pause and reflect on my emotional wellbeing. I realized that I lost sight of the things I used to do to maintain happiness. Several years ago, I used to balance my personal and professional life. I would work out regularly, participate in yoga sessions, meditate daily, attend Tae Kwon Do sessions and visit new places in the wilderness. I also used to hike weekly during the summer.
It takes a special person to live and survive in the city that never sleeps. And it can become very easy for someone to become so consumed with everything that happens, that they forget about the things that can improve your emotional wellbeing. Since I have spent more time indoors, I have resumed doing the things-although there are some limitations-that helped me decompress. I take breaks during the day to check in with myself. I have taken advantage of meditation and yoga sessions. Sometimes I play my favorite songs and dance around my surroundings (because of no one’s watching-except my two cats). And I am more disciplined as it relates to watching certain television programs.
Watching television frequently can significantly alter your mood. For me personally, I find it unnecessary to watch every speech on the news throughout the day. I usually catch the updates on the news later- the cliff notes version- and review other local updates online when I am relaxed and at ease. I would advise people to take stock of all the things you once did that you have perhaps forgotten such as bicycle riding and journaling.
One thing you can do is creating a weekly schedule that includes a reasonable amount of time for you to do the things that once brought you pleasure. Some of these activities may be things you did as a child. For example, I used to love to play video and board games, especially when I was unable to go outside and play in my backyard.
While there are limitations with social distancing, technology has created new opportunities for interaction, which were unavailable in the 1980s when I grew up.
Another thing to consider doing is to make a list of things that you now will do to take better care of yourself and revisit it within two weeks. Monitor the degree to which you were able to stick with what you planned to do and think about what prevented you from doing what you enjoy. We also can look forward to the prospect of reopening. It might be reassuring to plan activities that you will do when things reopen. The world will be different, but you will still need to work toward being healthier and happy.