This past week I had my check-in with my manager and she asked how I was doing. "I'm not great," was my honest answer. We're in the third year of the pandemic, I'm terrified to get coronavirus and everyone I know is getting it, and my job is a complicated situation (if you don't work from home you get it). I'm STRESSED. And the majority of that is stemming from a stupid virus that we all hate. How am I supposed to stay sane in these conditions? By trying my very best, I have centered on four self-care focus points that have gotten me two weeks into January. And while I may not be thriving, the self-care does keep me surviving!
If you follow my Instagram, you'll know I recently watched the entire of Josh Hutcherson's filmography. Why? The task of watching every movie gave me purpose and helped me disassociate from the current happenings of the world. Plus most of his movies are from my childhood and I could use some nostalgia. Movie marathons are an extremely easy and inexpensive way to preserve your mental health. Whether that's watching an entire saga of films or watching an actor's filmography (which is my personal choice) a movie marathon is an unexpected form of self-care that can be done by yourself or with those in your bubble.
We already know I love skincare more than life itself, but I have taken it to the next level. I now use foot cream! To distract myself from the horrors of the world, I have taken what used to be a monthly treat of personal care with lotions, oils, face masks, etc. and made it almost a daily event. Is it excessive? Likely. Does it help me feel like I have a bit more control? Absolutely.
The pandemic got me out of cooking, because when you're constantly stressing about life you don't really have the energy to watch your onions caramelize. But cooking has been shown to reduce stress. It's a catch 22. I've been making the effort to cook one meal a day from scratch, even when I don't feel like it and would rather get a burrito from the Mexican drive-thru down the road. But instead I get out a pan and force myself to make something, chopping the ingredients and using seasoning. It doesn't have to be fancy, but the simple task of it genuinely does make me feel better.
Over the last six months I've become a journaling mouthpiece. I absolutely love it! And since not everyone goes to therapy, this is the next best thing. Whether you use a notebook or download an app, getting your thoughts out of your brain is the cheapest form of self-care there is. I feel lighter when I journal, like all that weight has simply evaporated. This morning I spent 10 minutes while eating waffles writing down the five things that were bothering me most, combined with one thing I was excited about. The process unloaded my brain and I recommend trying it if you're still skeptical about journaling.