Monday, August 31, 2020

Self Care Right Now

I know it's a phrase that we keep hearing over and over right now, but it really is an unprecedented time. It can be a struggle - it feels like there are so many ups and downs, and it's hard to find any sense of normalcy or balance. But it's increasingly clear, for a while now, that since it doesn't look like we're going to return to "normal" life anytime soon, it's important that we take care of ourselves the best that we can.

 This post couldn't have come at a better time for me... I had to take time off last week because I was dealing with some health issues (which are mostly resolved now, don't worry). But it was the reminder that I needed to make sure I'm being more aware of everything I'm talking about today.

Self care, and finding that balance, is a constant work in progress - which is exactly what I was reminded of over this past week! Even though I'm still completely at home, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm more focused on self-care. Sometimes, it feels like I have to be more conscious about taking care of myself right now that I do during normal times. So here's what I've been making sure to be conscious of.

Getting Enough Sleep
In college, I survived on very little sleep, and it almost became a bragging point of sorts - talking about how few hours of sleep we'd gotten the night before. After college, though, I realized how completely unhealthy that mindset is. I absolutely feel better and function better when I've slept well! I know that with everything going on right now, people's anxiety may be extra-high, and it can be hard to actually fall asleep. I have been relying on Headspace's "Goodnight" meditation - it seriously puts me to sleep like a baby!


Getting Fresh Air
I am extremely, extremely grateful to have a yard and a deck where I can spend time outside without having to worry about keeping a 6-foot distance from other people, because being outside is one of the most important things keeping my balanced right now. Even just spending 10 or 15 minutes outside makes me feel physically calmer and happier. I'm a little nervous about not being able to get outside time once the temperature starts to drop, but I'm trying to focus on enjoying it now.

 

Finding Work-Life Balance
For those of us that are working at home, it can be hard to find the balance of work and life because we're never really physically out of the office. There have been a few times where I've found myself working past my normal hours, but I've tried to keep it pretty separated - it helps me from feeling burnt out. I've had to find the best way to work at home without feeling like I'm constantly on. For me, it means having a dedicated work space that's not the desk in my bedroom, and realizing that work will still be there tomorrow - I don't need to finish things just because I can.

 

Enjoying "Me Time"
This is the "life" side of the work-life balance. Whether it's watching TV, reading a book, or playing a video game, make sure you make time to do something fun that you enjoy. It's such a stress-reliever, and really helps me feel more calm and balanced.

 

Taking Breaks
I saved the best for last! This past week has reminded me how important it is to know when to just take a break. Whether it's a break from work or a break from social media, recognizing when you need to take a break and then actually taking it can keep you from getting exhausted and burned out. You don't have to be productive all the time.

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