Sometimes, I ache for more “me time” to quietly sit and read, or journal, or just dream up some fun. Other times, I feel frivolous, chuckling away self-care like those other health trends feng shui and jazzercise (both of which I’ve tried). The truth falls somewhere in between. I don’t take it seriously enough so I don’t prioritize it – or maybe don’t prioritize myself – high enough to make it a regular practice. To be honest, while self-care feels like a warm-fuzzy lazy day at home, it requires discipline to incorporate it in your life.
For me, I’m carving the habit into my routine by finding time in my day to look into and write about various forms of self-care this month. When the month is over, I’ll take a few that really resonated with me and try to carry them forward in the same time I carved out for blogging because I’m hoping by then, I’ll be craving self-care if I don’t do it. If I even just pick up one good self-care ritual from this month, it’ll be a win.
Right now, I yearn to restore the feeling of having any control of my environment and our lives (of today I’ve been quarantined at home for 4 weeks with two teens with an order to work from home for at least another 9 weeks because of #COVID19). Here’s an idea that may help…
The beautiful thing about this time are all of the people helping others. Obviously the first-responders and everyone working for cures, immunizations or just caring for people towards their recovery or their last days are heroes. We stay home to help not overwhelm our heroes any more than they already are.
Equally, so many grass-roots helpers pop up everywhere. People help their elderly neighbors or those with compromised immunity to get food or needed medicines. Restaurants are feeding first responders or improvising to create fabulous all-inclusive meals for families to pick up or get delivered. People are 3D printing the longer plastic masks or sewing masks like crazy either for friends and family or I have a friend helping a non-profits sew a bunch of masks. Some friends share TP or even wine. People are giving blood, time to volunteer to hand out meals, or money to help students who may still be displaced and not yet able to return home.
I have another friend who did a puppet show from their front yard and families came one-at-a-time to see the show. I have friends leading exercise groups, friends offering tutoring help. I’ve seen beautiful chalked sayings and cute teddy bears in windows for kids to find when out for a walk. Whatever helps us get through the next few weeks – although, I hope it will continue beyond this stay-at-home
At the same time, don’t be afraid to accept help, or ask for help. Connect with somebody if you need help right now or if you don’t feel safe. Be clear in what you need. They could help you find the right resource, help you research answers or perhaps help directly. I see so many people sharing on apps or bartering. I also see so many people willing to help stock food pantries, fill gas tanks or provide dinners for neighbors. 1 out of 9 people is unemployed. We will recover and bounce back. But, until then, we’re all neighbors.
Don’t feel bad taking time for yourself. The best way to be quick to react and fully functioning on a mental and physical level for whatever gets tossed in our path is by taking time for yourself. Get everyone in the house onboard with what you need whether it’s a nap, or to get everyone working at the same time so you can play together later. Get family members to split more of the chores or cooking or perhaps do zoom yoga, guided meditations or reading as a family! a great thing for you to hand down to the next generation.
What about you?
- Share some examples of helpers in your area.
- How have you helped and how does it make you feel?
- Have you connected with people more or less during this period of staying home?
- How do you think we can help people feel better about asking for help when they need it?
- Have you dreamed up something new that helps others as a result of the virus?
This is a part of an #AtoZChallenge so subscribe to find out what’s next. To start back at the beginning, click here!