Why Self-care Is So Important in Tough Times and What to Do?
We have already talked about what to do in conditions of total uncertainty. Now let’s continue this hot topic and learn how to practice self-care during difficult times. Here are nine tips for everyone who wants to calm down and take care of themselves and their loved ones.
1. Stop and Analyse the Situation
Breathe deeply, do nothing and pretend that everything has paused. Ask yourself:
- What do you see?
- What is going on?
- Who is near? Can they help you?
- How do the circumstances affect you?
- What can you do next to improve the situation?
This will give you a time-out to make a short analysis and see the way out.
Also, affirmations will help. Remind yourself that no matter how hard the crisis is, taking one step at a time will lead you to the solution.
Don’t waste your time imagining what could happen if you did something differently. Be here and now. Base your future decisions on reality.
2. Calm Your Mind
Even when you have a deep analysis and a to-do list at hand, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to realise all the plans without issues. For tackling important tasks, it’s better to get rid of strong emotions, especially negative ones.
Try eliminating worries with relaxation techniques:
- Deep breathing.
- Muscle relaxation.
- Art and music therapy.
By the way, don’t confuse yoga with exercises, as it is directed at increasing mindfulness. Sport is more about energising, and we’ll talk about it a bit later.
Sure, if you have a proven technique that works and is not listed here, use it and also feel free to tell us about it in the Responses section. ;)
3. Get Enough Sleep, Rest, and Food
Skipping meals and sleeping 3 hours per day is a usual response to stress, but how long will you be able to function like this?
Keep close to the norm:
- 8-hour sleep.
- At least three meals per day.
- Short breaks between work sprints (work for 45 min and rest for 15).
Your body needs to replenish energy and keep the immune system working correctly. Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling sick and unable to do anything.
4. Exercise More
When you feel that you are calm enough to continue living and working without obsessive thoughts and waves of negative emotions, it’s time to fill yourself with energy.
Doing workouts positively influences the release of endorphins, which make you feel better and full of power.
Don’t forget to schedule exercises in your daily to-do list to not skip them. Yeah, we know how lazy people are sometimes. :)
5. Find Someone to Talk With
All of us need someone who is accepting and carefully listens anytime, however, in tough times this is a must-have. Such people are your personal beams of light in the dark. Interaction can be any of your choice, if it is helpful.
Share stories that bother you, tell about your worries and find support from others. Even emotional acceptance helps a lot, as you feel not alone in this world. You may also cry or hug to express your emotions.
6. Nurture Good Habits
Some things we do to reduce the level of stress in the short-time perspective, lead to more stress in the long run. So, not to encounter such an issue and keep calm in every situation in the future, you may develop new positive habits.
For example, quit smoking or drinking alcohol, or even eating sweets to get relief. Find positive ways of disengaging from hard reality. Try sports, cooking nutritious meals, meditating, some hobbies like knitting or sewing, which require more handwork.
7. Keep in Mind Your Limits
Don’t try to deal with everything at a time. Also, there are some things that you can’t influence at all.
Of course, the first idea that comes to mind when you face troubles is: «I should fix this asap», but uncontrollable things can’t be managed only by your wish. This fact needs to be accepted.
The best option to deal with worries in such cases is to take notes and share negative thoughts on paper. Alternatively, see point 5. :)
8. Help Others
People feel better if they take care of someone else, be it other people or pets. When providing help, we feel control over the situation and forget about everything we can’t influence on. It works like a flow at work — when you’re in it, you don’t worry about what happens around you.
Take care of people you love or become a volunteer and help strangers. The latter has become extremely widespread and important now when there’s a real war in Europe. Even if you are far away from it, you can still support people affected by it with warm words or financially.
9. Check-in With Yourself
If you have developed a personal self-care plan and decided to follow it every day, look at the to-do list frequently and ask yourself:
- Does this list comply with my individual needs?
- Does it help me improve my life?
- Do I enjoy every point of it?
If you’ve answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, re-think what are you doing and maybe remove some items that are not useful or joyful to you.
All in all, you do it to feel and live better, to love your life and know that you have a clear and important purpose.