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Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care, Especially Now

Ask yourself these four questions first

Edelman Financial Engines Co-founder Jean Edelman is known for saying, “Personal financial is more personal than finance.”

Author of the book The Other Side of Money, which teaches that there is more to life than money, Jean offers wise tips on ways to balance our busy lives, our health and our families.

Below, she provides perspective on the COVID-19 crisis and some useful advice on how to take care of our physical and mental health during this extraordinary and challenging season:

We are living in a most stressful time. It is like nothing in our lifetime.

It is time to turn on the understanding of how we are all truly CONNECTED. It is time to be RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR HEALTH and well-being. It is time to discover and connect with SELF-CARE.

Our bodies are meant to filter life. With such extraordinary fear and anxiety, that is very difficult to do. We feel this fear in our body — for me, I usually feel it in my stomach. We need to find ways to process, to move the fear and anxiety out of our bodies.

Here are seven tips

1. Breathe.
Sit down and focus on your breath. Inhale for five counts. Exhale for five counts. Do this for five to 10 minutes each morning.

2. Walk outside.
We need the fresh air and sunshine. We can go outside and:

  • Walk.
  • Breathe.
  • Swing our arms.
  • Inhale for five breaths.
  • Exhale for five breaths.

3. Hydrate.
Drink plenty of water. Don’t drink more than one cup of coffee and stay away from iced drinks.

4. Sleep.
We need our rest to handle the stress.

5. Control your environment.

  • Turn off the news.
  • Take a break from electronics.
  • Find music and funny, laugh-out-loud movies to watch.
  • Create with crayons and coloring books, finger paints, playdough.
  • Plant a garden.

6. Pay attention to your food.

When we are anxious and fearful, we want to eat crunchy chips and crackers — that crunch releases the tension for us.

What we need:

  • Warm soups.
  • Steamed vegetables.
  • Leafy greens.

Think about giving your body soft, comforting food:

  • If it works for you, warm apple juice with fresh lemon is a nice evening drink.
  • We should stay away from caffeine and sugary desserts – instead, try green tea and steamed fruit.

7. We are still working from home. In our down time, we can:

  • Finish our projects list.
  • Clean out a drawer.
  • File our papers, sort our magazines, reduce some of our clutter or piles we have been putting off.
  • Find hobbies we’ve wanted to try — there are many new online classes.
  • Participate in family time:
    • Use this as a great time to bond.
    • Cook, read together or play games like karaoke, Pictionary or Telestrations … always fun.
  • Go outside. The weather is amazing, spring is peaking, and it can help release the tension and fear.
  • Call and stay in touch with distant family and friends.
  • Send pictures to each other.

All the facts aside, if we can look at this time (this is our time!) as a gift — a time to go inward and reflect, a time to rediscover ourselves without the noise and commitments — the new normal will be quieter and calmer. We will be kinder and have more gratitude. We will truly understand how fragile life is and not take any moments for granted.

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