What’s your relationship with selfcare? Do you find it easy to be kind to yourself or do you feel selfish whenever you carve out some me-time? Right now, the world is facing pretty dark times: the pandemic, climate change and, most recently, the war in Ukraine. Even though you may not directly be affected – you haven’t lost a dear person to Covid, climate change might seem far away, and the war is in a different country – it’s possible that there’s a lot on your mind. You might feel tired of the pandemic restrictions and unsure about what to do about the other things that are going on in the world, leaving you feeling helpless. That’s natural! Even unconsciously, you might be worried or scared about the current situation. This is why taking care of yourself is so essential.
You might have heard it before: You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Do you feel guilty for taking care of yourself while other people are suffering? I get that. I’ve had that feeling too, trust me! It felt so mundane to stick to my morning routine, my skincare rituals and stuff like that. But the truth is: Nobody who has just lost their home, or a beloved person will feel better just because you skipped the things that make you feel better. You don’t help anyone by neglecting yourself. You help by donating, by demonstrating, by volunteering. And guess what? You won’t have energy or motivation for any of these things if you don’t pay attention to your own wellbeing. So, this is a plea for selfcare and a little directory about how to do it.
General selfcare advice for difficult times
You are what you consume
That’s not only true for the food you eat. While it is important that you pay attention to what you eat, it is just as important to take a look at your media intake. Limit your media consumption to fixed timeframes throughout the day, and only watch or read news from trustworthy sources. Try not to spend too much time in the comment section on social media.
Acknowledge your feelings
No matter if you’re feeling scared, anxious, nervous, sad, confused – don’t suppress it. Allow yourself to feel the way you’re feeling and talk about it if it helps you.
Do what you can
If you feel like you want to help, inform yourself about what you could do right now, where you are, with what you have. Don’t think that you have to do huge things – every little step counts.
Find balance with yoga, Ayurveda and journaling
Practice grounding slow flows and balancing positions. Make sure to include meditation in your practice and listen to your body even more than you usually do. Pay attention to how the poses make you feel, physically and mentally. Practice the Nadi Shodhana breathing technique to calm anxiety.
Eat warm, nourishing comfort food like soups and stews. Take a walk in nature – ideally barefoot. Green is a healing color. Diffuse calming essential oils like lavender. The effect of scents on our nervous system shouldn’t be underestimated!
Use therapeutic writing to make sense of the mess in your head. Here are some journal prompts that you could use:
How am I feeling right now? Can I even identify the feeling?
How does it feel in my body?
What would make me feel better right now?
Give yourself permission to treat yourself like someone you love. Practicing selfcare doesn’t mean ignoring what’s going on. It means making sure that you’re in good condition to get through the crisis and being able to help.