Practicing self-compassion is not easy. While I have gotten better over time at not being so mean to myself, it is definitely something I’m still working on. After years of battling acne, I started saying things to myself that I would never dream of saying to someone else. Telling yourself that you’re ugly every day starts to wear on your emotional health. Over time, I have learned how to be kinder and more patient with myself, which has had a positive impact on my overall health.
Currently, we are battling a global pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has completely turned our lives upside down. From the way we work to the way we socialize, things are no longer the way they once were. However, work and a lack of socializing aren’t the only things you might be feeling stress from. If you’re like me, routines are key to helping the day run smoothly and for keeping stress and anxiety levels low.
At a time when we are all forced to stay at home and can only go to certain places during the day, it may feel difficult to keep up with routines that best served us pre-quarantine. Before the quarantine, I had certain expectations for myself and the day ahead. Waking up at 4 a.m. to start my morning routine had become so easy. Now, some days it’s a struggle to get out of bed at 6 a.m. At first, I was really hard on myself for sleeping in and skipping a workout or eating chocolate during the day. However, I’ve come to realize that it is important, now more than ever, that we practice self-compassion, patience, and adopt new norms that will help us thrive during this uncertain time. Here are three ways to do just that!
- Schedule daily “you” time: Set out a certain time each day to do something that helps you relax. Whether that’s going for a walk, meditating or reading for 15 minutes, setting aside time each day to do something that brings you joy will boost your overall emotional health. It will also help you to be more productive when working from home.
- Listen to your body: Whether you normally workout in the morning or evening, being at home all day can make it difficult to find the energy to stay active every day. If you’re feeling tired or rundown, listen to your body and rest. Sleeping in one day or going to bed early instead of working out isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it will serve your body more to get the rest it’s craving and get back to your routine after taking a break.
- Be forgiving: There is too much going on in the world right now for us to be too hard on ourselves. Be kind, forgiving, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Some days will feel more productive than others. There will also be days when it’s easier to stick to goals you’ve set. If you stray from those goals or find it difficult to get more work done than you planned, don’t stress out over it. Take each day in stride and use the next day as a reset.
If you have been hard on yourself in, or outside, of quarantine, I’m here to tell you to show yourself some compassion. Find ways to practice self-kindness today and go easy on yourself. This pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before. Everyone is doing their best to figure out this new norm one day at a time. So, I encourage you to go and do something for yourself today!