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Gugulethu Khumalo - March 29, 2020
Self - Care is beginning to play a bigger role in the conversation around mental health and the urgency and importance of mental health and self-love have become more present in this current time. As an esteemed activist and feminist Audre Lorde said “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare," Lorde wrote in A Burst of Light" and Other Essays.
Take time to invest in learning about preventative measures to best protect yourself and those around you. Investing (not hoarding ) in basic cleaning necessities for your home and yourself, such as sanitisers and soaps and adhering to WHO recommended techniques. If you need hand sanitiser or masks you can order them online here.
Being stuck at home with no or limited social interaction will take a toll on your mental health. This is why you need to employ basic mindfulness techniques. There are a variety of resources online that are available for anyone to use from mindful novice to mindful gurus. Resources such as guided meditation sessions on YouTube and mindfulness apps such as headspace.
Collecting your thoughts is good, lockdown or not. It helps to keep a log of all your feelings daily as a way for you to look back on and reflect on your personal progress and growth. A variety of journals are available and easy to personalise or for those who prefer digital ways of living, the notes app on your phone is perfect for recording your thoughts. Or alternatively, a video diary detailing your adventures in self-isolation would make perfect YouTube content for fellow homebodies around the world. Also, a way to keep mental inventory.
This is by far the most cited aspect of self-care: dozens of posts have been made about the benefits of a simple bubble bath in self-care. It is an amazing way to escape from everything for a little bit of time, including your family. Bubble baths or bath bombs, and some candles are the perfect accessories to set the mood for re-cooperation and relaxation.
If you aren’t a bath person a dip in the pool or a long shower can go a long way.
Skincare is self – care, the aim is not to get Korean beauty glass skin standard here (although that would be nice). Skincare as self-care forces you to take a look at yourself quite intimately and try to build a connection with your skin, a bonding exercise for mind and body if you will, it’s about taking the time and energy to try and figure out that perfect balance for yourself.
Connect with your friends and family in this period. Just because we are confined to our homes in this period, it does not mean that all human contact will be lost. Technology such as our phones and the internet have become the greatest invention yet, apps such as house party make it easy to connect with multiple friends at a time, which means squad hangouts can still happen. You can substitute regular happy hour for a Virtual Happy hour.
The gym may be closed, but that’s no excuse. There are plenty of resources to help you begin your home work out journey with no gym equipment at all. It’s important to maintain some sort of physical activity to keep your body and mind active, to make up for your lack of movement, during this period, anything from some light yoga, to a quick jump in the pool.