Over the last two weeks, I have found myself working later even until the early morning, not getting enough sleep, sitting in a chair most of the day, having poor posture at the computer or holding a cell phone to my ear, eating stuff I shouldn’t just because it is there and the kitchen is now so close, and more. Most of the extra time spent was unpaid just trying to do what I can to help clients and friends survive as their businesses are struggling. I have realized that through all of this I have neglected self-care. My body is feeling it and my mind is beginning to.
I know I am not the only one who has recently neglected themselves.
Each of us needs to take a break, breathe and focus on ourselves and our own health regularly, especially during this pandemic where we have been asked to keep our distance. We want to avoid isolating during this time.
The National Association of Social Workers recommends the following ideas for improving self-care:
We have been asked to socially distance but we need to avoid socially isolating. We can still stay connected with each other. I have found my conversations with members of a CPA Network I belong to invaluable to discuss work and personal items with.
We have looked for ways to support each other and keep open communication. I enjoy phone calls and message chats with family and friends. I have enjoyed this extra time with immediate family. We reach out to our neighbors who shouldn’t be going out and get their needed grocery items for them while we are out. We send encouraging messages.
Take some time to do the hobbies you like to do. Read a favorite book or a new recommendation. Do something for yourself.
To avoid burnout, set a time limit. I am finding I need to stop and get up and walk around so I set a time for me to do that. I have also set a quitting time to stop working at a reasonable time and be present with my family. (I do need to get better at not answering work phone calls after hours.)
Schedule a relaxation or rest time. Take a nap. Stretch or do some yoga. Meditate. Do something to re-center. Set a bed time and go to bed at a decent hour.
We are all experiencing a temporary new normal. We, myself included, should take a little time to take care of ourselves.
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