I wanted to find out what self-care activities other people were using to cope with the challenges that COVID-19 has created. Recently I’ve had to spend more of my spare time intentionally looking after myself by meditating twice a day, keeping myself active and getting more sleep. This crisis has been a huge challenge for everyone, so here are 15 self-care activities that people from around the world are using to relieve anxiety during this difficult time.
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“I’ve found myself doing a lot of meditation and introspection whilst the world is in lockdown. I never used to think of it as a “self-care ” activity and I was always “too busy” but now I see the benefits. Meditation allows me to take a mental inventory and see where I want to go with my goals and future. I hope to continue after quarantine is lifted and I’d encourage others to do it too with free apps.”
2. Taking A Hot Bath
“My favorite self-care tip is soaking in a hot bath! It’s always been something that helped my anxiety.”
3. Reading Short Stories
“As the pandemic raged the globe, I was dealing with a nasty case of shingles. The combination filled my mind and heart with anxiety. The most soothing activity was to read short inspirational and devotional stories. I was not of a mindset to focus on reading anything lengthy. But the uplifting and encouraging words from an assortment of authors lessened my anxiety and warmed my heart. From the light-hearted and funny stories to the ones with people in far worse situations, the readings filled my heart with joy. Inspirational messages are my best self-care for anxiety.”
4. Walking In Nature
“Take a walk: Just getting out and doing this can calm you. Walking increases endorphins. Endorphins increase feelings of happiness. It takes you away from the place that the anxiety started. It allows for you to get some fresh air, see other things, and get your mind off of the situation that started your anxiety flare. You can take time to enjoy the outdoors, flowers, birds and nature.”
5. A Solid Morning Routine
“During the times of isolation and before I enjoy my morning routine of waking up, writing in my gratitude journal, reading a book for at least 30 minutes (self improvement books) then I write my affirmations to aid in my long term goals.”
“One thing I have to do is smile at myself in the mirror during the morning. I look at myself while saying my affirmations for the day. They set the tone for how I’d like my day to go and get me in a mindset of positivity.”
6. Pamper Session
“My favourite self-care activity is a pampering session. I listen to my favourite music and do parts of my beauty routine that I don’t usually find time for. Exfoliating is refreshing and it’s very satisfying to feel how smooth your skin is afterwards. After I’ve exfoliated I put on a face mask. You can choose whichever type you like the most. For an extra treat, light a scented candle and lay down with cucumber on your eyes while the face mask dries. Once you’ve finished you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed and ready for whatever life throws at you.”
7. Working Out
“Believe it or not, my favorite self care activity during this time has been working out! I’ve always hated exercising, but I chose to use this time to really work on my body! I love to use workout apps and youtube channels that give me exercises to do for different parts of my body. I’ve noticed I feel so much more confident about my body and my health!”
“During self-isolation, I have started becoming a lot more in tune with my physical health and mental health. To help me cope during this time, I have started to do home workouts to keep my spirits ups and maintain my health during this time. Staying active for me is very important to me. As well as making sure I stay in touch with my friends and family and not shut myself off from them during this time.”
“My favorite self-care activity has to be working out. I was never one for going to the gym, but due to quarantine I got a great deal on a home workout program. I’ve been exercising consistently for about two weeks now and I LOVE it! The feeling I get afterwards is so amazing. Whether it’s how I start my day or something I do in the afternoon, it gets me feeling so refreshed and accomplished. I really recommend staying active while at home because it gives me so much energy during the day to stay productive!”
“One of the things I have been doing to keep up with self-care during self-isolation is a daily yoga practice. It’s great just to stretch and give your body some attention, especially if you are sitting at a desk all day working from home. It gives me time to relax and meditate and it Is a better habit than checking the news or your phone which can be anxiety inducing”
9. Listening To Music
“As a survivor of childhood abuse and domestic violence, I deal with PTSD on a regular basis. When we went into lock down it got particularly bad. I have chosen to turn off the TV and find other things to do instead. One of my favorite other things to do is crafting and listening to (sometimes dancing to) inspirational music. I find that music has a very powerful effect on me and can help to dramatically improve my moods – something I’ve heard others say the same thing about as well.”
10. Art Therapy
“Art therapy is a technique that has demonstrated the reduction of anxiety and is a technique highly recommended. This can be painting, doodling, utilizing adult coloring books, collages, etc. It will all depend on the person and the severity of the anxiety. I have, personally, found that adult coloring books and painting is what I lean towards when the need to disconnect from reality is there.”
11. Evening Me Time
“I feel blessed that I still have a job, shelter and food through this, but managing it all is a struggle. To prevent a burn out, I make time for myself daily. I always try to get exercise, but I also need ‘me’ time. After my son goes to sleep, I get to relax and focus on me! I usually have a show that I’m bingeing, put on a face mask, make stove-top popcorn and cut up an apple. I’ll have a gin and tonic, get in bed, and watch at least one episode a night. It’s heaven!”
12. Simple Social Connection
“Self-isolation takes on a new meaning in today’s digital world. While physically distancing may be mandatory right now, social distancing doesn’t have to be! Keeping in touch with others during this time is vital, because it allows us to reconnect with our humanity. Use FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to schedule a video call with your family or friends to catch up. Taking the time to communicate with those you love can help your mind refocus and unwind.
If video chatting isn’t your cup of tea, propose a phone call instead. Too anxious for a phone call? Simply utilize whatever comes naturally to you to connect with others. For example, one friend and I decided to send each other daily TikToks to stay in touch; these videos not only made us laugh, but it was a simple way to let each other know that we were thinking of them.”
13. Create Your Own DIY Self Care Kit
“This is a really fun idea that you could do for yourself or even as a gift for someone who is struggling with anxiety.
- Essential Oils
- Weighted Blanket
- Coloring Book
- Stress Ball
- Essential Oils & Diffuser
My favorite has to be my essential oils!!! I am completely obsessed with Aromatherapy and a strong believer in them. Essential Oils can help you alleviate stress and have an effect in your mood as well. I personally love lavender, orange and lemon grass.”
14. Reframe Your Perception
“First, I will mention that self-care is not just for women, it’s for everyone. Needing “you time” doesn’t make you weak, rather it is what will make you even stronger than you already are. My top tip is: Reframe – Turn a frustration into a positive! What are you grateful for amidst the chaos? If you can find something to be grateful for (no matter how small) it will turn your whole mental state around.”
15. Deep Breathing & Epsom Salt Bath
Name: Dr. Chelsea Drda, DC
“My favorite self care activity is to use a deep breathing technique called box breathing while taking an epsom salt bath. The warm bath water and magnesium in the salts helps to decrease body tension and deep breathing sends feedback to the brain that you are safe, lessening the feelings of anxiety. Anyone can use this simple, effective technique! Simply breathe in for a count of 4, hold it in for 2-4 counts, breathe out for a count of 4, hold it out for 2-4 counts, and repeat. If feelings of dizziness or gasping for air occur (sometimes in asthma, obesity, other lung issues), skip the held breath and simply breathe in for 4, then out 4 for 4, taking extra breaths if needed.”
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