Self-Care in an Apocalypse-esque World
If you’re like “most people” right now, you’re probably sitting at home, either in a makeshift office or curled up on the couch, rotating between working, panicking, and tending to your new coworkers. Your coworkers may be children, pets, or potted plants scattered around the house that have been watered more in the last two weeks than they’ve been watered in their entire life. Either way, you’re experiencing major disruptions to the entirety of your routine in the throes of deeply uncertain times. It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of it all as you lose track of hours, days, or even weeks at a time—but you’re not alone in this, no matter how isolating social distancing can feel. So here’s how we’re going to get through this, together!
First and foremost, know that your feelings are incredibly valid. If you’re scared, overwhelmed, anxious etc., that’s more than “normal”—it’s the new norm, and it’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to be a superhero who pioneers the perfect way to cope right now, and you don’t have to emerge from this mess as the proverbial better version of yourself. Emerging from this with your health and sanity will be a feat in and of itself.
So here are some tips that we’re trying out during this new norm and we’re hoping they will help you as much as they are helping us :)
Establishing a semblance of structure and routine. Your routine may look totally different from the one you enjoyed just two short weeks ago, but finding a routine nonetheless can make a world of difference. And no, not the routine of traipsing to the kitchen every ten minutes to even out that sheet of brownies, one piece at a time…….
So how can we structure a good routine?
Let’s start with sleep….
Research shows that the same detrimental effects of sleeping too little apply to sleeping too much, so while it may seem attractive to sleep in until 11 am, try to set an alarm for the same time you would normally wake up and avoid going to sleep hours later than usual. Disrupting your circadian rhythm can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, causing a domino effect of consequences.
Part of maintaining a routine while in isolation includes doing some of the things you probably looked forward to not doing while quarantined. This includes showering regularly, putting on pants with a waistband, and leaving your bed. Sure, it’s nice to have a casual day of binge-watching the TV show you’ve been putting off for months, but if that becomes a daily habit, it will soon lose its sense of luxury and become an emotional burden. Let’s do our best to keep screen time to a minimum and wear something other than pajamas and sweats.
Make a Priority List
Now that we’re confined to our homes, we’re most likely noticing a lot of items that need love around the house (laundry, dishes, cleaning...all the fun things, right?!), so making a priority list could help ease the stress. Not everything has to be done all at once, and maybe it would be helpful to designate housekeeping items to certain days of the week (Mondays/Wednesday/Friday = laundry, while Tuesday/Thursday = cleaning) Certain hours of the day can be designated to work, while others are designated to homeschooling, social media, housekeeping, catching up with friends, fitness, relaxation and anything else that needs to be done.
Let’s talk about boredom and stress eating and how very real it is. Studies actually correlate this phenomenon to subconscious efforts to ease the unpleasant sensation of boredom or stress, which there is certainly no shortage of right now. If you find yourself wrist-deep in a family size bag of licorice, of which two minutes prior had been designated to the “hidden emergency stash” (insert hand-raising emoji) this may be considered stress eating. How can we break these habits? Well, number 1, don’t beat yourself up over it. Every day lends a new opportunity to take better care of yourself and make better decisions (I keep telling myself this). Before you go to bed, try making a list of the ways you will treat yourself better tomorrow and take it one day at a time. Try to stick to your standard meal schedule and avoid gravitating towards unhealthy sugar-loaded snacks. If you’re interested in a food plan to fit your lifestyle, Fad Free is a great resource! In addition, here’s a link to a few healthy satisfying snacks that won’t spike your blood sugar and leave you hungrier.
Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, is the importance of remaining mentally stimulated. We take for granted how important our social interactions are and how much they contribute to our mental health. When isolated from friends, family, coworkers, or even complete strangers, we’re often left feeling very lonely and missing out on those snippets of conversation. In the wake of social distancing, tons of resources have been made available to help ease this loneliness, including the CDC’s own list of articles and advice. In addition, there’s a wide variety of ways to socialize digitally in lieu of meeting up with friends. One of our favorites is the Houseparty App, which allows you to virtual hangout with friends and even play games!
Candidly, there’s a lot of nuances to this whole thing, most of which vary from person to person in terms. This is nowhere near a comprehensive list of all the things needed to survive and thrive as we ride COVID-19 out, and anyone that claims to have it all figured out is fooling themselves. The hope is that with each added blog post or newsletter you’re receiving, you’ll be able to extract some sort of comfort or solace. Whether you’re a working parent, retired, a student, or anywhere in between, your life has been quite suddenly upended, and this is just a small piece of the puzzle in an effort to make this temporary reality feel doable. Keep your chin up, warrior. We’ll get through this together!
Sending good vibes and virtual hugs!
~ Goldfine Jewelry
Content contribution by Raven Bellefleur
Photo by Jennifer Alana of Sagee Imagery
Wardrobe by Hackwith Design House
Jewelry by Goldfine Jewelry