Self-care Isn’t a Luxury

If you feel like we are living in crazy times right now, you’re right! Everything is topsy turvy! We have a pandemic, an election and a country that is angry at each other. The seasons are changing, and we’re being told not to celebrate holidays. Some parts of the country are having life as usual, while others are seeing shocking spikes. The list goes on, and on and on. Nothing is normal.
We have lived through months and months of confusion as scientists have grappled with a brand-new threat. We usually don’t watch research play out in real-time. Seeing them learn and change their ideas and suggestions has left some of us feeling anxious. For many of us, we have been unable to see our families for months, and we’re being told it will continue for even longer. And all of this is happening as our leaders shout at each other on TV. It’s normal not to feel normal.
Often, people who have a health condition, are older or are struggling with depression feel like they are a burden to others when they express their needs or take time to handle their own problems. After all, when we need help from other people, it can feel selfish to take time for ourselves. But, many of us are feeling stretched thin from the stress of our daily lives.
We wanted to remind you of a simple truth: self-care isn’t a luxury. Taking time to take care of yourself is an essential part of staying healthy. Taking time to unwind, breathe out and relax actually helps you be better at getting through the rest of your day. If you worry that you aren’t being helpful to others, you may find you are actually far more useful after taking a nap, taking a virtual tour of the Louvre or digitally screaming in Iceland. You get more done in your day, feel more even-keeled and enjoy your life more when you breathe out.
Many people think of self-care as the Millennial driven trend of bubble-baths, fancy candles, spa days and nature photography. If that is your idea of a good time and in your budget, you can embrace it. But, it can also be making time to do your favorite hobbies, just take a break to think your own thoughts or read a book with a cup of cocoa.  
Having a schedule can help you get through this crazy time. A routine can make things feel more normal and help you manage stress. We suggest scheduling self-care into your day. It might sound absurd at first. But, scheduling your break means you won’t throw off your rhythm. Your restful break would be wholly undone if it derails dinner time!
Whatever you do, we hope you take care of yourself. There is no denying that we’re living in an odd time. But, we will come through it if we are safe and take care of ourselves and one another! 

Banner image: Leohoho via Unsplash
October 21, 2020

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