Self-Care During Challenging Times

17-11-2021

Posted By: Envision2bWell

Self-Care During Challenging Times

Self-Care During Challenging Times

Self-care is essential ALL the time, but especially during challenging times such as a life-changing event, illness, or mental health crisis. The good news is that there really isn’t a right or a wrong way to engage in self-care.  So, where do you begin?  Much has been said about self-care with regards to needing more sleep, which is a vital component of self-care. Yet, if you only concentrate on one area like sleep, you may be missing out on other areas of self-care that are equally important. As you begin checking in with the self-care needs you may have, these nine areas are a good place to start:

Physical Self-Care

Taking care of our physical bodies is very important. Sleep belongs here, as does eating, fitness (movement), and disease/condition management (as needed).  While comfort foods might satisfy in the short run, take the long view and eat foods that nourish your body. Move a bit more to keep your blood flowing and your mind more clear. Keep medical appointments and get help if you see and/or feel that something isn’t right.   

Mental Health Self-Care

Mental health is just as important as physical health; indeed they go hand-in-hand. One self-care practice that can be put into place right away is to take a break every couple of hours and take a walk outside to get some fresh air. This practice helps interrupt the mental cycle of continual worry and breathes new life into your day. Reach out to loved ones for support and seek professional help as necessary. 

Sensory Self-Care

We have become so used to the over-stimulation our senses with technology that we are blind to how it affects our lives. Staring at screens all day and all night means your eyes never get a proper rest, while listening to news stories about the latest issues keeps our minds over-stimulated. We hurt ourselves when we indulge in constant sensory stimulation. Give your brain and senses a break by turning off the screens, putting down your phone, and finding quiet time. Pull back and give your senses a much-needed break.  And, if your body says it needs touch, a hot bath or shower is a wonderful sensory experience that gives back peace and calm. 

Emotional Self-Care

Experts say that emotional self-care is often simply the act of allowing yourself to feel your emotions with little to no judgement. This can be difficult especially when the outside world is giving judgments seemingly every second of the day and night, but it is not impossible. A few practices to begin increasing your emotional self-care is to find times and places to laugh, to compliment yourself for one thing every day, and to smile more. In addition, if you need to cry, do so. Cryng often releases many pent-up emotions and allows them move to onwards. It's important to allow yourself to feel your emotions whatever they are, but it is equally important to let them go. 

Relationship Self-Care

Relationships that are healthy and tended to can be shelters in the storm when we go through times of trouble. Spend time with loved ones who support you and are genuinely there for you. An often forgotten relationship in the realm of relationship self-care is your relationship with yourself. How you talk to yourself and interact with yourself matters. Kindness and grace towards yourself and others will go a long way in nurturing and caring for the relationships in your life. 

Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care is less about what you believe and more about what you do. There are many spiritual practices that can benefit you such as meditation, prayer, awe, gratitude, and being present. Science shows for instance that  a quick dose of awe could lead to measurable increases in well-being. Awe is about being present to the beauty of the ordinary, or what we call 'ordinary' because we don't pay enough attention to it to realize it is actually miraculous. 

Financial Self-Care

Financial stress is extremely challenging because it tends to permeate many areas of your life - relationships, mental health, physical health and more. One of the best things you can do for financial self-care is to build an 'emergency fund' that will carry you through any tough spots such as job loss and other financial setbacks. Knowing you have the necessary back-up funds will relieve a great deal of underlying tension and anxiety. 

Work/Professional Self-Care

Work is a huge part of many people's lives. Cultivating healthy, positive work relationships and connections will help you navigate your workplace and your career. One easy way to practice self-care in this area is to seek out a mentor who you trust for guidance and wisdom. Another easy way is to build or join a professional network of colleagues who are similar, such as fellow women entrepreneurs for instance. 

Creative Self-Care

During a crisis, we don’t often think about caring for our creative sides. Yet, a crisis is exactly the time for creative self-care! Make the time, as Victor Frankl did during his time in the concentration camp, to see something good, to pick up a piece of string and imagine the future. Listen to the music you love, even for 5 minutes. Any ideas that arise from this time, write them down so they don’t get pushed away. 

 

 

 

 

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