Whether you live in a large mansion or a small apartment being home while you quarantine is stressful. Being confined to a space raises anxiety. To add insult to injury, there is no timeline for when the Covid-19 pandemic crisis will end.
Being in quarantine brings a unique set of stressors to our lives. Some find not having to go out a blessing. They can care for their children instead of paying for child care. Not having a daily commute saves time and saves money on gasoline. Wearing yoga pants to work instead of a suit is very appealing. Others find that home schooling their children is incredibly stressful and they feel disconnected from their co-workers while working from home. We are working and living in a world none us have imagined. It’s easy to get lost in the noise of the Covid-19 pandemic and the problems it has created in the world when we watch TV and scroll through social media. You can’t get away from it. Couples are fighting more and the number of quarantine divorces is rising at an alarming rate. Money is tight due to layoffs. We need self-care now more than ever.
Being stuck at home does a number on your mental and physical health. You may become depressed or angry. Weight gain during quarantine is also common. All of these things can take its toll on your self-confidence.
The way to ward off the negative effects of being in quarantine is to take time for yourself. Take back control over your situation. You need time away from your family and friends alone to indulge in a hobby or just meditate. An hour alone exercising will clear your head and help you fain off weight gain. You could also use your alone time to express yourself by cooking or writing in a journal. When you take time for yourself to take care of your mental and physical needs you will cope with being home.
When some think of self-care they think of an indulgence. The temptation to reach for junk food and binge watch TV shows is strong. A little escape from the chaos of the world will do you a world off good. However, you don’t want to simply react to stress and anxiety each time something is bothering you. Check in with yourself and think about the emotion you are feeling in the moment.
Listen to what your body really needs physically and emotionally to keep going. When you feel your muscles tighten and the beginning of a headache ask yourself “What do I need right now?” Are you hungry? Are you dehydrated? Do you need to stretch or get your heart pumping doing an exercise video? Take a few deep breathes and listen to your breathing for at least a minute. Only then can you tend to what your body is craving to stay strong. You may find yourself wanting to eat a piece of fruit to nourish yourself instead of reaching for sugar and fat to give you quick energy. Or you may find you need soothing and a little ice cream or massage with help you feel calm. Do what works for you!
Self-care is not necessarily what you do to unwind at the end of the day. Your body needs fuel and mental clarity to get through the day. It is not selfish to put yourself first. When you take care of yourself you will have the mental and physical energy to be present at work and enjoy your family and friends.