It’s impossible to overstate how quickly and how deeply the coronavirus crisis has changed how we work and live. It’s hard to take care of yourself right now. The COVID-19 outbreak affects every aspect of our lives — our health, families, careers, finances, and more — and while everyone is experiencing this moment in a different way, this much is clear: everyone is affected. And everyone needs support. That’s why taking this time to spread light and connection is more important now than ever before.
But with over 150 million Americans ordered to stay home, what can we do for our community? For ourselves?
Here’s what I’m doing – and what you can do – to take care of yourself today.
Learn to Be Your Own Best Friend
By learning to be your own best friend, you can take advantage of all this personal time and maybe come to even love it. In learning to love my own company, I’ve discovered amazing levels of personal growth. While this is an ongoing practice, there’s nothing like a quarantine to help one adjust and learn to love one’s own company. This quarantine has ultimately helped build my ability to both enjoy my own company as well as teach me to better connect with others in new and creative ways.
Extra time, alone, with your spouse, with your children, can make anyone feel restless and agitated. However, this is also an excellent opportunity to think about what you really want out of life. Introspection makes us pause and think about what we believe in, who we are, where we are heading and set some goals for the future. Meditation and mindfulness apps like Headspace and Calm can help us focus our minds in the present moment.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Personally, I am still striving for that onset of inspiration that will guide me as to how I want to best make use of this precious time. I find myself sitting in the discomfort of being in this time of uncertainty. We are all new to this new way of being, so please be gentle with yourself and allow the myriad of feelings that may arise. They are all natural and I urge you to welcome them with love and not push your feelings away. It’s in sitting with our feelings, that we can actually see through the layers of illusion, and tap into the truest nature of our beingness.
For people who find this time challenging, I urge you to start journaling about where you are in your life and where you want to go. Finally, for people who have been considering it, now is an excellent time to start therapy or hire a life coach. This can help you learn what it really means to be your own best friend and how to cope with the current crisis. Just be sure to find a provider using telehealth.
Find Your Community
Years ago, I moved to Bend for its thriving community of positive, health-minded individuals. Recently, I’ve felt that stripped away. But while my physical community is no longer easily accessible, it’s comforting to know that I can still find like-minded women online.
Feeling sad, disappointed, or even angry are all normal emotions to have during a crisis. If you’re feeling particularly out of sorts, reach out to a coach or a friend. We need each other to figure out the best way to get through this situation. Many of us are struggling with isolation right now. The best thing we can do is share our experiences and support one another.
There are a ton of online opportunities right now. In fact, I’ve seen so many posts come across my radar that it’s hard to choose. I am not naturally drawn to online zoom calls and such, but during times like this, those are my only choice. I have done a few zoom workouts with the awesome team at Empowered Strength. Last night I did a Wim Hof breathwork event via zoom. We even hosted a zoom happy hour. Next week I meet my Fem City girls online for our normal monthly meetup. There are a lot of great opportunities to connect. So, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try out a few of these events.
Take Care of Your Health in Times of Stress
I’ve been working hard to heal from Chronic Lyme for 10 years now. As someone with chronic illness, I cannot drive home enough how important it is to take care of your health during times like these. This can mean something a little different for everyone.
Over the past 7 months, I have healed and grown leaps and bounds through diet, exercise, and supplements. I was genuinely amazed to see what a massive difference cutting out alcohol, sugar, and all processed foods has made in my day-to-day wellbeing. I’d like to give a huge shout out to Patrick Lynch at Sky Ridge Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for guiding the way.
Food has become another area of interest. While I have been clean eating for the past 7 months, this time has given me the opportunity to provide healthy meals for my family and learn new different ways to prepare food. The fridge is full of healthy options. This is also an opportunity to teach your child to enjoy cooking, or at least have them help in the process. This is homeschooling at its best.
What Can You Do to Take Care of Your Own Health at This Time?
Maybe it’s finding new workout routines you can do from home while your gym is shut down. Maybe it’s learning to meditate in a way that works with, not against, the chaos of everyday life. Or maybe it’s through helping others that you are able to find peace and hope in your own mind.
My word for this year is Fearless, and not fearless in that I don’t experience fear, that I do. But, I don’t let fear stop me in my tracks. I bring courage and grace to the forefront and I step in fully. I’m not going to let isolation stop me from diving in! We are forced to see ourselves right now. I am starting to unveil the many facets of myself. To get real, to connect to my heart, and to LOVE fully, starting with myself. My next step? To spread a little optimistic love and hope to others.
Wherever you are, I hope these tips help you as we prepare for weeks and maybe months of social distancing and time spent at home. Take care of yourself. Look after others. And above all, stay safe!