Living through the current COVID-19 pandemic can be uniquely challenging for survivors and their loved ones. You may not have access to the same spaces and opportunities for self-care that are normally available, and you may experience more negative emotions such as increased anxiety and feelings of sadness or loneliness.
Please know that your healing and emotional wellness are important. We encourage you to be gentle with yourself and continue to practice self-care. Below are some ideas and resources from our Trauma Therapy Team:
- Gratitude: Create a cozy space for yourself out of as many pillows and blankets you can collect (maybe even try creating a blanket fort if you have the patience). Light a candle, diffuse essential oils, or spritz the area with your favorite perfume. Bring some paper and something to write or draw with into your space. Begin to take in the environment around you and open yourself to notice what you already have. Write down or draw the physical/material world items you are grateful for, some suggestions include creating a gratitude wheel with words as the spokes, or drawing within a mandala or circle. Invite the emotions to move through you as you write/draw the relationships you are grateful for, noting the experiences and memories you share with those you love. Give yourself permission to take your time, pausing to thank any challenging memories for their lessons before returning to the present moment by regrounding into your comfortable space. Turn your attention towards yourself and begin to reflect on your uniqueness of being. Express gratitude for your interests, creations, and ways of moving through the world. Add any other areas of abundance to your paper and maybe practice reading them aloud to yourself or a loved one in person or on the phone. You can either fold the paper to keep in a wallet or decide to hand it somewhere in your space as a reminder to practice appreciation.
- Mindful Movement: Allow your body to move, breathe, or stretch in a way that you may already practice regularly. As you move, focus your attention on the physical action of your body, reflecting on some questions: what body part(s) am I moving? How are my muscles engaging or disengaging? Without judgement, invite your awareness to pick up on any sensory signals, observing sensations as they speak to you, whether loud, soft, or maybe even silent. Invite curiosity, exploring and hanging out in the movements that offer comfort, relaxation, and ease. Notice your energy level, and make any adjustments such as inviting more movement or enjoying the benefits of stillness.
- Journaling guide and supportive Resources: https://mcusercontent.com/e28fa2345a53d60444d6bad03/files/98661f52-901c-4369-9eb6-4dfce34314bd/covid19guide.pdf
- 15 ways to practice self-care during the pandemic: https://qz.com/1818622/how-to-practice-self-care-during-coronavirus/
- Self-care strategies: https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729
- Self Care vs Self Comfort Worksheets
- 50 No-Excuse Ways to Take a Break
- Great free yoga channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
- Progressive muscle relaxation: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene