In these difficult times, it is important to practice self-care
Self-care is vital for personal health, particularly when you consider the wear and tear of the anxiety associated with the past few years. It’s easy to feel weighed down when the news is constantly negative. But you deserve to take care of yourself and keep healthy, and we hope to cover several important ways.
One of the best ways to practice self-care is exercise. Most people know the importance of exercise. The science is out on how exercising keeps your body physically and mentally healthy, through making your body stronger, keeping your heart robust, and releasing dopamine and serotonin. But how do you push yourself to exercise when it feels like the world is crumbling around you? Here are some tips on how to keep going when the going gets tough:
- Acknowledge that breaking a sweat is work, and that you can’t give up before even getting started. Don’t look for excuses not to exercise.
- Find something to inspire you! Whether it’s wearing a tiara, a t-shirt that says “I’m a Hot Mess,” or watching the movie Men of Honor, seeking motivation will help you reach your goals. Here is a great source for motivation: https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/workout-motivation-tips-exercise/
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with huge goals: be realistic, work in increments, and keep your motivation by meeting reasonable milestones. Do not push yourself past your limits or put yourself in danger.
- If you find yourself getting bored, do your exercises in a different place or a different sequence. If you don’t like your routine, change it or mix it up. Find an exercise you like best. Exercise in front of the TV if you need mental stimulation to keep going.
Another very important way to practice self-care is to pursue positive interests in your life, such as gardening, making art, writing, singing, cooking, playing sports, or seeking out a hobby you are passionate about. Spending time doing things you enjoy doing, especially when it involves creativity, skill, or personal expression, can really change your mood for the better. They can both relax you and promote self-worth in the same way exercise does.
Spend time with loved ones. Few people know you like your family and friends, and when times get tough their presence can remind you just what you value most. It is easy to get in the habit of avoiding loved ones when you are anxious or stressed, but prolonged isolation can be a sign of self-punishment rather than self-care. We know that for many, free time is in short supply, but making the time to spend quality time with those you love and who love you can be one of the surest forms of self-care.
Finally, in cases where these options don’t seem to be doing the trick, we highly recommend seeing a therapist, counselor, or other professional with expertise in listening and guiding people through stressful times. We know some may feel a hesitation or taboo around this, but when we are going through unusual or extreme trials in life sometimes self-care means finding someone with the know-how to help you lighten the burden. Professional therapists are trained for this task, but in fact, a religious or spiritual counselor can also fill this role. The important thing is that organizing your thoughts, worries, and emotions, and sharing them with someone who can help process them, can be an excellent form of self-care.