It’s no secret that right now, amidst all the uncertainty brought up by COVID-19, that we are all in need of more self care than usual. Any time you experience a major life change (good or bad), it requires an adjustment, and adjustments require extra support. You are not weak or less-than for needing self care; you’re normal for needing it and wise for recognizing the need.
Self care is made of many things. Any activity that helps lead you to feeling grounded, stable, in touch with yourself, and having your needs met can be considered self care. A good self care recipe will include many different ingredients! Your recipe will not be the same day to day or season to season. And it certainly won’t be the same as anyone else’s. You, as the creator of your own well-being, must come up with the recipe yourself.
At The Source, we want to support you in creating the right self care recipe for this unusual time. None of us have lived through anything like this before, and many of us are finding that we need resources that we’ve never needed before. Here are some of our favorite affordable and free resources, organized by the Six Types of Self Care. And if you need help deciding what type of self care would help you the most right now, take our quiz!
If you’re craving social self care...
Here are a few things that can help nurture and deepen the relationships with people in your life:
- At the risk of being obvious, take a few moments to call or Skype/Facetime a friend or family member. It can be hard to get your mindset out of the isolation slump, but trust us, overcoming inertia will be worth the effort!
- Go old school and write a long form letter and put your creative style into it. Stumped? Tap into some of the 28 benefits of gratitude and try writing a note letting someone in your life know why you’re grateful for them.
- Want to get a larger group together to hangout or learn? Apps like Zoom give you the ability to feel connected to a group and the community at large and still allow for social distancing.
- Craving some contact with people outside your normal circle? Meetup is teeming with virtual events right now. Groups on Meetup are centered around shared interests, so this is a great way to socialize with people who “get” you while staying in the germ-free zone.
If you're craving practical self care!
Completing tasks that fulfill core aspects of your life can help to prevent future (and present!) stressful situations. Here’s some help:
- Try organizing/pairing down your closet with free help from one of our favorites: Daniella Siebert.
- Having a hard time keeping all your virtual classes/calls/meetups straight? Calendly can help! It reduces the back-and-forth and syncs with your calendar, leaving you more brainspace for...anything else.
- We know budgeting can be daunting right now, but knowing where you are with finances--even if it's not where you want to be--can give you peace of mind. Keep on top of your spending habits with YNAB.
- If your head is buzzing with new to-dos and you want a simple place to keep an ongoing list (or several!), try out the super-intuitive ToDoist.
- One of the biggest needs we all have right now is to keep our home environments free of germs, and one of the best friends we have in our germ-free aspirations is trusty ol’ soap. No Tox Life offers high-quality, super-safe products that also take good care of the earth (the dishwashing block is an all-purpose superstar).
If you're craving physical self care...
Here are some activities you can do anywhere that will provide an upgrade to your bodily well-being:
- Hydrate! It's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids, especially during and after exercise. If you're into tracking and looking for something to do on your phone that ISN'T social media, try the Waterminder app.
- Move your body frequently. It's a great way to process emotions and relieve stress. Luckily, many teachers and studios are currently offering online classes at affordable prices. We recommend Hyperslow for yoga and meditation and Ryan Heffington if you want to dance it out!
- Ever tried self massage? While a visit to your favorite massage therapist is off the table (pun intended!) for the moment, you can take care of muscle tension and soreness at home with Alex Ellis. We recommend starting with the Trapezius Tension Tamer.
- If you’re like us, you may be finding yourself a bit more wired than usual at bedtime. Sleep is extra important to the immune system in times of stress. We are loving the drug-free sleep aid combo of the Refresh Eye Pillow and the Lucidity Sleep & Dream Balm. Both are affordable, long-lasting tools to help you drift off peacefully.
If you're craving emotional self care...
Here are some ideas to help you connect, process, and reflect on a full range of emotions:
- Try getting your thoughts down on paper with some journaling. Browse society6 if you're looking to buy a new one, and support independent artists while you're at it.
- Talk it out. Most therapists are seeing patients online and on a sliding scale (reduced rates). Visit Psychology Today to find a match for your needs.
- The What's Up app is FREE (!) and offers methods of helping with depression, anger, anxiety, stress, and more. It relies on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and ACT (acceptance commitment therapy) methods on demand.
- Tap into your inner artist. Scrounge up whatever paints, pens and pencils you can find and get started on an art project. Not sure where to start? Try a free drawing tutorial by a professional, or rediscover the therapeutic power of a coloring book.
If you're craving mental self care...
Try any of these activities to help stimulate your mind or your intellect:
- Read a new book or an in-depth article (try to avoid drowning yourself in news). Try out Kindle unlimited or get access to free ebooks, digital courses at Lynda.com, and other digital resources via a free card at the LA Public library.
- Try a virtual museum tour. Courtesy of Thrillist, scroll the extensive array of online museum collections here.
- Have a laugh and play a game! Heads Up is an engaging, active game you can download on your phone if you're without physical games. If you're currently quarantined alone, try to play a game with friends or family on Jackbox, Zoom or Google Hangouts!
- Challenge your brain and lay down some new neural pathways by learning a new skill. The Good Trade has assembled this list of platforms offering free and low-cost courses in almost any topic you can dream of.
If you're craving spiritual self care...
Here are some activities that nurture your spirit and allow you to think about the big picture:
- Get outside and connect with nature (if you can do so safely). If that is not accessible to you at the moment, enjoy the benefits of the natural world via Planet Earth series or drift off to calming nature sounds with Sleep Sounds.
- Try intention setting. There’s so much we can’t control, but we can connect to our deepest good and voice our decision to operate from that place whoever possible. To help you access your inner guide, try meditating with The Source's in-office favorite, Calm.
- Participate in connecting to the greater good by participating in relief efforts. Helping others can be self-care. Sew masks, make hand sanitizer, get active in relief programs for the unhoused, participate in grocery and medication pick up for the elderly, and donate.
Do you have a resource that we should include here? Let us know in the comments below, find us on Instagram @westhesource, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from you!