Self care: coping with stress the healthy way in a pandemic

March is National’s Women’s Month so I started thinking about what types of things I have to say about women or to women specifically. Self care is one of the subjects that I have heard over and over during the pandemic, because so many people have experienced a surge in stress and anxiety as a result of the last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a survey of adults in the U.S. 11% of adults surveyed in 2019 reported symptoms of anxiety or depression compared to a range from 28.2-37.2% in 2020-21.

This is a huge jump in cases which makes sense given what we have all been going through. So let’s talk about this. What does self-care look like and is it ok to prioritize self-care without the guilt?

I searched for the definition for self-care and saw a lot of ways that people describe what self-care is. Oxford English Dictionary’s definition was my favorite. It says that self-care is the “practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”.

There have been so many things that I haven’t been able to control over the last year, but I like that self-care focuses on some of the daily habits that we do have control over in our own lives. Stress is a given that ebbs in and out of our lives at different times and shows up in different ways. Self-care sees stress and asks the question: How can I take an active role in protecting my own well-being and happiness?

I have come up with a list of things that are absolutely vital in creating the healthiest and happiest version of myself. I will give you the list and then will be breaking down the list into some individual posts so I don’t bog you down with too much info at once.

My list to create a healthy, happy me:

Moving my body

Eating nourishing foods and drinking enough water

Getting enough quality sleep

Seeing a therapist

Prioritizing seeing family and friends

Connecting with a community or faith-based organization

Alone time/hobbies/whatever makes you feel alive

This is my list, but I think that self-care can mean so many things to so many people. Everyone is different with their own diverse experiences. Sometimes we want or need different things depending on the circumstances or the season of life we are in.

Right now I am focusing on building self-care habits that are sustainable. It’s not just a “self-care kick” that I’m on right now, but I’m trying to establish lifestyle habits that will last for a lifetime.

My next post will cover the first subject of moving our bodies. I will share what has and hasn’t worked for me and give you my favorite resources.


3 responses to “Self care: coping with stress the healthy way in a pandemic”

  1. I agree, Self-Care can take many forms. Creating a regimen that is sustainable over time is hard for me though. I get board easily when certain things become mundane. Currently I meditate fairly regularly using the Calm or Shine apps. I’m inconsistent though, because I’ll practice every morning for maybe two weeks straight then miss a day or two here and there or I’ll practice using one app and not use the other. I also have practiced writing down what I’m Grateful For but haven’t written anything in almost two weeks. I do however on a consistent basis read my devotionals and listen or read the Bible.

    Let me pause here and congratulate you on getting your blog up and running🥳🎉
    I too participated in Ruth’s challenge that’s how I found your blog site.

    Wishing you much success,
    Sharon M.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Sharon! It’s exciting to have this blog up and running and to be working my way towards writing consistently again! Writing does make me happy:)

      I’m the same way, Sharon, where I can get bored on doing the same thing over and over again. I like learning new things and trying different things. I’m sharing different resources that I really like for working out in my next post. You can check that out and see if there’s anything in there that you can try to mix up your routine a bit! Do you ever do yoga? It’s easiest for me to combine a meditation with my yoga practice and sometimes it includes the meditation as part of the yoga class.

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