By Celeste Jacobs-Richards
The world is going through trying, confusing and maybe anxiety provoking times with the Covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in decreased structure, decreased social interaction, increased uncertainty, and many difficult emotions and thoughts for all. Stressors will reduce our capacity for coping and managing during challenging times. Take note, it is not only during times like these that we need to be aware of personal care and building our resilience. It is imperative that we are intentional and consistent in applying self-care techniques at all times. We need to be proactive to life and not reactive.
Life always has seasons of trial and struggle, pressure and tension but we are able to cope, overcome and walk victoriously. Remember that these simple yet essential tips will not implement themselves, you need to take personal responsibility and apply them on a regular basis in order to benefit. They will not result in instant gratification (some may) but will lead to healthier, long lasting, positive outcomes. Fill personal self-care cup and increase your levels of resilience, in order to keep at optimal levels of functioning. We need to implement these coping skills in order to deal with stress, problems, challenges and difficult seasons of life.
Personal self-care covers a range of different areas in our lives- physical, psychological (emotional and mental) and most importantly spiritual. We will over a series of write ups looking at how to care for oneself. Become more conscious and aware of how you are care for yourself holistically. Body, soul, and spirit all need to be fed, cared for and focused on.
- Nutrition – Eating good, nutritious food not only improves your physical health, but plays a major role in your mental health. Your body will work at optimal levels when fed properly. Drink water. Eat fruit and vegetables.
- Sleep – The human body, including the mind needs time to rest and repair daily. Sleep provides this rejuvenation and equips us to get up and go the following day to fulfill our daily duties.
- Exercise – Moving around and getting the heart rate up causes the body to release endorphins (the body’s feel good hormones). Brisk walking, running, gardening, dancing are some forms of exercise you can easily engage in. It is good for the physical flexibility and strengthening of the body and also provides stress relief.
- Hobbies – Having a creative, fun, and relaxing out let is a great way to reduce stress and care for yourself. E.g.: cooking, drawing, sports, reading, listening to music etc.
Application of the information above is imperative, which is what brings transformation!
What can you add to your daily routine today to improve your self-care? What hobby have you not engaged in for ages, could you start again? Are you eating nutritional meals or filling your body with unhealthy foods?
Read the full series on COVID-19 (and anytime!) Self-Care:
Celeste Jacobs-Richards is a private professional clinical psychologist. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Rhodes University. Celeste joined our faculty in July 2014. She teaches Theories of Counselling and Trauma Counselling. Since 2014 she has been volunteering as a psychotherapist at Elusitsweni (Challenge Ministries Swaziland), a residential home for women with life-controlling habits. She is married and active in her home congregation.