The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives massively. As we adjust to the realities of the new normal, we may feel burdened by the weight of these unprecedented times and that’s okay.
Few months ago, we wouldn’t have imagined that we would be wearing masks, having more virtual interactions, working from home, maintaining social distancing, and practising hand hygiene, just to contain the spread of a virus.
However, these precautions have become fundamental to our safety. The demands of our new way of life have compelled us to redefine our lives, pivot our businesses, and most importantly, prioritize our health and safety in every decision we take.
Adjusting to these unprecedented times can be very difficult. Settling into these new routines is a gradual process. It’s totally acceptable to feel uncertain about the whole situation. Despite the uncertainty, you still need to prioritise self-care during this period. These few handy self-care tips should help you during this period.
- Check in with yourself
Please remember that it’s okay not to feel okay occasionally. This is a new reality for all of us. Take a moment to reflect on how you are doing and how challenging this is for you. Find out what’s going well and what you will need to go through this period.
Although the cons of the situation are numerous, it has afforded us more free time than we have ever had in recent years. Use a few minutes each day to read the book you haven’t been able to read yet. You may find and learn new information that will help cushion you for the negatives of the period. If possible, join an online book club to keep you accountable to your reading goals.
- Make time to unwind
We have been consumed by the hustle and bustle of chasing successful careers that we mostly forget to indulge in the little things. Be careful not to allow yourself to be exhausted by so much anxiety that you forget to unwind. Do things you love : paint, write, spend time/connect with family, meditate, or start that project. These little things go a long way to ensure our wellbeing. Don’t forget to rest too; you need lots of it to keep you rejuvenated. Also, remember laughter is good medicine! Find things that make you laugh.
Use this period to pause, reflect, and think about the direction your life has taken in recent months or years. Focus on the things that were within your control. This is a good time to take stock of your life: family, career, business, finances, social life, among others. Taking advantage of this period to reflect and evauate can help you re-strategize for the future.
- Learn new skills
Remember you have more time on your hands now. Use some of it to learn something new. If you have always wanted to learn something new or sharpen your skills to help in your career or business, you can start now. There are lots of free or paid online tools and resources you can use.
Take a personal finance course, learn more about that business idea, and invest in career development courses. Google and YouTube are great resources to utilize. Also, a great way to add balance to your new routine is embracing new positive habits. Start a new hobby; listen to podcasts, etc. Trying out new things and creating new experiences can add a spark to your new self-care routine.
6. Take a break from the news
It’s okay to be up-to-date with conversations, news, and information on COVID-19. However, you may have to take a break from the news occasionally. The amount of false information and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 out there are enough to make you depressed. Information overload can lead to burn-out, fear, and public outcry.
It’s very healthy to zone out when the news feel overwhelming. Take a break from social media or switch off your phones if you have to. Rely on credible news portals for all information regarding the pandemic. Organisations, such as the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organisation, are credible sources of information on updates and safety precautions.
7. Practise a daily stringent self-care routine
Apart from staying safe, you need to stay healthy to boost your immune system. This period would be an unfortunate time to fall ill. You need to take care of your body and practise a healthy self-care routine, which may include good nutrition, hydration, adequate sleep, exercise, meditation, relaxation, and stress reduction. Exploring other helpful coping tools can also help.
8. Connect with others
Although we are advised to practise physical distancing, we cannot afford to lose our social support in such lonely periods. Having to grudgingly give up the warm hugs and assuring handshakes, we still need to share our fears and concerns with people we love and trust. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help and support when you feel overwhelmed.
Being curious about where your friends and family are in the process will help you understand what they need and how you can support them. This is a great time to build friendship, family unity, and community. Talk more with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. We have social media and other virtual social platforms at our disposal for social support in this period; use them effectively.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed but we also need to make a conscious effort to navigate this period by tapping into our own resilience and the support available to us. We don’t have control over the situation but we can control how we respond to our new reality and take care of ourselves.
Self-care is essential now more than ever as we cope with stress and anxiety, while helping you, your loved ones, and your community stay safe and strong.
>>>Nana Akua is a Writer, Editor and Brand Strategist. She is the Creative Lead of Scripted Impressions, a creative consulting and writing agency that helps individuals and brands tell their stories and showcase their works. She currently works as Senior Editor at El-Evangel Publications where she is involved in content development, strategy and review of publications. She’s also part of the review team of My Story Magazine, an entrepreneurial resource magazine. Nana Akua is also the Project Manager for Community, a platform which seeks to tell the stories of people who are changing the narrative as professionals and business owners. Connect with Nana Akua via Instagram/Twitter: @missamofa, LinkedIn : Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: [email protected]