Self-care is a phrase that has been floating around a lot recently but sticking to a consistent routine can be difficult. Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally is very important, especially during lockdown. We all know that we should be sleeping for at least eight hours every night and getting our steps in but what else can we do to care for ourselves? Here are a few habits that you can easily incorporate into your weekly routine.
Take a break: Whether you are studying from your bedroom or working remotely, ensure that you are taking sufficient breaks. It’s very easy to work through lunch, but taking a break will allow you to clear your head, refocus your attention and boost productivity when you return to your desk. Go for a quick walk, chat with a friend, watch an episode of your favourite series or read a few pages of your book.
Switch off: Many of us can find it challenging to switch off from study when working from home. Give your working day a start time and an end time. It can be easy to watch your online lectures in bed at 10 p.m. after an unproductive day but having a routine will improve your productivity in the long run.
Edit your social media: Social media showcases the highlights of people’s lives. Constantly filtered updates of other people’s “productive” days in lockdown can be damaging so edit your following list to bring what you want to see to your feed. Remember that everyone isn’t getting up at 6 a.m. for a run, followed by a quick yoga session and an elaborate breakfast.
Bath/shower: It’s hard to beat a relaxing bath or hot shower at the end of a long day. Play some music during your shower or read a book in the bath. Take time to relax and de-stress.
Skincare: Taking time to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise your skin can make the world of difference when you’re not feeling your best. Root out your favourite skincare products and have a little pampering at home. The little things can make a world of difference.
Hobbies: The possibilities are endless when it comes to picking up a new hobby – try yoga, knitting, skipping, reading, baking, DIY, retail therapy, cycling, gaming… whatever interests you and encourages you to unwind after a day of online college.
Journaling: It may not be for everyone, but journaling is on the rise as a popular self-care practice. Writing down how you are feeling, what you are grateful for or planning for the future is a good way to practice self-care and gives you the chance to gather your thoughts.
Clean: Cleaning may not be your desired pastime but clearing out a messy room or decluttering a drawer can really help your mood. A clear space means a clear mind, after all. Lighting a scented candle, changing your bed sheets and putting your books away after a long day will help you destress and unwind.
Get outside: You’re probably sick of being told to get outside, but getting out in the fresh air can do wonders for both your mind and body. Throw on your runners, pop in your headphones and get your daily steps in at the same time.
Reach out: Lockdown has been pressing for everyone and has undoubtedly taken a significant mental toll on many people. If you are struggling, feeling down or isolated, please reach out to a friend or family member. A-Zoom call might be the last thing you want to do at the moment but taking time out to ring a loved one can be really valuable.
Caring for ourselves is so important at the moment so choose a few things to do every day or a few times a week, develop a plan and try and stick to it.