Self-Care in Unprecedented Times

Photo+Courtesy+of+Colby+Kurasaki+%2724

Photo Courtesy of Colby Kurasaki ’24

During these times, many may find it difficult to overcome boredom. People may find themselves realizing that they are not able to care for others as much as before, or possibly, household roles have been reversed due to quarantine. The pandemic has hit everyone in some way, at some point; people may feel bummed that they can’t see their friends, while others realize that they need to be dependent on themselves. The COVID-19 safety measures can seem unbearable, but one way to distract oneself is to work on self-care. Self-care is and will always be an important part of everyone’s lives. 

Self-care is important to ensure good physical and mental well-being. There are many different variations and routines for self-care, but this is a basic list that includes the benefits of the main components.

A common self-care practice is having a skincare routine. The effects of a skincare routine can range anywhere from healthier skin and appearance overall to a boost in one’s confidence. The condition of a person’s skin doesn’t need to be a part of the decision to start a skincare routine. According to Rena Jogi, a dermatologist and affiliated physician out of Houston, has said that just the act of taking care of the skin and to have something that is always the same in a daily routine is very beneficial. She says that taking those small moments with oneself in a bathroom taking care of yourself can also be somewhat of a meditative state. It is under a wide consensus that having something that is to be done every day provides comfort and peace of mind.

Another self-care practice is to take time away from the distractions of the day, the digital world, school or work, etc. Many people find it hard to take these breaks, whether it is due to time constraints or just because they “don’t have the time.” However, taking breaks is vital to preventing burnout, reducing anxiety, increasing creativity, and long-term productivity. Taking the time to step back, assess, and relax is very important to preventing oneself from getting overwhelmed, and can help one to approach their problems the best way possible. Some ways to do this is to shut off the screens, take away any other distractions, and do things like meditate or listen to music and breathe. 

The third self-care tip is to clean. Cleaning can prove to be meditative as well as an exercise in responsibility. Having a chaotic space with clutter everywhere, makes for a chaotic and restless mind. Cleaning a space can also be the equivalent to cleaning thoughts and wiping away the restlessness that comes with the thinking process, and the problems and obligations of life. Having a clean living space is also more peaceful and allows for other self-care practices to ensue, such as meditation or yoga. 

The fourth method is to exercise or get the heart rate up daily. Daily exercise can improve mood, mental and physical function, and increase energy levels. As little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can increase these functions and has many other benefits that can help with physical capabilities and productivity levels. Everyone knows that an adequate amount of exercise in one’s life is very healthy and an obvious part of self-care. However, just because it is so obvious, as one of the three pillars of wellness, it should not be overlooked.

The last self-care tip is to have a regular sleep schedule. Bill Fish, a certified sleep schedule science coach and co-founder of Tuck, has stated, “Getting a proper night’s sleep is essential to our health.” He has also acknowledged sleep as the third out of the three pillars of wellness. Depending on a person’s age, the amount of sleep that is needed changes. For example, teens should aim for 8-10 hours, as opposed to the 7-9 hour goal for elders and adults. A good night’s sleep helps with mental and physical function, keeping weight in check, increasing attention and productivity, and much more. Basically, having a good night’s sleep is the ultimate component of self-care.

Self-care has tremendous benefits for both the body and the brain. A person knows themselves best, and they are the only ones who know how their body functions. Creating a routine with these steps and more can help to create improvement. These tips have no particular order, so they can be done in any variety of ways. Self-care should be something that is fun to do, and to see the improvement is the best part of caring for yourself.