I don’t know about you but this lockdown feels even more challenging than the last one. Back last Spring it was all so new. Maybe we thought it would go on for a few weeks, perhaps a month or two but certainly not for years… Surely not! My perspective now is quite different. To me it feels a bit like we are in a war, and I recognise that wars can go on for years and years. It feels harder to keep a good sense of perspective. These coronavirus lockdown days will surely end one day. In the meantime, it’s even more important to make sure I am taking good care of myself.
I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently – in my own life and also in support of my clients. There are days that can be challenging, confusing, frustrating, and lonely, if I am honest. Perhaps you can relate?
In the midst of a war it is hard to remember that after the war, good things can come out of it. Things that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Perhaps, we will gain many technological advances. Perhaps we will finally take better care of the planet. Perhaps, it can also be the time you really learn to take care of yourself. To set good boundaries whilst also taking care of the people around you. Perhaps, this time also gives you the chance to prioritise and take care of your own needs, because you are worth it.
In the meantime here are a few tips:
Get outside everyday. Its so important even if its only a for a few minutes a day, to get a bit of fresh air Take a look over here at all these benefits of getting outside!
Exercise Its so important for physical and mental health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/#:~:text=Exercise%20improves%20mental%20health%20by,self-esteem%20and%20cognitive%20function.&text=Exercise%20has%20also%20been%20found,self-esteem%20and%20social%20withdrawal
I work with an app at engagement sports.com . It takes 20 – 30 mins and I definitely feel better afterwards. Good physical health also correlates strongly with better immunity – so if you do have the misfortune to get the virus you will be better equipped to deal with it.
Eat properly. I don’t know about you, but since the start of the pandemic I pay a lot more attention to what I eat. I plan my food shopping much better and I am much more organised around it. The result is I now eat good home cooked meals 3 times a day, and I feel better because I know I am taking better care of myself. On the rare occasion I go back to lazy cooking I right away feel the difference! Cooking used to be such a chore but now it has become a highlight to my week, accompanied by great music or an interesting podcast. Here is one of my favourite recipe sites.
Use this time to get clear on what matters for you. If you love reading, plan in half an hour a day to read a favourite book, for example.
The tips may sound like no brainers but too often we have excuses why other people’s needs come before our own. I end up going for a walk with my spouse and put aside my own plans to read a book or work on my creative project. I feel guilty that I am not doing more for my sick relative so I don’t get the benefit of the time I do have for myself. These issues are common to many of us and there are ways to overcome these challenges. When we prioritise our own needs it frees us up also to be more available for others
That is why I am offering a series of Five Free workshops on Foundations of Self Care. It is organised by the Cancer Support Group of the European Commission. Five Friday Lunch times starting on February 26th (but the last session is on a Thursday). Details are here
The dates are February 26th, March 5, 12, 19 and 25th
In the course we will dive into what good self care really means for you. You will learn to create a positive mindset and to address all your excuses. You will learn how to use your strengths and to develop resources to support you. You will learn how to have good boundaries around your self care, so that you can also make time for the people you case for. In the workshops you will gain practical hands-on tools and techniques. It will help you look after yourself better, and be a better role model for others