With the pandemic, maintaining self-care is considerably more challenging. However, it is essential for maintaining psychological health.
In the last year, the world has changed dramatically and we all feel the need to adapt our routine and lifestyle. Changes, adjustments, and restrictions are constant, and worry and uncertainty are here to stay. In this scenario, it matters more than ever to adopt effective self-care strategies. But, how to do it? Let’s find out!
SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS: WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT?
Wellness refers to how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general. Feeling well encompasses feeling good physically and psychologically, being satisfied with the social relationships we have, as well as being able to give meaning and purpose to our existence.
Well-being is not permanent and fluctuates depending on circumstances and moments in life. Therefore, in times of crisis like the ones we live in it is even more important to take care of ourselves and our well-being.
The happier, more motivated, and involved we feel, the more well-being we manifest and the easier it is for us to overcome adversity. To achieve and maintain an overall happy and healthy state one must not neglect self-care.
But, after all, what is self-care? It is the ability to choose and put into practice all the activities that help maintain or improve our general well-being. It increases our energy, confidence, and self-esteem. It decreases anxiety and stress.
SELF-CARE: HOW TO TAKE CARE OF WELL-BEING IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC?
More than half of Portuguese citizens felt a negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their psychological health and well-being. These data reinforce not only the importance of self-care, but above all reinforce that this should be a daily effort. Here are some simple, practical suggestions for ensuring daily self-care:
Set aside time just for yourself:
No, it’s not selfish and no, it’s not impossible. To care for and help others, it is essential that you first and foremost feel good and capable. Take time for yourself, rest, and maintain good sleeping habits. Get ready, don’t spend the day in your pajamas. Take care of yourself and make healthy choices (healthy eating and physical activity).
Engage in pleasurable activities:
List all the activities that make you feel good, calm and happy. All activities are valid (e.g., reading a book, listening to a podcast, dancing to your favorite song, redecorating the house).
Every day, devote a little bit of your day to doing these activities. You’ll feel more satisfied and relaxed, and if you manage your time well, you’ll find that these moments don’t get in the way of your routine or daily tasks.
Maintain happy relationships:
Remember that you are not alone! Even if there is distance, invest and nurture your relationships. Support and feel supported by family and friends. Don’t inhibit yourself, express your affections and emotions, share concerns, and exchange experiences.
For example, call those you care about most and recall fun times in the past or catch up with someone you miss.
Talk. Don’t isolate yourself:
Talking about how you feel is important. It helps reduce stress and makes you feel better.
Sharing with family and friends should be reinforced. In crisis situations it is natural that everyone feels more anxious, tense, worried. Talk about it.
Balance the work-life relationship:
All dimensions of your life are important. Don’t neglect any of them. Learn to prioritize and manage time so that no one dimension is immensely affected.
Ask for help:
Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. If you cannot ensure self-care, if you feel that your psychological well-being is affected and you constantly experience symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, exhaustion or prolonged sadness, it is important to ask for specialized help.
In this situation you can, for example, call the SNS24 Psychological Counseling Line (1, 2, 3).”