5 WAYS I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF DURING LOCKDOWN
Between lockdown, quarantine, moving, staying healthy, and enduring a pandemic in 2 different countries, this last year has been a lot to say the least. I’m not going to pretend it’s been easy – because it definitely hasn’t. Sure, there have been weeks where I’ve felt productive at work, gotten out for my daily walks, crushed at-home workouts, tried all the new recipes, and connected with friends and family consistently over FaceTime. But there have also been weeks where I’ve woken up 15 minutes before starting work, worn pyjamas all day, had takeout for more than one meal, and refrained from interacting with more people than necessary (including my boyfriend who I share a 1bedroom apt with). I’m a firm believer that we should be giving everyone grace and kindness all the time, but now especially. And it’s important that this grace and kindness extends to ourselves as well.
It can be tough seeing how happy and busy others seem on social media, and the tendency to compare is real. Sometimes I feel like I’ve got it all figured out, and other times I feel completely at a loss. It helps for me to remember that whatever I’m feeling in the moment is valid, and it’s important to acknowledge that I’m really just doing my best in the midst of a crazy time.
So if you’re curious to see some of the ways I’ve been taking care of myself during lockdown and throughout the pandemic, keep scrolling. And if there are things you’ve been doing that have worked, be sure to share in the comments!
1. Focus on what I can control
This one is huge. As someone who loves to plan and constantly has goals to work towards, it’s been really hard for me to live in a constant state of uncertainty. Not having many concrete plans for the future has been tough, and it’s been super important for me to focus on what I can control during this time. Making lists and setting schedules are tasks that I’ve always done, but I’ve relied on these more than ever over the past year. Even being able to cross off the simplest things like “go for a walk” or “plan grocery order” at the end of the day give me a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that I’m being productive and moving forward in some way.
2. Find things to look forward to
For many of us, there’s not much to do these days; no trips to look forward to, no events to attend. It can be tough when every day sort of feels the same, so I try my best to plan things to look forward to. Whether it’s a walk outside with a friend, a FaceTime with family, trip to a bakery, or walk in a different part of town, it’s been helpful for me to have small things each week to look forward to- it helps me anchor myself and keeps me going.
I’ve always been moderately interested in skincare, but I’ve been lucky enough most of my life to have pretty clear skin so it’s not something I’ve put much effort into in the past. However, over the last year, I’ve had the time and the opportunity to experiment a bit more and I’ve been able to really take my time to find products and a routine that works best for my skin. Going through the motions of my skincare routine morning and night has become something I look forward to – it’s a relaxing moment to slow down and care for myself. It’s a small thing, but it’s quickly become ingrained in my daily routine, similar to brushing my teeth or reading before bed. These are a few products I’ve been loving:
4. Try new hobbies
During this past year I have honed in on my sourdough technique, read a TON of books, learned how to knit, and started playing piano again. Focusing on things that don’t involve a screen and allow me to work towards a goal have been really important in helping me to find purpose outside of work and often, a creative outlet.
5. Understand that it’s okay not to be okay
There are certainly days, even weeks where I don’t feel like I’m being productive, where I struggle to put on real clothes, and could care less about any of the previous activities I mentioned. It took a while for me to accept that we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and it’s not all going to be sourdough and virtual happy hours. Sometimes all I can manage is to roll out of bed to work and cozy up with Netflix in the evening. It’s okay not to be smashing it every minute of the day. Some days I find comfort in going through my skincare routine, practicing piano, or planning a FaceTime with a friend. Other days, I can’t be bothered to even brush my hair. For me, it’s all about listening to my mind and body, and doing what feels good and manageable in the moment.
I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves in this crazy time. Personally, I’m going through a bit of an uninspired phase and really hoping that goes away as lockdown lifts and spring arrives. But for now, I’ll keep on keeping on, and use extra serum at night 🙂