If you are unaware that we have been put in fight or flight for two years, make no mistake that your body knows this.
If you have seen the scale creep up, the food choices that were once “Oh I’m going to learn how to bake this loaf of bread from scratch” to “F-it. What’s in this fridge. I think it’s only a few weeks old, right?” To ordering food, thinking about working out, but then thinking about taking a nap instead, many people are right there with you.
Teachers and health care workers, Bless you all. If you are not taking care of yourself, you are probably past the point of burning out. Just a reminder, stress relief won’t do you any good if you don’t take care of your body. Hitting the gym sporadically also is not doing you any good if you don’t feed your body the right nutrition.
Self-care can be defined as a conscious act that enhances your well-being. You aren’t putting yourself on the back burner only to boil over and have nothing left.
If you find yourself getting sick loads, it might be time to look at your overall nutrition, vitamin intake, and stress levels. Physical self-care is important and you don’t want to put off those wellness checks.
Besides physical self-care, let’s take a look at mental self-care as well.
The psychological stressors of the last two years might have you wondering if every person in your family is okay. Maybe you have had to be a teacher for a while, a health care person for your own family, and maybe you have even lost your job or had to step down in order to help your family stay on top of their tasks.
You need to ask yourself if you are taking care of yourself. Are you doing the following things?
- Eating on time and a well-balanced meal. I get it. We have let things slide. But if you look to your refrigerator and there’s not much in the way of healthy options, it’s time to take control. Start thinking about bone broths, protein shakes, or smoothies if time is limited, but there’s always some better options available if you set yourself up for success.
- Set a schedule for sleep. If you work from home now and make your own schedule, you should probably stick to it. Set an alarm and wake up when you need to as well as try to keep your bed time the same. It is very important to prioritize sleep, and knock off social media an hour before bed to write in your journal and meditate. It really helps you sleep better.
- Exercise or move in some way. I love to garden, but in the winter, I don’t have that option. I don’t like exercise. I just naturally don’t like it. You won’t find me saying I love it; however, you will find me loving how I feel after. That’s why I find things I like to do like yoga, and dancing. I don’t care what you do, but make a list of things that get you moving and pick one. Walking is also an option or roller-skating…but even my mom thinks I might fall all over and I am a grown woman, but I like fun stuff. I used to mountain bike, snow ski, etc. Again, my mom thought I’d fly off the mountain with both of those options. But here I am.
- Mindfulness. Most everyone can be annoying if you let them be. We have so many opinions on what is “right”, but the only one that matters is yours for your health, honestly, whatever that is, so take a breath. I teach that in my online club, but when we let emotions over power the head, they control us. Mindfulness teaches us to practice the pause and be in the present. So does mindful breathing, walking, journaling, anything to get your mind calm.
- Find support. I don’t know how you have been feeling, but isolation is only good for a short while. I still have been teaching in my online support group, and I teach my local yoga to a small group. Those people help me see people, both online and in the real world. I do energy check-ins with my members so they can tell me what is going on, how they are feeling, what we need to work on, and what support they need. It is important for you to have that, so if you don’t have it, you are welcome to come join us, or reach out to an old friend and start a pen pal letter. Go old school and ask what is up like you don’t see each other on social media (or maybe you don’t see each other on social media much). Reach out and chat with people at least once a week if you can. It helps!
I just created this Self-Care Journal and it includes a planner, a lesson on self-care, a meditation and something I created called Soul Recipes that are a great bonus right now. It is like a recipe for when you are feeling “some kind of way” and you go to the card and do the exercise. All this helps you feel better and more in control in under 10 minutes. Check it out here.