Self-Care During a Pandemic
by Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC
Whatever self care you did before COVID-19, you basically need double doses nowadays.
Things I have done for my own self care are:
- Giving myself one day to just do nothing. If a whole day isn’t feasible, set a limit to stop what you’re doing by a certain time and stop all productivity.
- Napping when I’m tired. At some points during the pandemic so far, I have been sleeping 7-9 hours a night and taking one or two 60-90 minute naps a day! That may sound ridiculous, but I think that rest has helped keep me grounded.
- Only watching movies and TV that are comedies or lighthearted (I also can watch scary movies). I want what I consume to be as far from reality as possible and I want it to be nothing but joyful. Sometimes movies and TV pull a fast one on you and insert some emotional growth or personal journeys, but feeling your feelings is good, just make sure you’re not exposing yourself to emotionally intense media constantly when you don’t have to.
- Reading! Not everyone is a casual reader, but being able to disconnect from the world around me through a book has been another hugely helpful activity for me. GoodReads is a great app to connect with friends and fellow readers. BookRiot and BookBub have awesome daily deals on ebooks and Amazon Kindle Unlimited is currently offering extended free trials.
- Art. I’m not an artist, but just working on a coloring sheet can be very soothing. I bought some watercolor brush pens and have been using them a lot. Chalk and oil pastels are amazing mediums as well. There’s so many coloring books you can order online or just look up coloring sheets and print off PDFs! I also have recently found joy and comfort doing artwork on my iPad with my Apple Pencil.
- Something that’s been an immediate gratification form of self care for me has been buying new throw blankets, new loungewear, and pajamas. It might seem excessive, but it feels so good to snuggle up with my dog under this new blanket wearing my comfy new joggers before I change into new PJs at bedtime. They’re also things I’ll use and love long after this is all behind us. There are some great deals happening right now, too.
Other Resources for Self-Care
- Yoga with Adriene
- Talkspace, BetterHelp, or Headspace therapy apps
- Lemonaid, Plushcare, ZocDoc, and many insurance carriers have telehealth or virtual visits where you can discuss new or refills on many meds (with the exception of any controlled substances; however, sometimes they can give you a referral for someone local).
- Relaxation and meditation exercises. There are some great resources on YouTube or in the Calm app, as well as music therapy textbooks.
- Play games with friends. Jackbox, SkipBo, Phase 10, Evil Apples, and House Party are great ways to have fun while on FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Meet
- For The Frontlines Crisis Hotline – Text FRONTLINE to 741741 for immediate chat support and free crisis counseling for health care professionals and essential workers.
Overall just listen to your body and be good to yourself!
What are some self-care activities y’all have found to be helpful during this time?
Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC