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I never would’ve believed how much I’d rely on self-care during a pandemic. We’re a week into #quarantinelife and it’s been tough for some of us, to say the least. All of a sudden, this homebody feels like a prisoner or like I’m being micromanaged. It’s so different when you’re mandated to be inside. My friends with kids are coming to a brutal realization that spring break is a 3-6 month homestay with their 3-year-olds bouncing off the walls for 12 hours. My heart truly goes out to them.
Truthfully, it was a crazy week even for me. The coronavirus outbreak has effected my business as a magazine I was writing for is suspending publication, at least temporarily. And I’ve been reading way too much news the last few weeks. While staying informed is always necessary, it’s simply been too much at moments and I’m definitely noticing an effect on my mental and ability to disconnect.
I know I’m not alone in saying that this drastic shift is overwhelming and even scary. This is a new reality for all of us, but the truth is that it’s here and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s up to us to embrace it and find ways to adapt.
Because these new measures are extreme, I spent my first week in self-isolation taking an also extreme approach to self-care, being consistent and trying new things to slow down, be grateful, and appreciative of what I still have.
Here are some self-care tips to help you get through the coronavirus pandemic.
12 Self-Care Tips To Get You Through A Pandemic
Dance to your favorite playlist.
Why this isn’t a regular part of my self-care routine and it took a pandemic (of all things) to get me dancing is a mystery even to me, but I can’t recommend it enough. I curated an Afrobeats music video playlist and danced along to them for 35 minutes. The result was insanely freeing, got my blood pumping and sweat going, and I felt confident in my ability to take on the rest of the day and week. Even with outdoor activities like walks and runs still being encouraged, I plan on spending most of my time indoors, so this will be a great cardio substitute.
Journal or write a creative story.
One thing I’ve noticed during the pandemic is that I’ve been writing so much more, and the same goes for a lot of my friends. While it’s mostly passion and work, it’s also partly coping mechanism too. Calling writing an expressive or creative outlet goes without saying. As a writer, my personal aim is to write 500 words a day but getting into the habit of journaling is equally effective and important in my opinion. Write about your days, track your moods and feelings, and look back on your entries in the future to see how much you’ve grown.
Catch up on movies, documentaries, series, and more.
One of the more fun self-care tips. If you’re bored, maybe now’s the time to catch up on those Netflix (or whatever streaming service you use) series you’ve been meaning to watch. I’m personally watching “Narcos”, “You”, and rewatching “The Walking Dead” because my humor is morbid. I’m considering adding “Bird Box” and “Love Is Blind” to my watchlist to see what all the noise was about once and for all.
Plan some local travel.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a bit deep and introspective when we’re in down periods like we are now. Since the shelters-in-place and lockdowns have been going into effect across the world, pollution and air quality levels are down and biodiversity is showing signs of life again. We need to take a different approach to travel going forward. I’ve always been an advocate of local and sustainable travel and giving back to communities, and now’s a great time to revisit or adopt those values. We may not be able to travel much during the pandemic, but planning future trips is a fun form of self-care right now.
Throw virtual kickbacks with your friends and family.
We may be on lockdown but that doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends and family! I spent my first week indoors making more virtual calls than usual but it was great. I caught up with friends and fellow entrepreneurs and talked about how the virus and business. My brother and sisters also hopped on Whatsapp for a video call and we spent most of the time talking shit about each other. Connections are what keep us alive, so it’s necessary, most especially in a time like this, to stay close with those you love.
Make new friends on social media or dating apps.
Now is also a great time to make new friends over social media and have virtual coffee or even go on dates! Yes, dating during a pandemic is possible. A lot of us use social media for day-to-day use, so why not get intentional with it and start networking? I recently connected with a local influencer for virtual coffee and we had so much in common. As for dating? I happened to match with a very cool someone the same day that multiple Bay Area counties announced shelters-in-place effective immediately, so our first date was a FaceTime one day after work. For my first ever virtual date, I must say it was muy bueno.
Do a 30-day yoga or meditation challenge.
There’s never been a better moment for yoga and meditation to shine. We can all benefit from these practices at this moment and I highly recommend it. Yes, another plug for Yoga With Adriene. I’m sure there are other fantastic yoga YouTubers out there, but Adriene is perfection to me and has been an integral part of my morning self-care routine for years now. Her 30-Day home challenge came out just in January and is perfect to help you stay calm and recenter, especially in our early quarantine days as we transition into this new reality.
Treat yourself to a spa day.
Just because the spas and nail salons are closing doesn’t mean you have to look and feel a hot mess. Spa days are great for self-care and a way to destress when normal life happens, and creating a unique spa experience for yourself makes it that much more special. Light your favorite candles and play some Sade or slow jams as you sip your favorite wine and enjoy a nice bath. Doing a foot soak and making my toenails look human again is on my to-do list. If you’re lucky and have a #quarantinebae, kindly
put them to work ask if they can be a real one and give you a nice foot or back rub.
Learn a new language or skill.
The start of what was supposed to be a hopeful decade was just 3 months ago, and many of us created New Year’s resolutions or set goals on what we wanted to achieve this year. There’s a good chance that learning a new language or skill was on that list, so why not hop on it now? I’m using Duolingo to finally learn Spanish and brush up on my French. Maybe you’ve been meaning to learn web development or how to make plant-based recipes. Whatever the case, now’s your time to get your learn on.
Get more sleep.
I don’t know about you, but I found myself feeling straight exhausted these past few weeks. From what reports are saying, the news will get worse before it gets better, so keeping our bodies in tip-top shape and giving it time to rest and recover is imperative. I didn’t take a nap this week because my naps are never less than 90 minutes and I had a lot going on this week so the time wasn’t there. Sleeping in though? Say no more. I cannot remember the last time I got out of bed after 9am. Here’s to more of that.
Declutter or do some spring cleaning.
Spring equinox was on March 19, meaning the new season is officially here. Now’s the time to do some spring cleaning and decluttering. I take a minimalist approach to cleaning and like to get rid of things I no longer used or haven’t used in forever every season. If I don’t have a purpose for it, it’ll be sold, donated, recycled, or disposed of. Cleaning isn’t just to make things less dusty or fresh again. It helps your mood, clears your mind, and organizes your life.
Unplug from the news and social media.
Media has been in overdrive lately. When it comes to the news, it’s breaking news 24/7 with climbing numbers, confusing or conflicting information, and little flashes of hope. A constant barrage of that can and does mess with your mental and emotional state. I noticed what it did to me, both reading and writing on the topic this week, however, and I imagine that others are feeling the same way. I’m making a conscious effort to limit the amount of reading I do or news I watch rather than being sucked in for hours. Try limiting your news and social media to 30 minutes a day and unplugging altogether after a certain time at night.
These are crazy times we’re in. There’s no way to spin that. At the end of the day though, c’est la vie. That’s life. All we can do is take it one day at a time, do our best, and hope for the best. While the coronavirus outbreak has a number of us fearful or wondering what life looks like after this, it’s also taught us that it’s important to cherish and be present for those you love and be helpful and supportive in our communities and times of need.
If you’re new to working from home, here’s a blog on 13 easy tips to help make your transition easier.
Looking for a new job or a displaced worker because of the outbreak and subsequent closures? I wrote an article on 10 websites to help you find a remote job.