Never in our lifetimes have we experienced something that has had such an enormous, global impact. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the world is learning how to adjust to the new normal. The economy has taken a massive hit. Events are canceled, bars, cafes, and restaurants are closing. Self-isolation is something we’re all learning to adapt to. It feels like a strange, scary, and uncertain time right now.
With things changing every day, stress and anxiety are perfectly normal responses. Trying to ignore it or push it away is not going to help you through this time. Instead, take extra special care of yourself. It has never been so crucial for you to look after yourself both physically and mentally. Managing stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Here are some ways that you can care for yourself, maintain some structure and routine, and stay on track to meet your goals during COVID-19.
The best thing you can do for yourself now is to practice unconditional self-love, self-compassion, and kindness.
Here are some ideas to try:
Embrace a hobby. Get crafty! Start painting, journaling, playing an instrument. Anything that you can do alone, for yourself that you enjoy.
Meditate. Meditation is a great way to practice long, slow, deep breaths. Meditation will also help calm you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.
Watch funny videos. Those videos of cats pushing things off tables that used to make you laugh – watch them again! Share them with your friends and family to put a smile on their faces too.
Take a long, hot bath. Light some candles, put on some music and treat yourself to a home spa.
Put on your favorite artist and have a dance party in your living room.
Limit your exposure to news and social media. Set boundaries around how much media you’ll consume. Checking the news every 5 minutes is not good for your mental health.
Spend time with your pets. A cuddle with a furry friend is one of the best forms of therapy!
Snuggle up with a good book.
Watch your favorite movie.
Learn something new. If there’s a skill you want to pick up, now’s the time. There are thousands of online courses available to sink your teeth into!
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, think about how you would comfort a child experiencing those emotions. Treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness as you would that child.
If you’re working from home, set boundaries around when you’ll finish work for the day. It’s easy to become overly accessible when there’s no office to clock out of at a particular time. Create a designated workspace and decide that once it’s 5 pm (or whenever you’d usually finish), commit to switching off and making time for yourself.
Look after your physical health.
Moving your body, whether inside the house or out, is critical to wellness. Looking after your physical health will not only help your immune system stay healthy, but it will help relieve stress and anxiety. It also allows you to maintain a sense of structure and routine during this ever-changing situation.
Here are some ways you can look after your physical health right now:
Exercise regularly. If you’re still able to go outside, then take a walk, run, or ride your bike. If you’re indoors, we have a wide variety of home workouts available on our plans to make things as simple as possible.
Continue to track your macros and keep your goals in mind. During times of stress, it’s easy to overeat or undereat, depending on how you usually respond to stress. Eating the food your body needs is one of the greatest acts of self-love.
Get plenty of rest. You might be struggling to sleep if you’re dealing with stress. Take it slow during the day and give yourself time to get plenty of rest.
Meditate. It’s great for countering stress by teaching you to focus on long, deep breaths.
Have tasty, healthy, macro-friendly meals delivered to your door. You’ll avoid the chaos at the supermarket, and keep yourself safe. It’s the perfect solution during social distancing and self-isolation. You’ll also stay on track with your macro goals.
Remember that you’re not alone.
We are all in this together. Whether you live in America, or New Zealand, England, or Australia, Africa, or Europe, we are all dealing with the realities of this new world, and you are not alone. Social distancing and self-isolation are one of the greatest acts of selflessness you can do to protect society moving forward.
Make sure you stay connected to those you love and care about. Talk to your friends and family. Write your grandparents a letter, get on a Zoom call with your co-workers, and FaceTime your friends. Also, if you’re still able to go outside, consider helping a neighbor in need of grocery delivery. Get involved in the IIFYM members-only Facebook group. Now is a great time to further support one another to tackle your goals and manage your concerns. Your role in this is to help us “flatten the curve,” through social distancing and self-isolation. We will get through this and be ok.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.