As COVID-19 vaccinations rise, there’s a glimmer of hope that the pandemic will end soon. In a few more months, people will no longer be mandated to wear masks in public. More businesses will re-open and bounce back to recoup their losses in the past year. Work-from-home setups are here to stay. But employees who’ve been struggling in remote work will also have a chance to return to the office safely.
But if there’s something that shouldn’t go back to pre-pandemic norms, it’s the renewed approach to self-care. The pandemic has put many people in difficult situations as they face uncertainties at work, school, and even in their travel plans and social interactions. To cope, they value self-care at home more.
Focusing on mindfulness and finding new ways to reduce stress and lift your spirits while stuck at home can have long-term benefits. For one, it’s good to have a habit of taking care of yourself—no matter the situation. Also, knowing the importance of mental health can make you more resilient, with or without a pandemic. So as the world prepares for the post-COVID world, it’s good to stick to self-care habits and lessons you’ve learned in the past year. And if you need more self-care ideas, check out the list below.
Being Kinder to Yourself
As lockdowns and travel bans limited people’s mobility, many suddenly found themselves taking a long pause in their lives. Stuck at home, many people began noticing things that they lack or have. They became grateful for what they have and resourceful to improve or reclaim some aspects of their lives. And because many negative things were happening across the world, many people became kinder to themselves. That’s one of the best lessons people learned from surviving through a pandemic.
Once the global crisis subsides, always remember what it’s like to be kinder to yourself. Life is hard enough, so if you’ve found positive ways to ease your stress, keep on doing them. Do you find it cathartic to shop online? Go for it; don’t let others judge you. As long as you have the means to support that activity, then don’t feel ashamed checking out your favorite ladies’ clothing shops online often. Do you find it relaxing to binge-watch Netflix series on weekends alone? Stick to that weekly ritual. Don’t stop doing it just because you feel like you have to attend every party as soon as it’s safe to gather again.
Without having to commute to work or go out for other activities, many people have found extra time to sleep in or tuck in early at night, or they have spent that time improving their bedroom for better sleep.
That’s especially true for those who experienced pandemic insomnia. When in crisis, human bodies’ fight-or-flight response tends to kick in, resulting in many people having difficulty sleeping amid a pandemic. But because thousands of people experience the same difficulties at night, conversations about prioritizing sleep as self-care have dominated social media, online magazines, and news websites.
After the pandemic, you might return to your old habits of staying up late to browse Twitter or play video games on your phone. But keep in mind that your sleep time is an important part of your self-care. Getting enough sleep every night can help restore your mind and body and recharge you for the next day. And that’s a healthy habit you should have whether the world is in crisis or not.
Taking Care of Your Body
Home workouts and healthy home-cooked meals have become popular in the past year. That’s no surprise, as people do whatever they can to stay healthy amid a deadly pandemic. You might think you can’t keep on doing hour-long workouts as soon as you return to the office and go on travels again. But there’s a way to make exercise sustainable—make sure to have at least 15 minutes of physical activity daily. Choose to take the stairs instead of elevators or walk the dog before leaving for work.
The same goes for healthy meals. You don’t have to pressure yourself to cook every day if you don’t have time for it. One way to make sure that you fuel your body and mind with healthy food is to prep home-cooked meals on weekends. Batch-cook them if you can. That way, you don’t have to eat out a lot or, worse, rely on fast or convenience food items that aren’t beneficial for your physical and mental health.
These self-care ideas became popular when people were self-isolating at home remain good options even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Just make sure to stick to habits that work best for you, so you can make self-care sustainable, no matter what happens in your life in the future.