There are many seasons in life.
Some are exhilarating, others exhausting. Some bring immense growth, and others deplete you.
Just as there are seasons in nature, there is continual change in our daily lives. Many of us were caught off guard by the coronavirus, and our questions about the future can be more depleting than the uncertainty of this day.
But wisdom takes the long view, and that means prioritizing personal health so you can endure and thrive tomorrow.
From Crisis to Recovery
As you move from a season of chaos to a season of recovery, self-care is one of the most important things you can do. What might this look like? Here is a checklist to consider:
Set a Routine and Prioritize Consistency
Since so many things are out of whack, daily routines are more important than ever.
Create expectations for yourself and your family by involving them in daily cleaning, cooking, recreation, or school responsibilities. Make room for relaxing and fun activities, and build quiet space into your calendar. Posting a new weekly schedule for everyone can make life feel more fun, productive, and stable.
Spend Time Outside
Enjoy the outdoors every day, whether it’s a walk around your yard or sitting under an umbrella on your front steps.
The outdoors will refresh you. Even opening the windows can bring an invigorating breeze and a gush of energy.
A lot of what we hear and see these days is scary and troubling, and there is power as we move in the opposite spirit.
Whether it’s a YouTube video or a hopeful song, find one thing each day that makes you smile, laugh, or feel good. To double the impact, share your positivity with others. A joy shared is multiplied!
Perhaps the last few months have left you so frazzled you haven’t made time for others.
Isolation is very dangerous, increasing your risk of mortality, prompting quicker cognitive decline, and inflating your pessimism about the future. People need people, and sometimes YOU need to be the one who makes the first move. Reach out to others through emails, video-conferencing, a driveway coffee date, or a long walk.
Control What You Can
While it is natural to worry about the future, anxiety can carry you away.
When uncertainty tempts you to fret, counteract that by concentrating on what IS in your control. Can you deep-clean your storage room, re-arrange furniture, or start a wood-working project? Bringing order to chaos is a wonderful antidote to stormy emotions.
Research shows that helping others is a great way to help yourself.
When recovering from a season of stress, one of the best ways to recover is by lifting others up too. Can you donate money, supplies, or time to a non-profit? Deliver groceries or a “favorite” pampering item to someone who isn’t expecting it?
When you are stressed or afraid, one of the most powerful things you can do is to find someone who is worse off than you and serve them.
This Too Shall Pass
COVID-19 has prompted a season of isolation and stress like many have never known.
It is scary to think of living like this forever, but remind yourself that it WILL end, even if it takes a long time to rebalance. Just like seasons pass each year, this time of testing will pass as well.
There is no “right way” to take care of yourself, but it crucial that you do it!