When times are hard, taking care of ourselves mentally and physically becomes even more important than it usually is. During quarantine or isolation, there are a number of ways you can take care of yourself while you’re at home to improve mental, emotional, and physical health.
1. Develop a Routine
While being constantly busy is not something to strive for, maintaining a schedule or routine is necessary to take care of yourself at home. The key is to make it realistic and manageable. Wake up at the same time, spend time moving, set aside time for regular meals, and stick to a bedtime. You might have to adjust things and be flexible, but giving your day order will help relieve stress and make things seem more normal.
2. Take Care of Yourself by Staying Active
Spending more time at home means finding ways to get enough physical activity is even more important than usual. Staying home makes it easy to get into a rut where you’re a bit sedentary. But exercise is crucial for your physical and mental health. And because you’re not out and about during the day, getting that energy out is critical. There are many ways to stay active while social distancing. Consult your doctor if you are starting a new exercise routine, especially if you’re pregnant.
3. Set Small Goals
You don’t have to write the great American novel during the quarantine. If you do want to set goals to get things done, scale the size of the goals down. Break up big tasks into smaller steps that are more manageable. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve anything big. Just doing what you need to for your mental and physical health during this time is absolutely enough.
4. Cook Wholesome Meals
A great way to take care of yourself while you’re at home during self-isolation is to prepare and eat wholesome meals. Eating whole, nutritious foods will help you feel better mentally and physically. Talk to your doctor about the kind of nutrition you need and follow those guidelines, especially if you’re pregnant.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation have been trendy terms for several years. And there’s a good reason behind that. Being more mindful of your thoughts and actions is a great way to take care of yourself while you’re at home. There are many ways to practice mindfulness and not all of them include meditating for long periods every day.
6. Take Breaks
A huge part of self-care at home is taking breaks. Breaks from work, social media, news, and screens in general. When you’re working from home, schedule time for coffee or lunch and set a time when your at-home workday is over.
It’s tempting to stay glued to 24-hour news or Twitter all day for updates, but limit your time consuming that kind of information. Limit the number of times you check the news or social media to two or three times a day if possible. And take time to unplug by reading or taking up a new hobby.
7. Make Your Space Comfortable
If you are not comfortable in your space, it will affect you mentally. So practice some self-care at home by paying attention to your space. Whether you have different rooms dedicated to certain activities or your kitchen table needs to serve multiple purposes throughout the day, arrange things in a way that will maximize productivity and comfort.
You might want to take this time to tackle some small home projects that will make things more functional. Clearing out closets, drawers, or rooms can help clear your mind as well. And if you’re pregnant, it’s the perfect time to let that “nesting” urge come out.
8. Communicate With Others
Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to cut off all contact with those who are important to you. You may not be able to see people in-person the way you were before, but staying connected to your friends and family is a crucial part of self-care during quarantine or self-isolation. You might want to text the people you are in touch with throughout the day or set up Skype, Facetime, or Zoom meetings with a group of friends you aren’t able to hang out with.
9. Do Something Nice for Someone Else
While it’s so important to pay attention to your feelings and care for yourself, pushing some of your energy outward can help in multiple ways. There a number of ways you can practice small acts of kindness for others while maintaining social distance. Pick up and drop off groceries and essentials for a friend or neighbor who can’t get out themselves or have a meal delivered to an essential worker.
10. Keep a Journal
Lots of people find keeping a journal beneficial for a lot of different reasons. Some people find getting their thoughts and feelings out of their heads is a necessary part of taking care of yourself. Make it a daily ritual in the morning, before bed, or throughout the day. While the pen-and-paper journal is a time-honored classic, you may prefer opening a blank document on your computer or trying one of the many apps designed for digital journaling.
The team at Triangle Physicians for Women is here for you during this difficult time. Our top priorities are always the safety and health of our patients and staff. For more information on our policies for COVID-19, call the office at (919) 678-6900 or click here for details.