Self-Care Amidst COVID-19

This time in our history with COVID-19 and this time in my life with my husband’s illness help me to remember the important things. When we were first married, my husband would say, “If money can fix it, it’s not a problem.” I argued that we didn’t have any money, so it was a problem. (We were so poor all those 37 years ago, but we had love.) Yet, with years and experience comes wisdom. I have learned that priceless things such as health are so much more important than wealth. And, so I want to focus today’s blog/discussion on focusing on the priceless.

We are separated as a society with social distancing, and my husband and I are separated by his illness as he is hospitalized. With things the way they are, he can’t have visitors. I continue to argue that I’m not a visitor I’m his wife. But, to the community, I am a visitor. I understand, and I get it, but it doesn’t make the pain any less. So, I’m reminded to focus on the good things in life: my healthy children and grandchildren, our jobs that continue to support us, the support of friends, etc. because we can’t give from an empty bucket. And, it’s so important to be able to give as one can’t help others without helping themselves.

To laugh often and much.

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words are even more significant today to remind us to focus on the priceless as we fill our buckets. My hope is that you can remember to take care of yourself as we continue to care for others with this social distancing. Practice some informal self-care strategies:

* Enjoy times full of laughter, ice cream and good times

* Write a journal

* Take a bubble bath

* Take time for appreciating or creating art

* Watch a sunset

* Read for leisure

* Gardening

* Yoga (active relaxation)

* Hug someone

* Listen to music (singing along with the radio in the car works wonders)

* Listen to soft music in combination with deep breathing exercises

* Watch movies (Save the heavy dramas for when life isn’t already full of dramas)

* Go for a walk

* Dance

* Eat one piece of chocolate

* Reduce clutter/Get more organized so that the details of everyday life don’t add to stress

* Take a weekend retreat or a day trip

* Meditate/Listen to a guided imagery tape

* Practice mindfulness

* Get a massage

* Begin the day with gratitude and continue to practice it throughout the day

* Pray

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