A.W. BEATTIE'S COUNSELING DEPARTMENT
TIPS FOR SELF-CARE IN QUARANTINE
1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time. Write a schedule that is varied and includes time for school work as well as self-care. Make sure you are showering and addressing basic hygiene daily. Get dressed each day in a different outfit for the day, even if very comfortable. Take all medications prescribed daily.
2. Get moving. Try to incorporate some movement once a day for at least 30 minutes. Take a walk if you can and try to get outside. If not, watch a YouTube workout, yoga video or just dance around the kitchen playing your favorite music.
3. Reach out to others daily. Text friends, play games online, FaceTime. Anything to connect with others. Let your family know the ways that they can reach out to their friends to connect as well. Even young children can FaceTime their grandparents.
4. Stay hydrated and eat well. It can be tempting to order takeout, especially because then you may get to leave the house to go get it. Balance that and make healthy decisions. Your body will respond to the foods that you eat. Also, hydration is key. The stress hormone, Cortisol, is water soluble. This means we can literally wash some of our stressors out of our body by drinking water. Water is crucial for first responders and essential staff. Dehydration also leads to more health problems including headaches and poor cognitive processing time.
5. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being in the moment. Take a few minutes to look out the window and pay attention to what you see. Spend time with your pets or family members without agenda. Be in the moment and enjoy what you see without worry about the past or future. Practicing this can help our bodies to self-regulate.
6. Have a long-term goal. When you look back on this time in your life, you will be able to say to yourself, “I was able to accomplish, learn, finish, etc.” This is the time to clean/redo your closet or help work on yard work. Having a goal keeps us future focused and moving towards achievement and mastery of skill. It’s vital to maintain a positive attitude. For example, if your goal is to move more, any activity you do that day that you normally wouldn’t be able to is progress. Activities such as crafting or creating something with your hands are especially good as they can engage in left to right movements which can calm stress.
7. When you start to feel down or overwhelmed, utilize opposite action. Act opposite the emotion you currently have. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, put on a comedy or a calming show. If you have the desire to stay home and be lazy, push yourself to get up and go for a walk. Even a 10 minute walk is an achievement and it’s ok to let yourself acknowledge that and be proud.
8. Be gentle with yourself and others. With a goal, don’t focus on a number. Anything you do during the day that moves you closer to that goal is a good thing. Have your loved ones encourage you or set their own goal and be gentle with them as well. Give your family members more tolerance and love when you can. Everyone is coping with the new world in their own way. Young children will worry but don’t know how to communicate it like adults. Reassure them and work to practice patience when they act out. They are upset and don’t really understand why. When Frozen 2 calms them for the millionth time, break out the headphones and listen to your own music.
9. Set aside worry time and then turn it off. Allow yourself to check social media for updates or deal with pandemic stressors for a scheduled time each day and then step away. Limit that to an hour or less a day. Set a timer if it helps. Make a list and write down worries, that way you can address them later and your brain doesn’t fixate on them. Make sure to walk away and turn off devices if they are increasing your anxiety. The situation will still be there for worry time tomorrow.
10. Practice radical acceptance. This is the world we are in now. You can be angry about it or you can accept that this is the situation. We are being limited from our school and work, but we are asked to stay at home and watch Netflix with our families. This is the situation and we can’t change it. By accepting it, it allows us to let go of any anger or ill will. We have no set standards for this so there is no winning or failing. Just try to do your best and know that this will eventually end and we will be back to leaving our homes again. We can all do this by taking it one day at a time.
Most importantly, reach out for help when you need it. Utilize your treatment teams or talk to your doctor about finding a therapist or trained professional to talk to about what is going on. Most doctors and therapists are providing treatment over the phone or internet. They are there to support you, even while not being able to leave the house.
If yourself or a family member is experiencing a crisis, call Resolve at 1-877-796-8226, or use your local county’s crisis lines. There are always others there to help or support.
Please utilize them.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay home.
We miss you!
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