ByDarla Sinclair, Licensed Clinical Social WorkerLicensed Clinical Social Worker
Updated: 17 Apr, 2020
I don’t know about you but keeping myself grounded and present has been way more challenging of late!
Everything I see and hear seems to be about COVID-19. Nothing “normal” can be counted on right now; not going to work like usual, not going out like usual, not our daily routines, not even the ability to get toilet paper! We are definitely living in a crazy time.
So now, more than ever, self care is important at the time of Covid-19.
“Self-care?!” you say. “Right now?! The kids are home, I’m trying to work from home, I’m worried about (my bills, my health, my family..fill in the blank). This is not the time for self care! You have lost your mind Darla!” But I have not.
When we ride in an airplane, putting your mask on first is prioritized, it’s not a luxury.
They hammer that into our heads! Why? Because if you pass out, those who count on you go down too.
But if they pass out, and you’ve got your mask on, you can still help them. So, always put your mask on first, right? Right! So, always prioritize self care, right? Aha! Harder to agree with me when I put it that way, right? Even though it’s the same thing!
Well, my friends, to stay with our metaphor, the crazy times in which we are currently living is the airplane cabin losing pressure. “Okay, fine” you say, “but how do I put my mask on with the kids running around, trying to work from home (…fill in the blank)?”
Also watch this helpful video on mental health in the Coronavirus pandemic:
Self care during quarantine
First, we have to reframe how we view selfcare act: it is a priority, not a luxury.
Second, we have to answer for ourselves “What is self-care for me when I can’t leave the house?” It’s definitely going to be in the little things that are happening around us and it’ll be different for everyone. For one person it will be seeing their garden starting to sprout up.
For another it’s a cup of their favorite tea. For another, it’s playing with their fur baby and for another it’ll be hearing a belly laugh from a loved one.
Self care activities are all about slowing down in whatever the moment is and making a memory imprint.
Making a memory imprint happens when we purposefully slow down with something good and use as many of our 5 senses as possible to notice the moment in real time.
Noticing the colors, the sounds, the smells, etc. along with how they make us feel emotionally and how they make our bodies feel. That, my friends, is how to take care of yourself in relationship with yourself and others, right here, right now.
So today, notice a moment of beauty or a moment of laughter and hang out there. Deepen into it through all your senses, and don’t forget to notice how it makes your body feel.
Advice on selfcare in relationship
When you are in a relationship, it is important to relax yourself, and take care of yourself with these selfcare tips.
Build emotional awareness and do not shy away from expressing your emotional needs and state of mind. Try to be ok with your and your partner’s emotions. Aim at communicating what you want and need. Aim at building your emotional intelligence.
Do yourself a favor and take care of your physical well-being. As partners you have each other’s best interests in mind. Break out of the martyrdom and look after yourself.
To keep on the path of self-care is an act of self-preservation and self-enhancement.
The more we can do those things during times like these, the more we position ourselves to care for our loved ones. So put your mask on first today. Your body needs you to and your loved ones need you to.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I am a Licensed Certified Social Worker with a Clinical specialty (LCSW-C). I have almost 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders that impact adults, adolescents and families. I have advanced training in Mood Disorders, EMDR, PTSD, Complex Trauma, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Adolescent Mental Health. I am Level II C-PTSD Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP-II) and am also certified in EMDR. I have specialized training about how trauma impacts upon the developing brains of adolescents as well as on the brain functioning of adults and have presented both locally and nationally on the topic. In years past, I worked in agency settings as a Therapist, Milieu Manager, Clinical Director and Adjunct Faculty teaching Graduate Students in Loyola's School Counseling program and UMD's School of Social Work.