If you've been strapped for time in recent months, you might feel like life is too hectic to salvage your mental health during the pandemic. Calling a friend or taking a fitness class might be beneficial for your overall well-being, but what if you just can't manage to carve out time for self-care?
Heather Davidson, a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Better Being Main Line, works with clients suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, traumatic experiences, and relationship challenges. Having seen a surge of cases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Heather has developed her own set of strategies for improving mental health and preventing burnout.
Below, Heather shares her ideas for making self-care a part of everyday life.
Self-care can feel like another chore on your to-do list when you are “time poor.” Many people are feeling extremely time poor right now due to the juggling of multiple roles at once (for instance being a full-time employee while simultaneously being a parent who is homeschooling). If you are feeling very short on time try to incorporate self-care in to activities that you already have to do during the day. For example:
When possible go on a walk while on a work call. Try to do at least one physically active thing each day to boost not only your mood but your immunity. If it is not easy for you go on a walk during a work call, try and do a quick walk around the block in between work tasks. Give yourself a break to stretch a few times a day, even if it is just for a few minutes each time.
2. Add Music
Add relaxing music to your bath or shower time, while you are driving or trying to complete tasks around the house. Make a few playlists and add to a device that is easily accessible to you.
Watch a standup comic you enjoy or listen to a funny podcast. Easy times to do this include while cooking or eating, taking a bath or shower or trying to complete household tasks.
4. Find Calming Scents
Add a calming sent to the room where you are spending most of your time doing work. Many people find lavender calming. Other people like fresh flowers or you can pick out candles with a scent you prefer.
5. Get Some Cuddles
There is no reason why you can’t snuggle up with your pet or partner on certain work calls or while doing certain work tasks. This oxytocin boost will help your mood.
While these strategies can help, feeling time poor over an extended period of time can put you at risk for experiencing burnout. In this case try to identify tasks that you can reduce. For instance, maybe the lawn can only be mowed every other week right now even if does not look great. If you are in a financial position to outsource some tasks including laundry, meal prep, grocery shopping, cleaning, childcare, pet care, or yard maintenance, you can literally buy back time to engage in self-care and prevent burnout.
With Warmth and Wellness,
Your EmmaWell Team