Just like the title said, yes, self-care is completely and absolutely necessary! I mean have you seen what’s been going on in the world? I don’t know about y’all but I cannot keep constantly reading the news or hearing about things happening in the world and not feel my hair turning a bit gray. Life nowadays is stressful! We are trying to survive online schooling, a pandemic, not being able to really socialize with friends and distant family, and we cannot attend big social events (I know I am not the only one who is upset that Homecoming is cancelled!)
I digress, with all of this happening it is also important to make sure you’re taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional self. Ask yourself, am I really okay? If the answer is yes, great, but you can still take part in these tips anyways! If the answer is no, that’s okay too, as long as you know where you are mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s normal and okay to not be okay sometimes, but it’s important to acknowledge it and try to deal with it as healthily and in the best ways possible.
There are a lot of things you can do to help destress and cope with everything happening in the world and/or just with you. The biggest thing you can do right now is breathe. Take a deep breathe… and another one… and another one. You feel somewhat better already, right? That’s because deep breathing can help with grounding. Grounding is when you take in your surroundings and actually process them to help calm you down; it is really good when trying to calm down anxieties. So when you feel overwhelmed or like too much is happening, take a deep breath. If that doesn’t work, take another one, and keep going until you’re fully grounded and not feeling like you’re spiraling out of control.
A more in-depth approach is taking part in exercise or meditation; getting your mind off things and letting your body blow off steam is a great way to decompress. It also gives you the excuse of simply not thinking about everything in that time frame which can also help you relax. Meditation is great and helps with grounding. Making your mind let go for a while can help a lot when trying to make things more controllable or understood. Using aromatherapy, music, or just being outside is a great add-on too. Also, it doesn’t matter what type of exercise you participate in either, as long as it’s something that gets your body moving and a little sweaty!
I have explained some self-care methods for mental and physical stability, but what about emotional? This self-care method might seem easy, but can sometimes be really hard to commit to and do: talking to someone. Opening up to someone about your thoughts, comments, or feelings about things that are happening to and around you can sometimes be a challenge and I get that, but talking does help. Keeping all of those emotions bottled up can lead to worse thoughts and feelings; letting go and releasing all of those feelings to someone you trust and can confide in can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders. Finding the right person to talk to can also be difficult, but in these times, I feel as if everyone needs that person, so they may be easier to find than you think; sometimes you have to take the first step.
On a side note, if you are the person that someone is confiding in be sure to actually listen if you really want to help. If you’re not in the correct headspace to help someone in that way right now, say so; it will help both of you if you let them find the right person to talk to if you’re not it. Also, one person’s lamentation is not your own, actually being quiet and listening, then giving advice helps a lot more than trying to say a similar story or experience back. People need a friend, not a competitor in the sad olympics or a parrot repeating emotions and experiences back to them.
These modes of self-care can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope you use them when trying to understand and cope with everything happening to you and around you becomes a bit too much. Also, if you need a friend, I’m here too!