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mindyourmind Monday: Self Care
With everything going on in the world, we thought it would be nice to share what our team has been doing to take care of themselves over the pandemic. Every so often, we’re going to highlight a throwback, a fun thing that we’ve been up to, or something that we're talking about here at mindyourmind. Hopefully, you’ll get to know just a little bit more about the wonderful people behind the scenes here!
As we continue with mindyourmind Mondays, self care becomes our focus! Everyone was asked to share what they have been doing (or want to do) for self care, and here’s what we all said:
Justin: With all the time spent at home, I've felt less rushed and more flexible in my scheduling and chores. The biggest way this has benefited my self care and overall health is that I've been able to get in more sleep. I'm still more of a night owl than a morning person and stay up later than necessary at times, catching up on news and just thinking about things, so I still want to settle into a more consistent sleep routine.
Simran: My self care practices (and habits in general) have changed in a lot of ways recently. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that I need more sleep to function at my ‘normal’ level; I could do with around 6 hours a night before, whereas now I find myself now leaning towards 7 or 8. My self care has meant rolling with this, and allowing the guilt-free sleep to happen, because I know my body needs it. We are in a pandemic, after all!
In terms of a self care practice I’m wanting to implement, I would say reading more books. I love giving my eyes a break from all of my screens, and giving my mind a break from this world we live in!
Michelle: Self care, for me, it's trying to appreciate the little things, the things I didn't notice and took for granted before lockdown. Waving to a neighbour or thanking the cashier at the grocery store, it's being grateful for the people that are around me. I love my space but once we can travel again, without restrictions, I want to take a train trip - anywhere!
Elora: Throughout this pandemic, I have been trying to be kinder to myself and more mindful of how many things are out of my control. With that being said, I am in control of my self care and so I am working to listen to my mind and body more. My self care routine has remained relatively the same, but I have had the chance to add to it! With more flexibility in my schedule, I have been able to expand my horizons and incorporate new self care strategies into my life. For instance, I have been cooking more frequently and I have come to love it! I have also been going outside in nature more, exploring many new hiking trails with my “bubble.” This has been a fun way to stay active, but also a safe way to get a change in scenery when I’ve been desperately wanting to travel.
In addition to what I’ve mentioned, I would like to minimize my screen time, exercise daily, and read some self-help books to learn more about myself and how to heal from certain life experiences.
Heather: Self care for me has changed dramatically because of the pandemic. Moving to homeschooling while also incorporating working from home full time, has been a challenge and a big shift in my family's lives. We have tried to get outside as much as possible, take walks around the neighborhood, and go on hikes on the weekend. Self care while working from home can be tough, but I find it important to get up and walk around every hour or so, and I don't eat lunch at my desk. Even though it seems strange to take a 'break' at home, it's so beneficial to our mental wellbeing to take breaks in our workday. Connecting with friends is also important on our off hours- a facetime chat, or phone call is so nice when we can't see each other in person right now. For the winter months approaching, I'm planning on purchasing a light therapy lamp for at home.
Kyle: I was familiar with the idea of “self care” prior to the pandemic but never gave it much consideration. What’s changed is that I am more aware of the need to give myself permission to have a bad day, to take the occasional break from news or social media, and ultimately to say “no” more often to things that might affect me negatively. Being aware and advocating for my own peace and mental health on a daily basis.
I want to spend a Saturday morning in pajamas, with a big bowl of cereal and watch retro cartoons!
Scarlett: Something that I think has changed with my self-care habits since the pandemic started, is that I see it as almost a prescription. Seeing self-care as something that I’m ‘prescribed’ and that’s part of my overall treatment plan has allowed me to step back from the debates in my head about whether or not I ‘deserve’ it, and instead reminds me that I need it (or else my functioning and relationships will deteriorate, and I really value those two things). Some of my go-to self-care activities have been geocaching, getting out into green spaces, or even walks in my neighbourhood, colouring and watching a feel-good show while sipping on tea, and trying to stay social (even if that's just sending a text) rather than letting myself slip into the desire to isolate.
I am a bit worried about the colder weather setting in, and I hope that I can continue to prioritize getting outside for walks — at the same time, I hope I can be gentle on myself when I inevitably have more days where I may not get myself out for a walk.
For me? It’s been a roller coaster. Being a single parent during a pandemic has been one of the hardest things I have had to navigate. My mental health declined and my anxiety and depression took over. My usual skills were not enough, and I decided to go on medication to support my mental illness. It was deeply life changing, and as the season changed my kids were able to play outside; this gave me time to myself to recuperate. In the past few months, I have been able to take more time for myself, make sure I am getting reiki consistently, using my oracle decks and continuing to work on my goals. I’m just trying to move with reality as it comes, and continue to take time for myself as much as possible.
Carolyn is a passionate advocate for self awareness and personal growth and is loving her role as curriculum developer at mindyourmind! She is originally a child and youth care practitioner who has worked front line with children, youth, and their families. Carolyn is enjoying where life is taking her and cannot wait to see what happens next!
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