5 Self-Care Strategies While Social Distancing

Written by Janele Bayless, LPC, RDN | Wellness Coordinator for Nutrition Education

Perhaps like millions of people in America, you find yourself spending more time inside with limited social interaction in response to the Coronavirus. Consider five self-care strategies for navigating through some of the ongoing changes and events.

Develop a New Normal

Most people do better with structure and routine, and without that people might feel unorganized and less motivated when tasks need to be accomplished. Establish a schedule for sleep and other activities (i.e. classes, studying, cooking, exercise, rest) to create a sense of normalcy, and use a planner or phone alarms for reminders.

Nourish Your Body

In addition to sleep, food is another necessity that our bodies need for energy, focus and concentration, improved mood, and to boost our immune system. Consider this post about Food Stability in a Season of Change. For students concerned about whether they’ll have enough food, Buckeye Food Alliance will continue to be open throughout spring semester for students to access food and personal care items.

Get Up and Move

While you might not have access to your usual gym, there are still plenty of activities you can do to move. Physical activity can help our overall health and well-being, such as improving mood, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing energy, boosting our immune system and self-esteem, and improving our quality of sleep. Consider these ideas in the coming weeks.

  • Virtual fitness classes are offered by Recsports through Zoom.
  • Get outdoors and go for a walk, jog, bike or hike at a local park, nearby trail or neighborhood.
  • Apps like Nike Training Club and Run Club, Couch to 5K, and Pokémon Go are available to guide you with activities for various forms of movement.
  • Wii Fit has games featuring yoga, strength training, aerobics and balance.
  • Wii Sport includes five sports including tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. While not as potentially intense, it can still provide an opportunity for movement and a boost of energy and excitement.
  • Just Dance is another fun video game that can be done in small groups or solo.
  • Workout DVD’s can provide another opportunity for exercising at home and often involve minimal, if any, equipment or space. Choose between aerobic videos (i.e. dance, kickboxing), strength training, yoga, pilates, and more.
  • Social media like Pinterest and Instagram have free workouts available.
  • YouTube offers free workout videos (i.e. Yoga by Adrienne, Orange Theory).
  • A total body workout can be done with simple exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, standing lunges or squats, wall sits, jumping jacks, burpees, and more.

Relax and Unwind

Stress is like a muscle that sometimes needs a break from continuous use. To unwind and relax, consider the following.

  • Take a break from social media and the news. More knowledge and information may lead to feeling overwhelmed, stressed and tired.
  • Stay connected with family and friends by connecting over a face-to-face virtual medium (i.e. FaceTime, Skype) or over the phone at least once per day.
  • Write in a journal and include 3 good things that went well for you. Additionally, you could write a gratitude letter and mail or email it to someone you’re grateful for.
  • Discover and engage in activities that are relaxing, comforting and enjoyable, such as reading a book, drinking a beverage (i.e. flavored/sparking water, tea), playing a game (i.e. video, phone), coloring, doing a craft, working on a puzzle (i.e. Sudoku, jigsaw, crossword), listening to music or a podcast, knitting or crocheting, making a collage, taking a shower or bath, lighting a candle, etc.

Mental Health Matters

It’s understandable if you’re feeling uneasy with the current and ongoing changes. Consider the following resources that can help with relaxation and stress relief.

  • Apps are available such as Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, Wysa, and Virtual Hope Box.
  • Wellness Coaching is available for virtual meetings using CarmenZoom.
  • Buckeye Peer Access Line is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources. Peer-to-peer assistance is available Monday thru Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Student Life’s We Are Here For You page has additional resources for students.