What is Self-Care and Why is It Important?
According to PsychCentral.com, self-care is "any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health."
It's important because proper self-care can help lighten your mood and reduce your anxiety. In the time of COVID-19, it's especially important to pay attention to your mental and emotional well-being, and this guide is designed to provide you with options to do that.
Take Time for Exercise
Even though you're stuck inside, it's important to keep your body active as much as you can. One easy way to do that is to take regular walks. Remember to stay at least six feet away from others while doing so. There are lots of great videos and websites to help you exercise in-home, too. Here are a few to get you started.
Very Well Fit has options for you to work out at home.
Blogliates has a 14-day quarantine exercise routine.
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi developed this 30-minute workout with zero equipment.
The Nerdist has created this list of fitness apps to use for free.
Harvard Health Publishing has some information on exercising at home.
Business Watch discusses staying healthy in a time of crisis.
Proper hydration can help with physical wellness as well as mental wellness. The amount of water intake needed can vary by person. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. An easy way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink water during meals and when you feel thirsty.
Take Time to Relax
Relaxation is just as vital as keeping yourself active, but sometimes it's hard to give yourself permission to take a break.
One easy way to structure your class or work time is to use the Pomodoro method, developed by Francesco Cirillo. It involves doing work for 25 minutes and following that with a 5-minute break. Repeat as necessary, and after four cycles, take a longer break. For more information, check out this introduction to the technique.
If you're having trouble getting started, try one of the meditation apps on this list.
Here's a list of stress relievers from The Search Engine Journal.
NPR suggests ways of staying calm amid the pandemic panic.
Utilize the Center for Student Wellbeing
If you're having difficulty adjusting to the new normal, you aren't alone. The Center for Student Wellbeing has resources for coping with Covid-19 that you can use on your own. It also provides remote-delivery counseling.
Make a Schedule
You followed a class schedule while on campus, so following a schedule while at home can help you organize your time and transition between tasks. At The Mighty, Amanda Reavey provided this advice on managing your time.
Leslie Lambert offers a simple hour-by-hour fill-in daily schedule to help you out.
The Super Mom Life has an easy schedule for cleaning during quarantine. But remember that if trying to keep to a strict schedule makes you anxious, then give yourself permission to be more flexible or simply throw out the schedule altogether.
Take Breaks from Social Media
It's true that social media can keep us connected to friends and family, especially in times of isolation, but it's important to take time away from it every once in a while. See why Kristen Fuller, M.D., of Psychology Today advocates for social media breaks.
This article by Clay Skipper in GQ looks at the use of technology in quarantine.
Candice Anvari from Beverly Hills High School documented her five-day break from social media.
This article on PsychCentral by Rick Nauert, PhD, looks at how helping others can improve our own emotional well-being.
Real Simple has listed 7 ways to help others.
Care.com has 34 simple ways to help others during COVID-19.
Stay Connected with Friends and Family
Being stuck at home doesn't mean we can't connect with the people we love. Some simple things to do are to hold study groups over video chats or to video chat with some friends while you're all eating dinner. You could also reach out to old friends you haven't talked to in a while via text, email, or old-fashioned letter. Here are a few more suggestions.
From Parade, here are 40 ways to stay social during quarantine.
Here 9 tips on staying social from Success.
Vice lists 57 activities to do with friends from a distance.
Sites like Tabletopia and Board Game Arena let you play boards games online with friends.
The New York Times suggests 5 easy games to play over video chat.
Boston.com has a list of board games available online.
The Nerdist lists 10 video games to play cooperatively with friends.
This can also be a good time to learn new hobbies. Hobbies can keep you busy, stimulate your brain, and help you relax.
Real Simple suggests some new hobbies to try your hand at.
BestLife put out this list of hobbies.
The Odyssey Online has a list of 15 potential hobbies.