We’ve been in lockdown for quite some time now, which no doubt has resulted in many complications in our personal, professional, and academic lives. Yes, it is frustrating, stressful and it’s difficult to muster up any motivation at all. This is why self-care is all the more important. Self-care is often the first out the window when life gets tough, which certainly doesn’t alleviate stress. Plus, we’re all stuck at home with so much time to ourselves, might as well right?
Here are some simple things you can do to take care of your mental, physical and emotional well-being in lockdown:
Connect With Friends and Family
Whether you’re an international student thousands of miles away from home, or just stuck at your place, try to stay connected with your family and friends. Meet up virtually, watch a movie together or play some video games together.
Still don’t know what to do with them? Check out Backyard.co, it’s a free online game/video chat all in one platform. Use it to watch youtube videos together, video chat, or play games like doodle, chess, and more.
Still not sure? Just give them a call! If their day is as monotonous as yours, surely they’d love to hear from you!
Take Care of Your Body
Being stuck at home has affected our physical health quite a bit. That can change today, get movin’! Exercise doesn’t only affect your physical health, studies have shown that moderately intensive exercises produce endorphins, which do wonders to elevate your mood and relieve stress.
Go for a 10-minute jog or bike ride around your block. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, get up and do some jumping jacks, push-ups or squats. Anything to get your heart pumping! There are also plenty of mobile workout apps that can give you some more inspiration.
Try a New Hobby
What’s a hobby that you’ve always wanted to get into but just didn’t have the time for? Now is a good time to try it! Learning a new skill has never been as easy with the entire internet at our exposal, just look it up on youtube. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Play a new instrument
- Learn photoshop
- Read (paper books)
- Learn to cook foreign foods
- Look for new music
- Gardening (if you have a backyard)
Stick to a Routine
Having a lot of free time might feel fun and relaxing, but at this point, it sure doesn’t feel that way. Not having a routine leads to procrastination and stress build-up from all the decisions you make on how to spend your day. So try to stick to a routine!
Create a schedule: start with the big things like work or studying, then food and leisure. Don’t forget to include exercise and (virtual) family time. It might help to leave some gaps in your schedule, in the beginning, to do whatever you feel like and only stick to the schedule a few times a week and work your way up.
Be Kind to Yourself
If there are any takeaways, let it be this: be kind to yourself. Life is hard enough as it is, an unprecedented pandemic certainly isn’t helping. Given the extremely difficult situation we’re all in, is it really reasonable to expect yourself to perform at the same standard as if there weren’t a global pandemic? Cut yourself some slack. You’re doing your best, shouldn’t that count for something?
Ask For Help
There’s no shame in asking for help, ask for help if you need it. Reach out to family, friends, or your institution’s counseling services. There are also plenty of online counseling services or hotlines you can call for assistance:
- Crisis Services Canada
- Kids Help Phone: 24 hours confidential and anonymous professional counseling between the age of 5 to 29
- Hopes for Wellness: Immediate crisis intervention
For more resources, visit Mental Health Support Canada. Ask for help if you need it, you pay taxes and tuition for a reason!