Gathering resources and solutions in advance can help you cope during difficult times.
A self-care practice involves engaging in healthy activities that help promote happiness and relaxation in times of stress. Self-care can be used in combination with other health and wellness treatments. Engaging in self-care can help you feel more resilient and better equip you to care for others.
Creating a self-care plan will enable quick access to strategies for mood-boosting activities when you are feeling emotionally unwell. Having this list ready in advance will enable you to focus on doing the activities immediately in times of stress, rather than having to spend time developing strategies.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increased need for self-care plans to be flexible. For instance, someone who cannot access daycare for their children and is working from home may need more self-care activities that can be done at night. Many social and outdoor activities have been restricted, creating a need for virtual ways to connect with others and home-based workouts. Others have faced loss in income, reducing some of the funds they can devote to self-care. Health-care practitioners, caregivers and essential workers have had increased pressure and longer hours and have had less time to devote to self-care.
Here are some ideas for developing a flexible self-care plan with some suggestions. In planning self-care, remember that what cheers one person up may not interest another, so it should be personalized.
- Exercises I can do if I’m feeling low on energy – list activities such as chair yoga
- Exercises I can do if I’m short on time – list activities such as stretching
- Exercises I can do if I feel restless – bookmark a favorite online workout video
Connecting with others
- Person I can call or text if I’m feeling lonely – list [a] name(s) for daytime and evening
- Friends who may be interested in an online game – list names and game websites
- Friends, relatives or neighbors to catch up with – list name(s)
- Ways to connect if you can safely meet outside while maintaining social distancing
Stress-Relief at home
- Activities I can do pro-actively – bookmark or download some online meditations
- Activities I can do if I’m short on time – save instructions for calming breathing exercises
- Music I can listen to – create or bookmark a playlist of songs that help cheer you up
- Other home-based stress relief, such as reading a light-hearted book, taking a relaxing bath or watching a funny video – list your favorite ideas here
- Hobbies I can easily start/stop – list ideas such as puzzles, simple art/craft projects
- Inexpensive hobbies – list ideas such as journaling, singing or taking smartphone photos
- New skills that interest me – list ideas such as learning a new language, software or trying a recipe
We hope these ideas help you generate a self-care plan that best uses the resources you have available. In addition, if you feel unwell and need assistance, reach out:
- Contact your physician
- Book an online counselling appointment. Jericho counselling offers secure online counselling throughout British Columbia.
- Contacting the crisis line in your community if you need immediate and urgent care – Crisis Centre BC