This past year has thrown us lots of curveballs. Is it any wonder that self-care is trending? As we get ready to say good riddance to 2020, it might be worth asking, “What if we could give the perfect gift to ourselves for the New Year? What if we borrowed a fraction of our energy use to take care of others and focused that energy toward taking care of ourselves?”
Let’s be honest. We all want to start the new year happy – perfect even. We’ll sometimes make unreasonable resolutions. We expend enormous amounts of energy, time, and emotion trying to meet all the normal year demands: working from home, making sure the Zoom space is free of toys and clutter, cooking, cleaning, shopping, keeping up with children’s online classes, overextending our capabilities and our financial resources. If you throw other COVID-related issues on top of that, the stress multiplies exponentially.
Taking care of yourself as you care for others can not only help improve your own mental and physical state, but it can also help you be more present during whatever limited gatherings with friends and family look like this year.
- Set realistic expectations. This is especially important around budgets and time commitments.
- Plan ahead. Include downtime and time doing things you enjoy and find relaxing.
- Basic needs. Basic needs are even more important during stressful seasons and times as the impact of including adequate sleep, nutrition, exercise, and outdoor/sunlight time can reduce overall stress levels.
COVID specific tips:
- Reach out to others virtually to maintain a level of connection and to reduce feelings of loneliness.
- Work toward accepting the differences this year will bring, instead of focusing on the negatives and wishing things were different.
- Be creative and embrace “new” ways to celebrate holidays and spend time with loved ones this year. Some examples include:
- Virtual get-togethers with family and friends
- Include a theme or focus such as watching or sharing a movie, eating a meal, playing virtual and interactive games, a talent show or contest
Follow Family Services on social media for some curated mindfulness practices designed to help you find some calm in this topsy-turvy world. But even with some of the best coping strategies and mindfulness exercises, sometimes life is too stressful to handle alone. Sometimes talking with a therapist who will listen and look for ways to approach challenging situations can help people feel safer, stronger, and regain a sense of control.
For families facing intense challenges that are overwhelming, Family Services is here with essential counseling and support. Our highly qualified, professional therapists provide effective services for a wide range of life concerns and challenges in a confidential, respectful, and collaborative environment.
All of us need help from time to time. This is where we focus.