The world is pretty topsy-turvy right now. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. We’ve put together this list of self-care activities that you can do from home. They’ll help you feel a little better and give you a sense of control during a very uncertain time.
1. Stay active
It’s pretty well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. Staying active and continuing any physical therapy treatment is crucial to your health during this time. Doing your exercises, going for a walk, and taking that time for yourself will help you stay positive and healthy during this time.
2. Take 10 to be zen
When we’re stressed about something (such as coronavirus), our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practice mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness.
Here are some suggestions for free mindfulness apps to try:
• Insight Timer has over 25,000 free guided meditations, from 1 to 90+ minutes. Try searching by a topic that interests you (e.g. stress, learning to meditate, sleep).
• Smiling Mind might be a good option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choice. The meditations are organized by structured programs, such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, etc.
• If meditation isn’t for you, try doing an everyday activity in a mindful way – in other words, put aside distractions and focus fully on one small task. For example, while you’re having a cup of tea, pay attention to your senses (the smell of the tea, the warmth of the cup in your hand, the taste…).
3. Catch Up With Friends
Even if an in-person meet-up is off the table, try to stay in touch with your friends via text, Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or (gasp!) a good old fashioned phone call. Ask them how they’re feeling and share your own experience if you feel safe to do so. You could even start a group chat where each person shares one good thing that happened in their day.
4. Check out our new Zebra Strong Program
Our very own Dr. P is beginning a brand new program for those of us with EDS and joint hypermobility. This completely online program will give your more tips on how to stay physically and mentally healthy while living with EDS and joint hypermobility. For more info, check out this Instagram post, give us a call, or shoot us an email.
5. Make a homemade meal
Good nutrition is always important, but during stressful times there’s nothing better than a tasty, healthy homemade meal – especially if you made it yourself. You could ask a friend or family member for their fave recipe.
For many people it may be challenging to get some ingredients at the moment. If you’re running low or not able to get certain things, it’s totally fine to keep it really simple. You could also get creative with substitutions or Google ‘[ingredient] substitute’ for ideas.
6. Take a break from the news
Between the news and social media, we’re all feeling saturated by coronavirus updates right now. It’s important to stay informed, but try to limit your media intake to a couple of times a day and use trusted news sources. If you catch yourself turning to social media because you’re feeling isolated, take a break and spend time on another activity, such as those we’ve suggested here.
7. Make a music playlist
Music can make us feel so much better. Hop on Spotify and make a playlist with your favorite songs. You could make a group playlist and ask your friends to add five of their favorite songs as well. If you want to get fancy, you could make several playlists for different moods/vibes (e.g. rainy day, feeling happy, etc.).
8. Declutter for five minutes
If you’re suddenly spending a lot more time at home, it can help to have an environment that feels good to you. Instead of getting all Marie Kondo and trying to overhaul your whole space in a day, try decluttering for five mins a day. Pick a shelf to start with, or pick up five things and find a home for them.
9. Watch or read something uplifting
Distraction can be a good thing. Watch something that you find uplifting and allow yourself to zone out from what’s going on in the world.
If reading is more your thing, go to your bookshelf and choose an old favorite or something you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, or if you don’t have physical books then e-books are a great option.
10. Learn something new
Have you wanted to get into drawing or learning a musical instrument? Now’s a great time to make a start. If you want to learn a new language, Duolingo is an awesome free language learning program you can access from your computer or phone. YouTube has great free online tutorials for pretty much everything.
If it’s all getting a bit much…
Reach out. Tell someone how you’re feeling whether it be a family member, close friend, or even someone on our team. We are here for you.
If it’s available to you, you could consider seeing your GP or mental health professional for extra help (but make sure to follow the advice of the CDC if you’re showing symptoms or are in self-isolation). You could also ask your mental health professional if they could chat over Skype/FaceTime if you’re in self-isolation.
These are unusual and challenging times, we get it. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your health and wellbeing on hold. Take this extra time that you have to do something for yourself. Let us know what you’re doing to take care of yourself by tagging us on Instagram @drperrettodpt or using #ActifyPT – we want to hear from you!