“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Marcus Aurelius

The effects COVID-19 has had on our families and communitiies has been devastating. Job losses, marital breakups, anger, grief, and misinformation have made 2020 a year most of us would rather forget.

COVID-19 can and probably will have an impact on your mental health and has highlighted the importance of self-care.

What is Self Care?

Self care is loving yourself enough to know your own well-being important. It’s not about defeat or not being tough enough to handle stress and set backs in your life. It’s prioritizating your mental, emotional, and physical health. When you love yourself, self care isn’t a chore or something you have to do. It’s important to you because you’re important to you.

Don’t overcomplicate self care. Making it overwhelming or difficult will set you up for failure so, if you’re not sure what to do, take it slow at first.

Here are some simple way to get going:

  • Box breathing is a technique used when taking slow, deep breaths. It can heighten performance and concentration while also being a powerful stress reliever. Box breathing can be done anywhere – the airport, at home, at work, or sitting in a quite park. I put a YouTube video to the right if you want to try it. If you need a decent app to help you out try the Calm app.
  • Do at least one relaxing activity every day, whether it’s taking a walk or spending 30 minutes unwinding in a quite place. I used to build things with LEGO to relax so if you can find something similar you enjoy doing.
  • Take a break from the news and social media. If you can’t do that limit and control what you are exposed to. I use Instagram but follow mostly people who bring me peace and pugs. I follow lots of pugs because pugs make me happy.
  • As much as possible surround yourself with peace and joy. Step back from life if you need to and trash any ideas it’s wrong to take time for you.
  • Keep in touch with the people you care about. Learn how to Facetime and use it at least once a week to talk to somebody that adds joy to your life.
  • Increase your serotonin levels and it will improve your mood and energy. Exercise is the best way to do that and that can be as simple as taking a walk.
  • Plan something you really want to do once this pandemic settles down. Give yourself something to look forward to. I’m hoping one day to fly again on a plane and travel to Costa Rica. It’s a long way off but the planning and dreaming is fun.
  • If you can control what goes into your body you’ll be adding a big weapon in your fight against feeling shitty. Eat well.
  • Get enough sleep. You’ll know enough when listen to your body. If you need to nap in the afternoon then nap in the afternoon.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …”
Marcus Aurelius

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