The world is pretty topsy-turvy right now, because of the global panic around COVID-19. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. We’ve put together this list of self-care activities that you can do from home:
1. Stay active
It’s pretty well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. There’s heaps of different types of exercise you can do from home, thanks to YouTube and apps. We’ve listed a few free ones, or continue doing whatever works for you.
Yoga with Adrienne is a well-loved yoga channel, with over six million subscribers. She’s quirky and down-to-earth, and offers yoga classes lasting from five minutes through to an hour.
Nike Training Club can help you stay active during this time by offering heaps of free workouts you can do from home. It also features wellness and nutrition guidance from experts.
Seven – 7 Minute Workout app (iOS and Android). These seven-minute workouts are based on scientific studies and are designed to provide the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. You can also link up with friends in the app to encourage each other (or, let’s be honest, compete!) – it’s a great way to stay connected. If you play sport and your games and training have been cancelled, you could consider linking up with your team on this app.
2. Take 10 to be zen
When we’re stressed about something (such as coronavirus), our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practise mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness. If you don’t get what mindfulness is all about, check out our WTF is mindfulness meditation.
Here are some suggestions for free mindfulness apps to try:
Insight Timer has over 25,000 free guided meditations, from 1 to 90+ minutes. Try searching by a topic that interests you (e.g. stress, learning to meditate, sleep).
Smiling Mind might be a good option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choice. The meditations are organised by structured programs, such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, etc.
If meditation isn’t for you, try doing an everyday activity in a mindful way – in other words, put aside distractions and focus fully on one small task. For example, while you’re having a cup of tea, pay attention to your senses (the smell of the tea, the warmth of the cup in your hand, the taste).
3. Take a break from the news
Between the news and social media, we’re all feeling saturated by coronavirus updates right now. It’s important to stay informed, but try to limit your media intake to a couple of times a day and use trusted news sources. If you catch yourself turning to social media because you’re feeling isolated, take a break and spend time on another activity, such as those we’ve suggested here.
4. Make a music playlist
Music can make us feel so much better. Hop on Spotify and make a playlist with your fave songs. You could make a group playlist and ask your friends to add five of their favourite songs as well. If you want to get fancy, you could make several playlists for different moods/vibes (e.g. rainy day, feeling happy, etc.).
5. De-clutter for five minutes
If you’re suddenly spending a lot more time at home, it can help to have an environment that feels good to you. Instead of getting all Marie Kondo and trying to overhaul your whole space in a day, try de-cluttering for five mins a day. Pick a shelf to start with, or pick up five things and find a home for them. For more five-minute de-cluttering tips, check out this article.
If it’s all getting a bit much…
Sometimes things can get overwhelming, even if you’ve been practising self-care. As most people will be physically distancing or self-isolating a great option is telephone and online services. Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) can be accessed for phone and online counselling, with Lifeline phone counsellors on call from 7 pm to midnight, and Kids Helpline available 24/7. Eheadspace also offers free online and telephone support and counselling.
If it’s available to you, you could consider seeing your GP or mental health professional for extra help (but make sure to follow the advice of Healthdirect if you’re showing symptoms or are in self-isolation). You could also ask your mental health professional if they could chat over Skype/FaceTime if you’re in self-isolation.