Self Care Tips During the Pandemic

Whether you’re sheltering in place or an essential worker travelling to your job each day, the state of our drastically changed world has likely taken a toll on you. And as we enter another month of the COVID-19 pandemic and look for ways to feed our weary souls, it’s looking like some of our trusted rejuvenation go-to’s are still not available (I for one can’t wait to get a haircut!). So what’s a world-weary person in need of a bit of self-care to do?
Listed below are some ideas for instilling hope and discovering moments of calm and beauty while we wait for the world to safely open up again.

1. Start a gratitude practice. Take a few minutes each day to write a list of things you’re thankful for. Think beyond the usual and notice the little things that make your heart happy. Maybe it’s the vibrant color of the bougainvillea you walk by each day, the look on your cat’s face as she curls up for a nap, or reading a poem that touches you deeply. For inspiration, check out Living Gratitude by Angeles Arrien or Roxann McDonald’s Grateful AF deck.

2. Even though travelling is still not an option for many of us, you can do the next best thing and take a virtual tour of a museum, zoo or theme park.  Looking at beautiful art can be inspiring and moving (check it out here); taking a virtual ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean and singing along to It’s a Small World might be just the thing to lift your spirits (check it out here); and watching graceful giraffes and elegant elephants on San Diego Zoo’s web cams might change your perspective here.  For a great list of virtual tours, check out this Good Housekeeping article here.

3. Do an art project.  Draw or color, paint free hand or use a paint-by-number kit, knit a scarf or crochet a hat, make a collage with old magazine pictures or sculpt something with quick-dry clay.  There’s something very healing and meditative about creating something with your hands.

4. Move. Dance to your favorite music; walk or jog in a park or neighborhood where you are surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees; take an online fitness class; ride a bike, swim in the ocean, play tennis or frisbee with a friend.  When you exercise, you release endorphins which make you feel better and help combat stress.

5. Tap into the spiritual world.  Attend an online church service, listen to a guided meditation on the Calm app (it’s free); create a symphony of comforting sounds on the app RelaxMelodies (also free); learn how to do Soul Collage here; listen to Brene Brown’s TedTalk on the Power of Vulnerability here; take an online yoga class at a local gym, attend an online talk or workshop at Spirit Rock here or Esalen here.

Listed below are some ideas for instilling hope and discovering moments of calm and beauty while we wait for the world to safely open up again.

About The Author

Dorinda Woodley, LMFT is a licensed staff psychotherapist at Pacific CBT. She works with people struggling with anxiety and depression