by Melisse Ogilvie, Social Worker
Desmond Tutu, wrote, “A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.”
There are many ways we can use this season to our advantage but today I want to focus on self-care. Self-care refers to those steps we should take to attain a state of good physical and mental health, reduce stress and find a balance between our personal and professional lives.
Covid-19 has created circumstances beyond our control, but we have to decide whether we would allow the worry and anxiety of these circumstances to adversely affect us, or we use the opportunity to be good to ourselves. Here are some ways we can incorporate self-care in our lifestyle during this time:
Obey the Rules
First and foremost, choose to adhere to guidelines, regardless of how inconvenient. Wash those hands! Maintain social distancing! Wear your mask — at any cost.
Do it because your life depends on it.
While we are on hygiene, do you forget to take bathroom breaks? That too, is an act of self-care.
Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat
Life is a marathon, with moments of sprints and power walks. To run this marathon, we need physical and mental endurance, energy and discipline.
Adopting a lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and rest, will help us run the marathon well. Consuming a well-balanced diet will not only boost our immune system to fight the coronavirus, but the benefits to our overall physical health will outlive the virus. Exercise has proven to be also beneficial to our mental health. Commit to doing some form of exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
Additionally, take measures to get adequate sleep so that your body is repaired and rejuvenated for the next day. Besides sleeping, there are other ways to rest or unplug. They include meditating and praying.
Let’s take preventative steps now, rather than later.
Walk with friends
The journey is best done with people. It is important to have accountability partners who will remind us to incorporate self-care in our daily lives. Develop that support system but also be that support to others. In this era of physical distancing, when we are not allowed to walk in groups, we can find creative ways to walk “together” but apart. What is necessary is that we do it.
Developing the ability to manage the demands of our personal lives, professional lives and family, admittedly, is not easy, but comes with practice. We have many other identities such as wives, husbands, daughters, sisters, parents, church leaders, community activists, teachers, and caretakers. Self-care should be incorporated to support and enrich those identities.
Creating a work-life balance involves a regular examination of the expectations and priorities of these roles and the making of necessary adjustments.
Choosing well, is making that conscious effort to choose you; your health and well-being.
Remember, self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessary lifestyle.
Thank you to our essential and frontline workers for your continued service and sacrifice. Stay safe and choose well!
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