If we’re being honest, this pandemic has been hard on everyone in some way. Through the lockdowns and health orders, it can be hard to find some sense of normalcy.
Something I have realized is that self-care and self-love are just as important now (and maybe more than ever). So, what is self-love anyway? It is defined as
“regard for one’s own well-being and happiness”, so it’s easy to see why it is important for us to focus on. But it can also be difficult to do so, especially when COVID-19 has turned a lot of our lives upside down. With most of our future plans being put on hold, as well as changes to our day-to-day lives, it is beneficial to make some extra time for ourselves.
So here are my top ten favorite ways to practice self-care and self-love during this global health crisis. Some of these suggestions may be easier than others, but I’m sure there is something for everyone. Keep in mind that these work for all stages of life, regardless of a pandemic.
- Get ready. At least some times. How this looks will vary for everyone, but for me personally this means showering daily, putting on nice clothes, and doing my hair and makeup. Getting all dolled up, even if it is just to hang out at home or to go to work, it really makes me feel more put together and gives me an extra boost of self-esteem. For an added boost of confidence, take photos when you do this to really feel cute.
Make better sleep a priority. While this sounds like just common sense,
getting a good sleep is critical to our well-being. It can improve your mood and also will help keep your immune system functioning well.
- Move your body. Something as simple as taking a walk around the block or doing some stretching can go a long way. I haven’t been to the gym in nearly a year but have been taking my puppy on lots of walks, as well as doing lots of home workouts. When I get my body moving my mood is significantly improved and I also sleep better.
- Pay attention to your screen time, as well as the content you are consuming. This is one of the most important things for me. I have been trying to do less mindless scrolling and have also “cleaned up” my social media. For me, this meant following more accounts that focus on self-love and mental well-being but for you this may be different. Try to unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself, and try to follow people you truly resonate with. Be selective about who you follow and interact with.
Try to eat more nutritional foods. Again, it seems like common sense
but eating more fruits and vegetables can make you feel so much better. I’m not saying you should go on a diet, or not get take out, or not eat a chocolate bar. Just try to incorporate more whole foods into your meals.
- Maintain some routine. Even though a lot of us have had to make changes to our daily routines, keeping some sort of routine can really help life feel more normal. Maybe that means waking up and going to bed at normal times, or starting your day with getting ready, or eating at regular times. It will look different for everyone, but do the best you can.
- Cleaning can be self-care. I realize how strange this may sound to some, and I’m not suggesting everyone should go on an organizing spree now. But for me, and I’m sure some of you too, mess can be a major source of stress and anxiety. For this reason, I really try to do some basic tidying most days, but I also give myself grace if I’m not in the mood to do any cleaning.
Make time for yourself. This could be time pursuing your hobbies and dreams, time to take a nap or rest, time to journal, time to watch some
television, time to lay in the bathtub and do a facemask, or numerous other things. Just try to give yourself time to do something that you want to do regularly.
- Practice positive affirmations and self-talk. It can be easy to criticize ourselves, especially now. That’s why it is crucial to be nice to yourself. Try to speak kindly to yourself. Look up some positive affirmations and practice them often. Maybe even start journaling and writing down things you love about yourself.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. “Comparison is the thief of joy” is what Theodore Roosevelt said and it is so true. Everyone is going through things that we know nothing about. Comparing our flaws or imperfections to someone else’s highlights is an easy way to get down on ourselves. When I catch myself making comparisons, I try to instead focus on the positives about myself and my life.
Obviously, there are so many more wonderful ways that we can add some self-care and self-love to our lives, but these are just a few of the ones I find most simple and helpful and I hope they work for you too.
So how are you going to be adding more self-care and self-love to your life?
- Hayley Schmaltz, is a 27 year old married dog mom. She, her husband, Tannon, and their miniature schnauzer puppy, Indy, reside in Prince George BC. During business hours Hayley works as an office assistant, but is a content creator in her spare time. She has a passion for beauty, self love, and supporting other women.