Best Self-Care Activities During COVID-19

Oct 16, 2020

Are You Making Room for Self-Care Activities During COVID-19?​

2020 has been a difficult year for us all. The realities of COVID-19 continue to impact our families, relationships, and careers. Now is the time to make Self-Care, a type of wellness we do intentionally to improve our physical and emotional health, a priority.
You might be wondering how Self-Care is possible. Recent business and public park closures have limited our activities. Remote work and learning has interrupted our old routines. The good news is there are plenty of Self-Care Activities you can do during these times.
At NOVA Bariatrics, we care about your health and safety through all walks of life. We recommend you explore the following self-care activities during COVID-19. These activities are safe, fun, and relaxing to do.
Some Self-care activities can be done with a family member or friend. If so, please remember to adhere to mandated social distancing guidelines. Avoid touching your face and remain six feet apart. We also recommend you wash your hands for at least twenty seconds and wear a mask as much as possible.

Best Self-Care Activities During COVID-19

Practice Gratitude

In times like these, gratitude might sound hard to come by. There are plenty of things to worry about, and the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases in Texas, doesn’t help matters.
The reality is, humans have been worrying about things since the beginning of time. It’s in our nature. The third part of our brain, known as the reptilian brain, controls our self-preservation patterns.These behavior patterns include defense of self, property, family, and mate(s). When any of these patterns are threatened, our reptilian brains kick defense mechanisms into high gear.
While it may be natural to worry, too much worrying can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health. 6.8 million adults have anxiety disorder and 85 percent of what we worry about never happens.
Gratitude is an excellent way to reduce anxiety so we can focus on the joy we take for granted in our day to day. Studies show that practicing gratitude can improve sleep and self-esteem, reduce aggression, and pave the way for new relationships.
Even in COVID-19 there are many things to be thankful for. Vitality and good health, for example, go a long way. The recent lockdowns and work from home orders have helped families reconnect with one another. Technology helps us stay safe, connected, and informed with loved ones across the globe.
One way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals are easy. Spend ten minutes each day writing down things you are grateful for. It can be anything from “spouse” to “peanut butter.” Anything goes! Notice how you feel after doing this for ten minutes each day. Chances are, your day to day will improve.

Unplug from Social Media Once a Week

There are many benefits to using social media during these times. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more help many people stay connected. Social-isolation can have a negative impact on our mental health. Talking to friends and sharing personal contact and social media can lessen the pains of social isolation.

However, too much time on social media can decrease self-esteem and attention span. At worst, social media is information overload. Social media users are bombarded with content. Marketers are always searching for ways to get users’ attention. In challenging times, too much information can take a toll on our mental health.

Multiple studies show that too much social media increases users’ risk for depression, anxiety, self-harm, loneliness, and even suicidal thoughts. This is because social media uses a common tactic called FOMO, or fear of missing out. The most common form of FOMO is the promotion of negative life experiences like inadequacy and scarcity.

This isn’t to say that social media use will send you and your loved ones down a dark path. With Self-Care, it’s all about balance. Decreasing your social media use can help you find time for other enjoyable activities like cooking a healthy meal, reading a book, exercise, or creative endeavors. Be sure to unfollow social media accounts that don’t bring you joy.

Create a Relaxation Routine

Nothing says Self-Care like a personal spa day! There are many ways to take care of yourself at home. Consider giving yourself a warm bath or a facial. Homemade skin treatments can give your skin cells the nutrients they need. More and more people are spending their days indoors for safety reasons. However, you don’t want to neglect your skins’ health. A personal spa day can improve mental health and leave your skin with a happy, shiny glow.

Get Creative

Now is not the time for despair. It’s the time for creativity. We recommend you use your quarantine as an opportunity to focus on personal projects and goals. Many people have started businesses, art projects, and more during COVID-19.
There’s so much you can do online! Use technology to your advantage. Consider starting a creative community like a writing group, book club, or cooking community. This is a great way to connect with other people and improve your skills.
And don’t forget to have fun! Make time for feel-good movies or crafts like crocheting or quilting. Crafting reduces stress and insomnia, boosts self-esteem, builds community and friendships, improves cognitive skills, and more.
No matter what happens with the pandemic, our shared desire for connection and growth is here to stay.

Dr. Mustafa H. Alibhai

Dr. Alibhai, a board-certified general surgeon, passionately leads Nova Bariatrics and General Surgery. Formerly an Assistant Professor at McGovern Medical School, he’s a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. His academic journey includes a Bachelor’s from Southern Methodist University, Medical School at UT Southwestern, and residencies at UT Southwestern. Specializing further, he completed Bariatric and Robotic Fellowships, advancing surgical techniques with a focus on patient well-being.



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