Now that much of the United States appears to be committed to staying at home to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, most of us are finding ourselves anxious, bored, or somewhere in between.
I’m convinced this is all happening for us, rather than to us. This is a time to identify the things that matter to us and let go of the things that don’t.
As for me, I was struggling before we were asked to stay at home. I was making my life endlessly complicated with new commitments and uber-long todo lists. Taking time for self-care was never a priority. However, necessity–and a little creativity–have made this experience pretty enjoyable.
Adding to the stress is the growing number of people losing their jobs, seeing their hours cut, or closing their business due to stay-at-home orders. Self-care activities often cost extra money. You may not be comfortable spending right now: gym memberships, makeup, skincare, and who knows what else that bills itself as essential to your self-care routine.
If you’re looking for something to do for yourself without spending extra money, you’ve come to the right place.
Meditation and mindfulness are fantastic and easy ways to practice self-care. The best part is, there’s no “wrong” way to meditate if you are focused on experiencing the moment as it is. Frequently, I hear people criticize themselves for “thinking too much” and “not being able to meditate.” However, that’s not how it needs to be. It really can be as easy as finding a quiet place, breathing in and out, and focusing listening to whatever you hear. I’ve found that even when my husband is playing video games and yelling (as annoying as it is), I can sit and accept his yelling as part of my experience: one of the essential points of mindfulness.
If you need a little guidance, the Calm app has free guided meditations.
Yes, read. But don’t spend too much time finding the right thing to read. Chances are, you can find interesting material at your fingertips. Medium.com is a great website to visit with exciting articles by independent writers. There is a paywall for some pieces (as the membership helps writers get paid), but there are tons of free-to-read articles on the page, too.
Further, you can download digital books from your local library if they participate. Most libraries include instructions on how to set that up on your smartphone so you can find a book that suits you and dig in.
I read on a Kindle, but you can download the Kindle app on the device you’re reading this on for free.
Now is not the time to find the perfect journal or writing pen. Again, we’re being challenged on determining our priorities.
Writing is one of the most cathartic things you can do. All you need is a writing pen and a paper surface. That means you can write on the back of an old bill, in a notepad, or even an envelope.
Where you write doesn’t matter–the act of writing down your thoughts, whatever they are, can change your mood.
There you have it—three no-brainer activities for self-care.
How are you taking care of yourself while staying at home? Tell me in the comments below!