Uncertainty makes you feel like you’re floating just a couple inches off the ground. Your toes almost touch; but you can’t quite get a gripping. Uncertainty makes your heart beat a little faster and your thoughts race quicker. You get swept up in this whirlpool of what am I supposed to do now??
First and foremost, your feelings are valid. I’ll say it again: Your feelings are valid. The entire planet right now is going through a global trauma. The feelings of uneasiness and uncertainty are more than normal to experience. That being said, a self-care practice could be crucial in turning some of your anxiety around. Many of us are currently working from home. It may feel like your work and personal life are clashing hard and you’re unable to differentiate between the two. Having a few self-care rituals can give you that breath of fresh air that is so badly needed to feel whole again.
Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant and in fact, these rituals should be simple in order for them to be sustainable in your life. Spending hundreds of dollars on products to make you “feel better” is not feasible for most and at the end of the day, these material goods probably won’t make your heart happy long term. Down below are five simple yet nourishing self-care practices that will give you a sense of grounding during uncertain times.
1. Learn to say NO.
Yes, this is a self-care practice. Productivity culture is at an all time high right now. We are obsessed with the idea of filling every inch of the day with tasks to tick off our to-do list even when we’re too tired, already booked up, or just aren’t passionate about the task at hand. Being able to say no to things is self-care at it’s finest. Saying no can also be in the form of taking a night off from the gym because you’ve had a hard day and would rather lay on the couch (THAT’S OKAY). It could also mean rain checking with a friend or opting out of a family dinner. If the first word that comes to mind is “no”, pay attention to that and honor it. I promise you’ll feel a sense of relief by listening to your gut.
2. Disconnect from your phone/technology once per day.
That small device we carry everywhere has a lot of control over our lives whether we like to believe it or not. Technology, social media, and our mobile devices have their positive benefits, but they can also drain us mentally without us even being aware. Try taking an hour each day to shut everything off. Be present with your surroundings, nature, the people you’re with. Pick a time each day that is most sustainable for you to disconnect. I find it’s easiest to incorporate this into a morning routine. Start small; don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning and observe how you feel. Taking time to not be stimulated by a device is a form of self-care. Try it out.
3. Take a few deep belly breaths.
That’s it. Breathe. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed? Close your eyes and take 3 breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Feel your whole body expand on your breath in and contract on your breath out. Then go about your day. I promise you’ll feel a bit lighter.
4. Eat and enjoy your favorite meal.
No, this does not need to be the healthiest meal. What food lights your taste buds up? What is comforting for your soul? It could be home cooked or from your favourite take-out spot. Sit down and savior the food either by yourself or with company! Good food fuels the spirit.
5. Prioritize your needs.
Lastly, and most importantly: How can you prioritize your needs? Easier said than done when you have a family, an intense job, or other people to care for. But it’s so important to figure out what you need in a particular moment. Whether that’s doing one of the above self-care practices or knowing when you need five minutes just for yourself. Life can get overwhelming and with the world being how it is right now, it’s even harder to find the energy to focus on yourself. My advice is to start small. Take 10 minutes a day to do something for you and only you. You can then start moving that to an hour or maybe even an entire day a week for yourself. Careful…it will become addictive!
There you have it, five simple ways to incorporate self-care into your life and today’s world. It’s important to note that self-care will look different for everyone. Maybe all five practices above don’t click with you. THAT’S OKAY. The key is to find something that fills your cup and nourishes not only your body, but your mind and soul too.