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Embracing Self-Care During Social Distancing

As we navigate social-distancing, health care concerns, and uncertainty about the future it is important we remain open to experience moments of joy, gladness, amusement and relaxation while caring for ourselves, our families, and support those around us. This does not mean we are choosing to see the present crisis through rose-colored glasses, or does it gloss over so many who are suffering. By embracing self-care, we are taking control of what is within our sphere of influence, our thoughts, and behaviors, as we move through this difficult time. The following are six questions, created by Bay area organizer and photojournalist, Brooke Anderson, you will want to ask daily to check in with yourself and practice self-care. She inspires and motivates us to be grateful, to remain connected, to move and go outside.  And lastly, to continue to cultivate our creativity despite our current reality. 

#1- What am I grateful for today? According to gratitude expert, Robert Emmons, Ph.D., gratitude enables a person to feel good but also to do good. Begin your day by listing at least three things for which you are grateful for. Or if you prefer, end your day by recalling three, however small, experiences that happened that day that were a gift, or a blessing. Savor those experiences even when they were small kindnesses or favors you have received. 

#2- Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today? Select three people in your life you call, Facetime, or text with each day. Call your mother, your neighbor, your friends that live near and far. Several research studies indicate that individuals who feel socially connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Remember to stay engaged with your community, donate to your local food bank, or donate blood if you can. 

#3- What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today? Focus your attention on adapting to the present circumstances rather than resisting the changes that have occurred. Concentrate on what truly matters in your life. What you find may surprise you and offer you a new perspective. 

#4- How am I getting outside? Sit out on your balcony, patio, or backyard in the morning or evening. Spend at least 10 minutes in the sun, work on your garden, or walk barefooted on your lawn. If you are unable to go outside bring a plant indoors. Natural light and fresh air can boost your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anger. 

#5- How am I moving today? Exercise in any form serves to improve your brain health and memory. Plan to go for a walk around your neighborhood, or for a run. You may also engage in gentle stretches or practice yoga.  The goal is to move your body in a way that is safe for you. 

#6- What beauty am I creating, cultivating or inviting in today? Tap into your inner child, what did you enjoy doing as a child? Chances are you loved to color, paint, sing, or dance and will enjoy doing so again. This is your chance to write a poem, pen a song, play an instrument, listen to music. Or simply create a new playlist. Use the present situation to inspire you!   

Source: Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine. Greater Good Magazine. 


Click here to read the full Mind and Matter Summer Edition.