Apologies for the missed episodes this past Thursday and Monday. With the current pandemic and mood of instability I wasn’t sure whether to share the scheduled interview or not.
I too was suffering extreme anxiety last week as saw our society and lifestyle change from day to day. Like many of us, I was working hard to work with that gnawing anxiety and practice daily self-care the best I could.
And now, as the UK has effectively gone into shutdown, however vague our government insists on being, I do feel my anxiety has eased somewhat. Of course, the usual freedoms we enjoy are slightly curtailed. But I feel that this is something we can adapt to.
I am a big proponent of self-care but I know from personal experience that it’s not always something that comes naturally to some of us. It is especially difficult for those of us who suffer anxiety or any form of mental illness or disorder.
Likewise, I think there’s a cultural factor that prevents many of us from practising self-care for fear of being seen as selfish.
Whatever the reason, I just want to reiterate that self-care is vital to your health. At this point in time, now more than ever, it is vital to practice self-care.
But what is self-care you ask? Well, the beauty of self-care is that it is as individual as the person. The key to self-care is to learn how to listen to yourself and your needs. Try out different forms of self-care to find what resonates for you. And start to create a routine around those self-care activities to help keep yourself balanced during these trying times.
Self-care can be as deep and soul-affirming as meditation, prayer, or self-therapy. Or it can be as light and uplifting as taking a bubble bath or reading a magazine. There are no wrongs or rights with self-care. Just be honest with what is nourishing you and maybe add a few different activities for variety. But otherwise, trust yourself, that is the best you can do.
SELF-CARE FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL
Some of the self-care practices I am doing for my body include:
Making healthy recipes that nourish my body
Drinking lots of water.
Doing stretching routines following youtube videos
Gentle walk around my garden every day.
Having regular dance breaks.
Getting an early night.
Some of the self-care practices I am doing for my mind include:
Doing a deep clean in one room in the house a day.
Turning off social media during the day.
Writing morning pages
Reading a personal development book
Playing Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble in the evenings with my husband.
Some of the self-care practices I am doing for my soul include:
Doing daily gardening tasks such as planting new seeds, learning how to pot up seedlings, doing weeding, etc.
Playing uplifting music
Practising daily meditation for 10 minutes
Allowing my emotions to unfold without judgment of my self
Watching light-hearted tv or comedy to have something to really laugh out loud to.
Another crucial part of dealing with this anxiety of the moment, and staying at home is routine. I have come across lots routine inspiration online over the past week or so and I do believe that having some kind of daily routine that encompasses everything from work and chores, to self-care and creativity, is a super useful for for getting though the day in a healthier and happier way.
And so we have – the quarantine routine – sounds dramatic but I like the rhyming. For the quarantine routine we divide the day up into sections As follows:
Wake Up Routine
Something for the soul
Something for the brain
Spend time outside
Something for the body
Something for the heart
7:00 – 8:00 – WAKE UP ROUTINE
Skincare routine (cleanse and moisturise)
8:00 – 8:30 – SOMETHING FOR THE SOUL
8:30 – 12:00 – SOMETHING FOR THE BRAIN (no phones)
This routine keeps me grounded in the here and now, and is nourishing in all kinds of ways. I sent this routine to my my little sisters who are still in school. They have it printed out and stuck on the wall of the study.
With all that being said about routines, self-care, community spirit, and nourishing your soul. I think one of the key takeaways I would ultimately like you to take away from this podcast today is this…
It is ok to feel your emotions. It’s ok to be scared. It’s ok to anxious. It’s ok to be angry and upset. Our lives have changed dramatically and we had no say in that. Please do not suppress your emotions and try to carry on as normal. I certainly don’t want these self-care activities and routines to hide your feelings. So take your time. Allow your emotions to bubble up. Express them. Feel them. Acknowledge them.
I had started EMDR therapy just before this lockdown (it’s for a severe phobia I have) and the key thing about EMDR is it is about your brain processing circumstances and emotions.
The ability to process how we feel and what we are going through is essential.
So by all means, create a routine. Do practice self-care. But crucially process your emotions as they materialise. This is all totally natural.
Practice self-care for the body, mind, and soul to keep healthy during the period of self-isolation.
Create a daily routine that encourages the mind, body, creativity, activity, and switching off.
Feel your emotions. Express them, acknowledge them, don’t judge them.