During this difficult time it has become clear that the people we depend a lot to keep us all going are the carers.
These are the nurses, childcare and aged-care staff, the people who put in hours caring for people in their homes or those who are the full-time, live-in carers for their disabled or frail family members.
These are the people who will put others before themselves and those most at risk for suffering burnout.
Taking care of yourself is like putting on your oxygen mask before helping others.
If you are not taking care of you, it can be difficult to care for others that rely on us.
Some these simple, quick and inexpensive tips for taking care of yourself may not be possible at the moment due to lockdown restrictions but they are just a starting point.
Get creative and make it a new habit to take care of yourself when you need it.
Learning how to say no may seem like a little thing but it makes a big difference to your mental well-being. You are not obligated to say Yes to every request. Think about all of the small tasks you do for others that take up a lot of your free time and mental energy.
Meditation can be practiced in as little as 5 minutes and is like a reset function for your brain. Mindfulness is a Buddhist practice that focuses your thoughts on the present. This involves examining what you are thinking, feeling, behaving and reacting to any given situation and allows for self-growth.
Not suggesting going to the gym for hours, but moving your body can make a big difference to your well-being. Moving can be as simple as going for a 30-min walk in the morning, doing a quick yoga routine, or cranking up your favourite music and dancing around the house. A quick 5-minute stretching session is great too.
Put down the heavy books during times of stress and read a trashy magazine instead. These magazines are intended as light, entertaining reading, which is a great distraction. Puzzle magazines also provide activities that are short and get your brain pumping.
Sometimes it is amazing to just spend some time-wasting time! We are always busy getting stuff done and doing nothing can be a nice change. Take a nanna nap, play a game on your phone, watch some silly cat videos, or sit alone in a coffee shop and watch people pass by. You don't have to be on the go all the time.
When the last time that you did something that was purely joyful? It can be uplifting to do something that you haven't since you were young. Did you love horse riding, or painting or roller skating or fishing? Adult colouring books take us right back to being a kid, which is one of the reasons this activity is so popular.
Everyone needs some alone time without having to deal with conversations or interruptions. It doesn't matter how you spend that time alone and it could be as simple as sitting on the grass outside, listening to an audiobook or podcast, or picking up that magazine.
We hang onto things that we don't need out of feelings of nostalgia, habit or obligation. A cluttered house can have a negative impact on our mental health, with negative energy being collected along with the dust. Start small, when you have a few spare minutes, and grab a few items that you don't love or need. Donate good, useable unwanted items to one of the smaller charity shops, knowing that someone can use or love them.
How many hours do we spend a day without our shoes on? There is no better feeling than walking on some soft sand or green grass barefoot. There is growing support the health benefits for humans to feel the earth beneath our feet, connecting with the energy through "grounding".
We all have those annoying, time consuming and repetitive tasks to complete around the house like the dishes and laundry. All too often, we don't take the opportunities to delegate and end up doing everything ourselves without asking for help, adding to our emotional or mental loads. Even young children are capable of helping out, and chores teach them life skills and responsibility.
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