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At this point in time, we’ve been stuck in quarantine for months. The initial chaos has settled a bit, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve found a way to cope with the craziness. We’re not as paranoid as in the Spring, but there is still a certain amount of stress lingering like a bad smell. Whether it’s the stress of being isolated from our friends and loved ones or the uncertainty of classes and jobs, it’s just as important now as it was in March for us to be taking good care of ourselves.

We’ve had enough time at home that most of us have probably created our own self-care routines, but self-care doesn’t just mean “I’m getting a bit of fresh air and exercise”. Self-care is a multifaceted concept that we could all learn more about. Our bodies and souls have been put through so much in the past couple of months that we need to make sure that we’re showing them the kindness that they deserve and that we’re not neglecting critical self-care.

Physical Self-Care

Taking care of our bodies and staying healthy is an obvious demonstration of self-care, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re following a rigorous Chloe Ting workout challenge (but all the more props to you if you’ve managed to make it to the end of one). Taking care of your body can be as simple as going for a walk or bike outside and getting some fresh air. Maybe you choose to start picking up an apple instead of your trusty bag of chips. Who knows? You might actually find that you’re feeling better once you start physically taking care of yourself.

Emotional Self-Care

With the lack of control that I’ve been feeling for months now, I’ve found the significance of emotional self-care. I’ve realized that I need to stay in tune with my emotions and allow myself to express my emotions. If I need to let out a good cry, then I’m going to put on a sappy movie and I’m going to cry. Rather than bottling up all of our emotions, we should be trying to find ways that allow us to work through them. I can’t control how the pandemic is making me feel, but I can control how I work through those feelings. Don’t limit yourself! Try as many creative activities as you need until you find something that works for you. Pick up your journal or paintbrushes. Do a little meditating. Find something that makes YOU feel good!

Spiritual Self-Care

This doesn’t have to necessarily be associated with religion, although it certainly can for some people. Practicing spiritual self-care is anything that helps you feel inner peace. Maybe you feel at peace when you’re soaking up some sun on your patio or maybe you’re meditating. With the constant flux that our lives are in, it’s easy to lose ourselves a bit. Now is the time for you to find a way to reconnect with who you are and what makes you feel at peace!

 

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Mental Self-Care

The days can get really long if we’re just doing the same old things every day. Just like our body, our brain needs to be exercised! Try learning a new skill, reading a good book, or watching an interesting documentary. Find a way to challenge yourself and get your brain thinking!

Social Self-Care

This might be one of the hardest ways to take care of yourself during quarantine, but it’s SO incredibly important for us all to maintain connections with our friends and loved ones while we’re isolated from one another. I’m sure that we’ve all mastered the art of zoom calls by this point, but now that patios and parks are open, it’s time to start seeing our friends and family SAFELY in person. You might not be able to hug every person in your life, but there are so many ways to socially distance yourself while still maintaining our human need for socialization. 

Some of us might be staying at home and trying to find ways to remain sane while living with our families, whereas some of us might be struggling with the idea of going back to living on their own after being with loved ones for such a long time. Whatever your plans are for the fall, I want you to make yourself a little self-care checklist. I want you to be able to check-in with yourself to make sure that you’re still hitting all of the aspects of self-care now that classes are starting back up. Maybe you need to remind yourself to eat 3 meals a day and to get some exercise. Maybe you just need to find ways to relax at the end of the day like lighting a candle and having a mini spa night. Find what is important to you and write it down (having a physical list of what you should be doing will hold you accountable for taking care of yourself!) 

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Fourth year Nursing student at uOttawa, who spends way too much time at Starbucks and finding excuses to go for walks.
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