The last few months have been some of the most stressful months in my entire life. I wouldn’t wish being in law school during a pandemic on my worst enemy. Once the semester ended things became a little less stressful but the stress was still there. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way. All of my friends in different industries and grad-programs are equally as stressed as I am or more depending on their circumstances. We are all truly trying our best to survive and hold onto our sense of well-being.
When the stay-at-home-orders first started, one of the ways I coped with it was by engaging in retail therapy. I bought myself a ring-light (don’t regret it) and many other things to keep myself pre-occupied when I didn’t have other responsibilities. Many other things I used to do for self-care like strolling aimlessly in Trader Joe’s or going to the sauna at my local gym were no longer options. Going to the grocery store became this super intense experience and the gyms rightfully shut down and even though they are open now I’m still not comfortable to go back to them. This led to my mental health suffering and began a horrible cycle of me neglecting myself and feeling sad and then neglecting myself and you get it.
Self-care has become a way of life in recent years and could even be considered to be trendy. However, when people think of self-care they often think of getting a mani-pedi or a massage or whatever other parts of our beauty regimen we can think of that make us feel good. Unless you are super talented, those things can have quite a price tag and although some salons are opening back up, I don’t want to risk it. Aside from that, self-care does not have to be related to beauty. Self-care doesn’t even have to cost money. Some of the best things I can do to take care of myself (mindbodyspirit) are completely FREE! Well, some of them require you to pay your phone bill or have someone paying your phone bill but I assume that you were already going to do that. I was asked to share some ways to cope with covid and I’ve shared these tips before at some point but I feel they are especially timely now.
Go Outside and Ground Yourself
So the art of grounding yourself can be defined differently by everyone but for the sake of this blog I’m talking about grounding myself with the earth. The most effective way to do this for me is by standing barefoot in sand (or grass now that I don’t live in San Diego and close to the beach) and doing breathing exercises. It’s kind of like meditating while you are standing up. I love to ground myself because it reminds me that I’m part of something much bigger than myself and shifts my perspective on everything, even my problems.
Turn Off Your Phone For A Day (or a few hours)
As a blogger and a millennial I will say that one stereotype that I often fall into is that I’m always on my phone. As a matter of fact, I’m usually on my phone majority of the time I’m awake unless I’m at work. Lately I’ve been practicing leaving my phone in another room and just being content with sitting and doing nothing or reading a book in silence. Taking a break from technology is a good way to take care of ourselves.
Clean and Declutter Your Space(s)
Okay so I don’t know about you all but as I’ve grown over the years I realize that if my space is a mess, it’s usually a reflection of my life at the time. Whether it’s my room, desk at work, kitchen, or whatever else if there is mess and clutter there simply cleaning it up can be a great morale booster and one of the best-practices of self-care (if you’re not the type to get stressed out by cleaning).
Listen To Nature Sounds
Ever since I was a baby the sound of water has always made me feel at peace. My mom used to have to run the tub or faucet just to get me to fall asleep. As a former San Diego resident one of my favorite things to do used to be just going out to the beach and night and listening to the ocean waves. If you can do this in person it is awesome but there are also videos on YouTube that have these sounds as well. My personal favorite thing is this app I downloaded called Tide. It has recordings of different sounds of nature from forests to my personal favorite, rain, and other things in between. When I listen to these I almost instantly feel better and more at peace and relaxed.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep (and make it a habit)
Honestly, this is something I struggle with. I should always be doing this but life sometimes gets hectic and nights with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep happen. If this is the life that you also live, find a way to get a few nights of good rest. There are few things better than waking up from an ample amount of sleep. Making sure you are well rested is one of the best ways to take care of yourself, your body, and your mind. If this is not possible I also encourage naps. In college even a 15 minute power nap had a drastic effect on my day.
While charcoal masks, online shopping, and eating at your favorite restaurant can be good ways to practice self-care, they aren’t always free and/or feasible, especially during these times. All of these tips can be utilized at any point during your day. I hope that you are able to practice these free self-care tips and they transform your physical and mental well-being and make dealing with Covid-19 a little bit easier.
What do you do when you need to practice self-care but you have to spend your money elsewhere? How are you coping with Covid-19? Let me know in the comments!