With the current situation in the UK right now, many of us are stuck at home with nothing to do but worry. This crisis has affected everyone in a different way, and it’s more important now than ever to take care of ourselves during the uncertainty. I unfortunately lost my job; but I’m seeing this as an opportunity to get back to myself. I have a lot more spare time on my hands now, and I’m terrible for neglecting self care. We’re confined to our homes, with limited resources, it’s easy to feel hopeless. But there are still some self care habits you can start today – and hopefully carry them on when life eventually returns to some semblance of normal.
Wake Up Earlier
You might not have anywhere to be, but having good ‘sleep hygiene’ is key to being more productive and functional in general. Of course, you should still aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night, so if you’re going to bed at 2am, maybe don’t set that alarm for 6am. Practise going to bed a little earlier every night, until you find the routine that works for you. I feel so much better about the day ahead when I get up earlier – and I don’t skip breakfast!
A lot of gym classes are moving online, and YouTube has a huge variety of exercise videos; from yoga to HIIT. Now you can exercise from the comfort and safety of your own home, as long as you have the space, there’s no excuse not to start today. The benefits of regular exercise are never ending, and I’m sure everyone knows what they are by now. I’m super lazy, but as long as I’m at home, no-one can judge me for not having the stamina of an Olympic athlete. Find something you like and stick with it, you’ll notice the benefits quickly.
Drink More Water
Have you ever made a note of how much water you drink in a day? I used to think I had enough – well, I was wrong. Generally you should be aiming for 2 litres a day. Staying hydrated does wonders for your skin, digestion, metabolism, and overall health. It’s such a simple act of self care that most people don’t even realise they’re neglecting. Keep a bottle of water nearby and track your intake to make sure you’re drinking enough water.
Loneliness is hitting us hard right now. Fortunately, we’re still able to keep in touch with most of our loved ones even if we can’t see them in person. We can still stay connected digitally. FaceTime your friends, phone your grandparents, check in with people regularly and make sure everyone is okay. Shutting yourself off from the world goes against our human nature. We need to socialise, to belong. It’s okay to take ‘people breaks’ every now and again (I’m very introverted and need a lot!), but watch out if you find yourself making too much of a habit of it.
Improve Your Personal Hygiene
Start that 10 step skincare routine you never had the time for until now. Make a DIY facemask – and maybe a hair mask too. If you’ve really been neglecting yourself lately, then start with the small stuff: Take a shower (or bath!) every day, wash and brush your hair, brush and floss your teeth daily. Start a morning and night routine to make your new habits stick. Investing time in your personal hygiene and appearance shouldn’t be overlooked – it does wonders for your mental health and self-confidence.
Most of us are stuck indoors now with a lot of free time on our hands. I’m using this as an opportunity to explore my creativity without distraction, and process my anxieties in a healthy way. You’ve probably heard me talk about the mental health benefits of a creative outlet, so I won’t go on about it too much. But when I’m feeling down, anxious, angry, or bored, for me personally there is no better outlet than writing. If that’s not your thing, here’s a list of creative hobbies you can start today, most of which don’t require many materials.
Not every act of self care has to be grand, expensive, and take weeks to plan. Self care can be as simple as you want it to be, and most of it starts in the home; with us.
“The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Epictetus