By Glenn E. Bryant—
The COVID-19 pandemic has us living under a mandatory quarantine, limiting human contact and opportunities to socialize outside of our own households. This mandatory isolation has made people even more likely to neglect their own physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs.
According to the CDC, “during August 19, 2020–February 1, 2021, the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder…increased significantly (from 36.4% to 41.5%), as did the percentage reporting that they needed but did not receive mental health counseling or therapy…(from 9.2% to 11.7% over 4 weeks). Increases were largest among adults aged 18–29 years and among those with less than a high school education.”
The effects of this pandemic on the well-being of our society will probably be studied for years to come. During this quarantine, prioritizing self-care is vital to our continued health, wellness, and ability to cope with life’s daily challenges.
What is self-care?
Wellness coach Elizabeth Scott characterized self-care as “a conscious act one takes in order to promote their own physical, mental, and emotional health. Self-care is vital for building resilience toward those stressors in life that you can't eliminate. When you've taken steps to care for your mind and body, you'll be better equipped to live your best life”.
What are some examples of self-care?
Self-care practices can include:
· Getting enough sleep.
· Following a well-balanced diet.
· Exercising twenty minutes a day.
· Making time to engage with friends and family.
· Finding activities that you find mentally stimulating.
· Developing healthy ways to process your emotions.
· Engaging in spiritual practices that you find fulfilling.
· Having a spa day
· Walking outside to get some fresh air.
· Adhering to a daily schedule.
Self-care is NOT:
· Abusing illegal drugs or alcohol.
· Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors.
During this pandemic, meeting familial, personal, and professional obligations may seem almost impossible, but it is important to note that following a healthy self-care plan does not make you selfish. We all have responsibilities, but it is still important to see to our own well-being.
So… what have you done for YOU today?