Self-care is especially important during stressful times. The COVID-19 pandemic has upset our normal routines and made it more difficult to find time to take care of ourselves.
That’s where self-care comes in — it’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to relieve stress and support your health. But how can you get started practicing it?

vera_blog-graphics_health-mattersWhat self-care looks like for you

This is all about making time for something you love to do — something that’s just for you. This is a simple but powerful way to recharge your energy and boost your mood.

Everyone recharges in different ways, so every person’s routine will be unique to them. Remember: what works for someone else may not work for you. Some people may prefer physical exercise, while other people may prefer to listen to music and doodle in a sketchbook. Your routine could be a solo activity, or it could mean spending time with a friend or a loved one. Self-care really just means making time to do something that brings you relaxation, happiness, and comfort.

If you’re not sure what to try, that’s okay! Give yourself permission to try something new. And remember that your routine can be very simple. As long as you’re making time for things that bring you joy and help you feel refreshed, you’re practicing self-care.

WhVera_icon_clocky self-care is worth the time

Why is it important to make time for the simple things that you enjoy? Work, family, and other responsibilities often take priority in our lives, even if self-care would only take five minutes.

Let’s think of it a different way: If you’re serving lemonade out of a pitcher, the amount of lemonade inside goes down every time you pour someone else a glass. If you don’t refill your pitcher, you’ll eventually run out.

It only takes a moment to be mindful. You can even try closing your eyes and asking yourself, “What do I need right now?” Maybe you need some alone time away from family, or maybe you just need some fresh air.

Remember: Taking some time for you will help you to better support others and handle your responsibilities.

Vera_blog-graphics_apcSimple ways to practice self-care

Here are some ways that you can practice self-care and take care of your overall health:

1. Set a routine

Many more people have started working from home since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of us are creatures of habit, many of our old routines aren’t part of this new reality. That’s why it’s a good idea to set some new routines, and allow yourself to follow them.

If you’re working from home, this might mean that you log on to your computer at the same time every morning. Set times to take breaks where you step away from your screen. And if you’re struggling to juggle work with at-home activities, try separating them. Don’t worry about doing a load of laundry while you’re working. Remember, you wouldn’t be doing laundry if you were in the office!

2. Exercise

Exercise is a great form of self-care because it’s all about taking time to care for your body and your mind. For you, it might look like a trip to the gym or 15 minutes of yoga in the morning. But even a 5- or 10-minute walk around the block in the middle of a busy day can make a huge difference in how you feel. Being outside and experiencing nature can help you to let go of daily stress and find a peaceful moment.

3. Try an app or podcast

Self-care doesn’t have to mean unplugging from technology. Here are some apps that can help:

  • Pinterest lets you create personalized boards to help motivate, inspire, or cheer you up during a difficult day.
  • CBT-i Coach guides you through the process of learning about sleep, developing positive sleep routines, and improving your sleep environment. 
  • DBT Coach helps you develop mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Calm offers guided meditation to help you improve your focus and sleep stories to help you quiet your mind and fall asleep.
  • Sanvello guides you to relief from stress, anxiety, and depression through cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and wellness. 

Podcasts can be another helpful resource to help you process stress and anxiety. Anxiety Slayer and The Anxiety Podcast both share a new podcast episode every week. 

If you’re looking for ways to help your children reduce stress or fatigue from the online classroom, encourage them to try a five-minute stretch break (or maybe even a dance break!) Here are some family-friendly apps that can make de-stressing and meditation more fun:

  • Mindful Powers guides kids through “story” meditations, featuring a friendly emoji-like character called a “Flibbertigibbet” who helps them stay focused and breathe. 
  • Dreamy`Kid offers everyday meditations, affirmations, guided journeys, and breathing exercises — all designed for children.

vera-leaf_iconHow Vera can help you with self-care

You can talk to your Vera whole health coach to brainstorm ways to take time for yourself. Your care team is here to help you, whether you need some help thinking of things to try or whether you just need someone to help you stay on track with your routine. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just overwhelmed, we’re here to listen, connect you with techniques to cope with those feelings, and help every step of the way. 

Call your care center and talk to your health coach about how to practice self-care today!

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