Currently, the world is under an ample amount of stress due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Staying inside and practicing social distancing can cause some people to not only feel stress, but also sadness, loneliness, and a lack of normalcy.

This lack of social interactions can cause anxiety and huge health risks. Isolation and staying indoors also can lead to sunlight deprivation and depression.

One way to cope with the feelings that come with such an uncertain time to practice self-care. Not only is it important to practice self-care during stressful times, but making self-care a regular habit during normal life is crucial to handle for any challenges that may arise.

There are several benefits to regularly engaging in self-care, including maintaining physical health as well as improving and preserving emotional and mental health. Practicing self-care also increases productivity and reduces stress to boost the immune system. There are a wide range of self-care activities that may be beneficial.

Physical self-care helps improve and maintain overall physical health. Some examples of self-care to improve physical health include: exercise/body movement, eating nutritious foods, getting adequate sleep, and maintaining a clean and organized space. Check out a virtual fitness class (insert links to virtual programming), try a new recipe, de-clutter, or start a regular bedtime routine to energize your current routine. Getting outdoors for sunlight (natural Vitamin D) and some fresh air refreshes the soul and spirit in countless ways.

Emotional and mental self-care activities may be more restful and relaxing. Rejuvenating your mind and spirit is essential to maintaining emotional and mental health. Some ways to revamp the state of your mind and heart may be spending time outdoors, meditation, reading, journaling, prayer, lighting candles, or taking a warm bath. Getting in touch with your creative side by painting, crafting, sewing, or music can also be effective ways to care for yourself emotionally and mentally.

Social self-care is vital to promote and maintain healthy relationships. While many self-care activities can be done alone, it’s important to socialize with others in order to avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness. Spending time with loved ones may be challenging under current orders of social distancing due to COVID-19; however, technology presents various ways to connect with others. Have a phone chat with a family member, initiate a video call with a group of friends, or use social media for fun virtual connections! If you don’t feel tech savvy, reach out to a family member or friend who is technology savvy for help.

Essentially, self-care can be any activity that refreshes your mind and body, and it is meant to add joy and fun to life. Practicing self-care is important for promoting individual growth, but it also improves the way we interact and connect with others. Regularly engaging in self-care promotes healthier relationships with family members, partners, friends, co-workers, and is especially important for those in caregiving roles.

Implementing self-care is not only a way to be kind to yourself, but it fills you up so that you have enough kindness to spread to others, too.

Submitted by Ashlyn Woods, In-Home Coordinator, FiftyForward Victory Over Crime