Self-care Stories: Pandemic Self-care.

This pandemic has given us the perfect opportunity for self-discovery. We’ve all been fighting bouts of anger, confusion, fear, depression and anxiety through varying levels of acceptance and forms of adaptation (cooking, baking, planting, bartering, excessive online shopping, the works – hey, this is human evolution in the modern age!)

Pre-pandemic self-care seemed simple. Not to mention accessible. And taken.for.granted. Who would have ever thought that simple things like coffee breaks or ice cream runs or midnight joyrides or a hug and beso-beso – and simple dining out with friends and families – would someday become  distant memories (for now). But we gotta do what we gotta do, yes?

My pandemic listicle!

So while our lives are currently on semi-pause, sharing with you a couple of the pandemic self-care essentials that have helped me keep my sanity in the past 130 days of quarantine.

1.)    Sleep – An extra hour or two of slumber always keeps the depression demons away. The average adult needs 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day. Take that power nap and don’t deprive yourself of beauty sleep. You will thank yourself for it. 😊

Beauty sleep is the key to balance and clarity.

2.)    Exercise – Quite surprised how quickly gym instructors and enthusiasts adapted and offered online sessions. I joined an online mat Pilates class, mainly to stretch out my back and hip muscles since I sit on my office chair around 10 to 12 hours per day. Super helped my chubby muscles, not to mention, mat pilates is a good way of grounding yourself.

Stretch those muscles!

3.)    Food – Now where to start with this. This is one subject that I am an expert in simply because I consume so much food. Hahaha. My palate-related judgements have always been on point. 😉

a.       I like to eat food that I do not cook. Haha. No, Seriously. There’s something about food that someone prepares or someone buys you that speaks volumes to me about how much they care. Food (and eating is perhaps my unique love language)

b. I’ve always been a believer that mealtimes and food are meant to be shared and having someone else cook (or buy me food) is a love language that makes me feel more appreciated, thus this makes me a propagator and habitual practitioner of ‘together-apart’ meals! If there is a will, there’s a way! Quarantine and border control and this pandemic have not been hindrances in showing people you are thinking of them and you care. 

*p.s. for all family and friends who sent me food in the past few months, thank you! *

The way through an anxious woman’s heart is through her stomach. (In pic: Gorillabowlz Ahi Tuna)

4.) Grounding techniques– I learned about grounding techniques through one of the health and wellness seminars offered by the company I work for (Gotta love Maxicare!) Grounding techniques are used to bring you back to the present and keep your ‘what-ifs’ (what-if’s: example: fear of the future) at bay. As grounding techniques usually center around the five basic human senses: see, hear, taste, touch and smell, I made sure to have an activity with one of each:

a. Smell – Aromatherapy has so far been my favourite. There’s something about a nice smelling room that uplifts the spirit and inspires the soul. I have amassed a collection (or an obsession) over the past 60 days. Please don’t tell my husband how much these oils costs. Haha. My favourite scents are lemon in the morning and eucalyptus in the evening.

Aromatherapy for the tired quarantined soul.

b. Touch – I have also developed an obsession with silk. Pillowcases, scrunchies, sleeping eye masks, pajamas. Running your hands over its silk smooth goodness just feels so nice and offers you some sort of calmness and peace. Maybe because you just want to sleep and wallow in silk. Haha. Also, recommending bleeves (blanket with sleeves) – made of super fluffy ultra soft cuddle fleece for that feeling of extra comfort. Best paired with silk, but of course. 😉 Inserting here too: Massage. Oh how I miss my monthly full body and foot massage it makes me want to cry. Self-massage will have to do for now.;-)

Touch therapy as grounding technique.

c. Taste – See # 3 above. 😉

d. Hear – My spotify playlist as follows: Calming Acoustics, Stress relief, 90’s pop (hahahaha yes, they invoke happy carefree memories), John Wick soundtrack and Nine Inch Nails (for the times I want to drown out negative thoughts. Yes, MarketingMama always has been and always will be a rock chick)

Music to fuel the soul.

e.) See – Arrange and re-arrange. Marie Kondo the crap out of every room. There is a place for everything. Seeing your stuff organized and clean will also give you a sense of peace (and accomplishment). *Disclaimer: next to impossible with children in the house. I make do with my bedroom and work space. Hahaha. Also, I have meticulously color coordinated my curtains for this month and bedsheets and pillowcases and towels in white and pink. Don’t tell my husband because he doesn’t know because he is color blind. Nyahahaha.

Matchy matchy everything! Haha

5.) Write it Down – all the jumbled thoughts in your head, let it out and put it on paper. Writing (together with reading) has been my favourite form of therapy since childhood. There’s just something about getting lost in a book or in your thoughts while putting together a piece. I guess it helps you connect to your self more and it blocks out unwelcome negativity too. 😊

Put your thoughts to paper.

6.)  Online shopping – Guuuurrrlll if it makes you happy, add it to cart! Your money, your choice.

Retail therapy is still therapy.

But don’t forget to set aside savings for future rainy days and other pandemic essentials!

Save for rainy days!