21 Aug Self Care in Melbourne’s Stage 4 Lockdown
With everything going on in the world right now, we may often forget about making time for self-care. Most of us are crazy busy trying to figure out how to keep ourselves busy at home. Others are dealing with stressful but essential jobs and ‘me-time’ is usually the last thing anyone thinks about. During this global pandemic, taking care of our own wellbeing is more important than ever, and focusing on self-care in a time of stress is one way of easing those negative feelings.
First of all, what is self-care?
Self-care is any activity we intentionally do to help us take care of our physical, emotional or mental wellbeing. It helps to boost the relationship we have with ourselves and helps to boost our self-esteem and confidence.
Self-care isn’t a one-time thing which we tick off and move on. It is many little activities or habits that we do constantly that work together to make sure we are mentally, physically and emotionally at our best. Making time for you is necessary to remind yourself that your needs are important.
Why should we make time for self-care?
Neglecting self-care too often may eventually cause us to feel stressed, exhausted and emotionally depleted. These negative feelings may eventually lead to health issues, such as depression, anxiety or insomnia. Self-care is not just about our mental health, it’s also about how we care for ourselves physically. For example, getting plenty of exercise or getting adequate sleep.
Self-care can mean different things for each person. For example, facetiming with your family can be emotionally rewarding for you, but very stressful for someone else. It is important that you find what works for you.
Below is my personal list of simple self-care ideas to get you started with your self-care at home.
Create a cozy environment. Add some candles, blankets or fluffy pillows. Creating a space that feels inviting, provides you with a safe and relaxing retreat to escape to when you are having a tough day. Maybe even try using essential oils or diffusers. Research suggests that scents such as citrus or lavender can help promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
- Take some time to meditate and slow down your thoughts. Taking 10 minutes to practice meditation can help you feel calmer and allow you to connect with your inner self. Try some of my favorite meditation apps;- Calm: allows you to follow daily meditation sessions and maintain meditation goals.Smiling Mind: provides mindfulness instructions to reduce stress and increase clarity. Insight Timer: provides guided meditation sessions and a range of nature and healing soundtracks.
- De-clutter and get organised. Whether it is your cupboard or your email inbox, get rid of the excess junk that is weighing you down.
- Add exercise to your daily routine. Making time for a walk or run can help to boost your mood and reduce stress. If you don’t want to go outdoors, there are many exercises you can do at home thanks to apps and YouTube Videos. Try giving yoga or Pilates a go. They offer a list of health benefits, including building strength, reducing stress and stretching out inactive muscles.
- Laughter really is the best medicine so find time to laugh. The intake of air when you laugh helps to provide more oxygen to your muscles, lungs and heart. Additionally, laughing improves mood, reduces tension and simply feels good. Watch a funny movie or standup comedy, listen to a funny podcast or read a silly joke.
- Just because we are staying home doesn’t mean we can treat ourselves. Do some online shopping and splurge on something you have been wanting for a while. Have a take-out night instead of cooking. Enjoy a slice of cake or a scoop of ice-cream or better yet, enjoy both together. Make sure to maintain a healthy balance with fresh meals during the week.
- Have a spa day by giving yourself a manicure or pedicure. Put on a face mask or a hair mask and take a soothing bubble bath. Try a scented body scrub and don’t forget to finish off with a luxurious body lotion.
- Cuddle with a loved one. Studies show that physical contact reduces stress and releases a hormone called oxytocin that boosts happiness. Or let your pet be a part of your self-care and cuddle with them. They provide companionship and unconditional love which increases our feelings of self-worth
- Get prepared for the end of lockdown by booking a massage or something nice to look forward to. Most of us are missing out on exciting holidays so having something nice to look forward to can essential for positivity.
Lastly, one of the most important parts of self-care is to reach out for support when you need it. Talk to a friend, a family member or your doctor. If you feel that you need further support, contact one of the services below for a chat.
Beyondblue provides 24-hour support and information on anxiety, depression and suicide. Chat with them online or call 1300 22 4636.
Butterfly Foundation’s National Helpline provides information, counselling and treatment referral for people with eating disorders, body image and related issues. Call 1800 33 4673, 8am-midnight.
Lifeline provides is a 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.
MensLine Australia is a 24-hour professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78.
Balanced Life Health Care even during lockdown we are always contactable so give us a call (03) 8719 7373 or email [email protected]
Elismarie Barnes is one of our remedial massage therapists. Elismarie has a strong interesting in working with Women, Expectant and, New mothers. To book an appointment with Elismarie use our online booking system here