IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE DURING THE PANDEMIC
“Self Care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
- Eleanor Brown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been very overwhelming for all of us as it called for the whole world to sit at home. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are to sit at home with no source of income. All the children who went to school, played all evening, got out of their houses, and did not return home until dinner was at the table, now have to sit at home and focus on one screen all day long. Online classes and work from home do not help in making us feel any better.
Like all other natural disasters/calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic too has caused psychological distress among the people. But the COVID pandemic has done much more than what the other disasters could do. It has been toxic as it just required the world to come at a pause. Everything stopped, people started getting affected, no cure was being found, no salaries, and there did not seem an end to it.
The pandemic caused major trauma and stress among people and also caused COVID-19 anxiety syndrome. People with OCD and low tolerance to uncertainty started getting trapped by this syndrome.
Self Care is important even without a pandemic. It improves physical and mental health and reduces stress and tension. But self-care is now very crucial during the pandemic. With all this going around us, and some even having first-hand experiences of the damage the pandemic brings, it can adversely affect us in so many ways.
“If we don’t learn how to manage ourselves, how are we going to get through this? Because this is definitely a marathon, this is not a sprint”, says Jackson-Preston, who researches burnout and self-care practices among hospital and public health workforces.
While sitting idly at home, the best thing to do is focus on oneself. The relaxation one gets from having a healthy diet, taking care of one’s health and body triggers the relaxation response. This can prevent chronic stress and hence prevents any damage to the mind.
We should also take care of ourselves so that we are capable of helping our family, friends, and others in need during the pandemic. This is the time when our people need us and more than anybody, we need ourselves.
Exercising, dancing, singing, skincare, yoga, hot baths or any other thing that makes us feel good is what we should do during our free time instead of spending even more time staring at our screens. Meditation, songs, family time, and other things that make our minds happy are required.
Do not overload yourself with work, take breaks whenever you feel like you need one, interact with people, and also spend time alone. Get to know yourself, focus on your hobbies, learn new things. Stop watching the news if too much negativity is getting to you, focus on the positives, be happy for being in perfect shape during the pandemic. Contribute to the world, bring a smile to other's faces, it will make you feel happy too.
Ways to take care of physical health -
- Have healthy food
- Start breathing exercises
- Avoid alcohol
- Drink plenty of water
- Sleep early
Ways to take care of mental health-
- Set a routine that suits you
- Focus on things in your control
- Be grateful for good health
- Acknowledge and appreciate others for their contributions
- Use the internet to connect with people
If anybody experiences symptoms like trouble focussing on daily activities, anxiety, feeling of not having control, vulnerable feeling or feeling of hopelessness or helplessness, having strong negative emotions, or having no motivation to even get out of bed, the person should immediately reach out for help to family, friends or psychologists/therapists. It is important to address issues like these and ask for help. These symptoms should not be ignored as they can cause major damage to mental health in the long run.
After all, it is always the battle in the mind, and when the mind is happy, half the battle is won then and there. A happy mind results in a happy soul and body. Focus on yourself during this pandemic and keep yourself positive. Take care.
-by Anshika Pandey