Caring for ourselves can take a back seat when we also need to care for others. “Self-care” can fall by the wayside or feel like we’re being selfish. But if we don’t care for ourselves, we won’t be able to care for others!
It’s completely normal to feel sad, stressed or overwhelmed during a crisis. We’ve compiled this blog to help you practice self-care so you can boost your resilience.
Here are a few tips on caring for yourself through the pandemic…
- Stick with what works. If you’ve had periods of stress in the past that you successfully managed, use the same strategies for managing stress now (as long as they were healthy!). Don’t feel you need to learn new techniques if you know that something works for you already.
- Be kind to yourself. Know that you’re likely to feel a bit stressed, sad or overwhelmed at times and don’t judge yourself for it. These feelings are completely normal.
- Talk to people you trust for support or contact a counsellor or support line. (If you’re a Hospiscare staff member and would like to access support services via our free employee well-being scheme please ask HR or your line manage for details).
- Take at work breaks whenever you can and don’t feel guilty about taking them or taking holiday time. In these breaks, do something that boosts your mood. If could be a short walk, sitting outside, reading a book, being in silence, listening to a song you love, doing a little dance, taking a short nap. Whatever you need to it, do it – and don’t feel bad about it!
- Do things that you enjoy! We all need to keep our joy level topped up so you can remain resilient for others. As difficult as it may seem, it’s vital to carve out time for yourself in your day or week.
- Change your state if needs be. There are simple practical things we can all do if we’re feeling overwhelmed in the moment, to change our physical and emotional state within minutes or seconds. These include breathing deeply, hydrating and eating something, which will steady your heart rate, improve concentration and raise your blood sugar level; choose positive rather than negative language to describe the situation, which can help shift your mind-set; and take a minute to focus on something that means something special to you, e.g. gaze at a picture of a loved one or think about something you’re grateful for. These three techniques can change the responses in our bodies.
- Remind yourself of something you’re proud of. We’re all making an impact during the pandemic, whether that’s by staying at home, going to work, supporting those around us. Think of something you’re proud of – no matter how seemingly small and give yourself a pat on the back for it. You are coping and you are making a difference!