Selfcare is not indulgent or selfish, especially during this extraordinary time. As we face new unknowns daily, overwhelming statistics and an uncertain future, it is easy to slip into depression. We need to monitor ourselves and take preventive measures to avoid, or at least lessen the impact on our mental health. No one knows how long this pandemic will last, and the health care professionals have their hands full providing urgent care. So, let’s do our part and help ourselves to stay strong, positive, and able to help others.
Even during times with restrictions on our outdoor activity, there are ways to build in 30 minutes of exercise each day. Use your electronic devices to help you. Connect with your friends using your FitBit, phone health app, or skype and do workouts together. Challenge yourself. If you are blessed with a backyard, grab a rake and do some spring maintenance, especially if that is the last thing you feel like doing. Have a dog? Best solution yet. Add a play routine to your day.
Unsure if you are a person of faith, meditation, prayer, or scripture reading is one of the best ways to combat depression. Disengaging your mind from the constant flow of negative news, and focusing on ancient scriptures, thinking of the principles and truths that have been passed to us through the millennia will bring hope into your life. Don’t have a Bible? There are countless online versions, downloadable to your phone. This is not time for heated theological arguments, about existence or nonexistence of God, doctrinal differences or specific practices. This is a time to let God be God to you and allow Him to speak directly to your soul. Need peace, love, and assurance that you’re not alone? Ask Him.
Eat well. Yes, even during this time of limited grocery store trips, we can manage to eat well. And by that, I do not mean pasta that comes from a box and is sprinkled with wanna-be-cheese dust. We have been gifted with this unprecedented amount of free time. Use this opportunity to look up how to make real food. Cook with your family members. Connect via your gadget and do a cook-off with your friends. Make something you have never tried before. Declare a theme for the night. Search through your fridge for items nearing the end of their lifespan and challenge yourself to come up with ways to eliminate food waste. Most of all, set your table before every meal. Make things nice for yourself and enjoy your food. Be mindful of what you eat. Shut off the TV, set aside your phone, and truly enjoy your mealtimes. This will not only boost your mood, but also cut down on boredom snacking … and we all know where that leads.
Helena Smrcek started her publishing career as a high school student, freelancing for her local newspaper. She believes in the power of a well told story, may it be an article, feature story or a novel. Helena loves to hear from her readers, so drop her a line. Learn more at HelenaSmrcek.com
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