Self-love is more important now than ever. The pandemic has added a layer of sadness, frustration, and uncertainty, and navigating the new normal is not easy. This has made it extremely difficult to breathe or feel safe to do our everyday tasks. We are social beings and feeling hopeless, angry, and suffocated. This continuous challenge of learning how to live life during this time and staying sane is the new normal. It is more important now more than ever to put ourselves first and love ourselves like our life depends on it. Because it does.
When we love ourselves despite the outer conditions, we give ourselves permission to gain more life force and signal to our body, mind, and heart that we matter. We owe it to ourselves to create small habits that nurture and support us in the near and long term. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to replace a few bad habits with a few good ones and that makes a huge impact on our health and happiness. Sometimes it means getting really creative like booking a hotel and finding some space to breathe with just our own energy.
Here are some self-care strategies for challenging times.
Take some time for yourself
This might sound difficult as you might be living with a family in the same home for eight months. Can you walk outside in nature? Can you sit under a tree? Can you dance outside? Can you laugh or watch something funny? Take proactive action every day to shift your energy to a positive state even if it is a 5-minute walk or calling a good friend.
Feel your emotions
Many of us have internalized our emotions in the last eight months. We have seen a series of uncertain events and haven’t had a healthy way to cope. Take some time to journal your feelings and really tune into what your body is saying. When we feel uncomfortable emotions, we allow healing to begin and start processing what is ready to go. When the body opens up the release of these pent-up emotions through feeling, crying, or other ways, you can then welcome new energy to come into your body and psyche.
Start over every day and forgive yourself
It is important we forgive our actions, reactions, and habits of yesterday and start over every day. With the current situation, we can be normal one day and in despair another. Be kind to yourself and if you made some mistakes in eating too much food or drinking, give yourself permission to start over again. If you skipped your exercise, start again today. Write down somewhere on your fridge or car, I forgive myself every day and start over every day. I acknowledge every little thing I do to take better care of myself.
Find stillness within
Meditation, Yoga, and breathing are an excellent way to alleviate stress. A deep breathing exercise with eyes closed for a minute with one hand on your heart and one on your stomach can relieve anxiety and stress. Youtube has a huge selection of videos of varying lengths to choose from.
During these times it is important to keep doing natural remedies to stay on top of your immune health. Ancient Indian roots like ginger, turmeric, and probiotics like yogurt go a long way to support your immune health.
Praying for yourself and loved ones
Give all your challenges to God. Have faith in a higher power and pray for the same thing for a few months and notice the difference. Talk to God like a best friend and sit and listen after. Miracles are real. If you want to explore this further, pick up my book on finding hope, faith, and trust during Coronavirus.
Remind yourself of what is going right in your life
Make a list of things that are working in your life and place it where you can see it every day. In a world full of struggles, these simple reminders will surely bring a smile on your face and bring your focus on abundance vs. lack.
Let music and dance heal and uplift you
Have you ever started smiling when you hear fun music playing? Do you notice how it just lifts you up? I find music and dance are life-giving and inspiring. If there is a type of dance you have always wanted to learn, now is the time. All you have to do is Instagram or YouTube the type of dance and live zoom classes and you can have access to teachers Internationally.
Make effort to connect with friends and family or new people
Most of us are missing engagement and social connection with the world. Make an effort to call friends and family. If you don’t have any friends, message people whose energy you like and tell them something you like about them and see that turn around in kindness towards you.
Let nature heal you
With a mask on, go for an easy walk or a challenging hike depending on your fitness level and feel the fresh air, sunlight, and wind. These elements of nature show us that we are a part of a greater universe here to support us. The soothing and healing powers of nature give us a new perspective. Try to slow down in nature and listen to what it has to say. Breathe. Adventure into new trails and new cities. Ocean, mountains, and forests are natural healers as are the sun and rain.
If you are struggling with gaining weight or another life challenge, seeking help is a sign of courage and strength. It signals to the Universe that you are ready for something beyond your current struggle. Hire a therapist to talk about your problems or work with someone to get into healthy eating habits. People are working online and here to help you. A little support, accountability, and even google research goes a long way in making changes while finding health and happiness.
Make a list of 5 things you can acknowledge yourself even if it is eating 1 less piece of bread, walking 5 minutes, breathing more, or not shouting at your housemate. A little self-encouragement goes a long way in building healthy and rewarding habits.
With these tips, I acknowledge you for putting yourself first and reading an article on how to love yourself better. That is a sign of self-care too. Remember it is the baby steps in a healthy direction that matter and forgiveness for any mistakes that keep you from moving forward. It is a journey, not a destination. A year from now you might be thanking yourself for how strong you have become during a very challenging time and that can enable you to support others during difficult times in the future.
Be gentle, kind, and compassionate towards yourself and write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org about which one of these tips you ended up using and how it worked out for you. I look forward to hearing from you. Keep dancing, smiling, and rocking. You got this.
Manpreet Komal has a 150,000 social media following and is a Clairvoyant Healer, Life Coach, and an author of the book – The Universe Sends Help – prayers to find hope, faith, trust during the time of Coronavirus. She also uplifts, motivates, and inspires others through dance at Rang De Bollywood Dance Company.