Self care, the best care?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed right now. There’s a lot of information to filter through, and whether you’re working from home or just laying low you may feel pressure push through your to-do list. But it can be just as important to listen to your body, and take time to breathe. Especially to create long term success.
One of my favorite articles, of everything I’ve seen the last week about taking care of yourself when working from home or under quarantine, is this interview with a cloistered Nun from New Jersey. She emphasizes creating a daily routine at home to help focus your energy and activity, now that there isn’t the same amount of external stimulus. But even more importantly, Sister Mary Catherine talks about actually taking the time to be still. “People say they want peace and quiet. Then when it is thrown in their lap, they panic. They don’t know how to be alone... Life isn’t meant to be rushed. Use this time to get to know yourself.”
Dr. Russell G. Buhr agrees, in this New York Times article, about the need to keep some sense of normalcy and maintaining a routine. He also urges people to make sure to keep moving when you’re more limited to your home, and includes six exercises you can do at home.
I, myself, was saved by a friend this weekend who hosted an online breathing exercise and guided meditation. Until then, I hadn’t realized just how tight my shoulders and neck were. Mashable agrees that the times when you’re so stressed out you don’t think you have time to meditate are EXACTLY the times you need it most. (In fact, I'm pretty sure that’s part of the basis of most meditation traditions.) They also break down a few different ways that you can practice meditation (Hint: It’s not just about breathing.)
But the most important piece may lie in staying connected, even if we can’t be physically present. It may feel more contrived, as this Atlantic article points out, since so much of our interpersonal contact is often spontaneous. “[Y]ou have to formalize it a little more, because we’re not going to run into each other.” So they suggest sitting down to dinner with a friend over video chat. (Having just spent two hours chatting over wine the other night with a friend I only ever get to see when we’re working together, I can attest to how well this works.)