Daily Quarantine Self-Care Check-In Q&A to Survive Stressful Times
Though some would have you believe that the global pandemic is over, the threat posed by Covid-19 has passed, and we can all return to our normal lives, the science and statistics are clear.
Cases continue to rise in many parts of the world. The elderly and people with underlying health issues remain at significant risk. And many cities are going into new lockdowns.
Until most of the world has received a working vaccine, self-quarantine and physical distancing are the new normal. But there’s nothing normal about this kind of isolation for the human species.
We are social creatures. Our connections and relationships form the basis of our survival, the structure of our communities, and give purpose to our existence.
With our lives and livelihoods turned upside down, it’s easy to fall prey to stress, anxiety, and depression.
In this new pandemic paradigm, the challenges we face are real and scary.
Unemployment, financial insecurity, illness, increased family responsibilities, cabin fever, grief, loneliness, uncertainty, helplessness, worry, and despair are just the start of a long list of woes plaguing us all.
Nurturing our holistic health — mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual — becomes a matter of urgency. Self-care today is about our very survival. And in taking care of yourself, you gain the strength, courage, and resilience to make a difference in your life, for your family, and in your community.
A simple way to nurture your well-being in quarantine is to do a quick self-care check-in each day. You ask yourself several questions that serve as a guide or an indicator of what’s working well, and what needs some attention.
Here are 10 empowering questions designed to help you turn inwards, tune in to your heart, and focus on your connection to yourself and to your loved ones, which can help you feel calm, centered, uplifted, and loved.
1. How is your body feeling today?
Take a moment to tune in to your body. You can softly close or half-close your eyes and do an internal scan. What do you notice?
Are you tired? Sleepy? Does your body feel sluggish, stiff? Or energized and relaxed? Is there some tightness or tension somewhere?
Without judging or trying to change anything, just listen and feel.
2. What do you need right now?
Now that you’re turning inward and connecting with yourself, think about what you need most in this moment. A hug? A friend? Some time to relax and do nothing? Perhaps you feel the urge to get up and move, dance, take a walk in the park.
Listen to your heart, and it will guide you.
3. Did you take care of your basic needs today?
When we’re worried and stressed, it’s easy to forget the basics. Did you drink enough water today? Did you have a healthy breakfast or lunch?
Did you venture outside into the sunshine, or do some kind of gentle movement, like walking, yoga, or tai chi? (Yes, I’m counting yoga in “basic needs.”😉🧘🏽♂️ 🧘🏽♀️)
4. Is there something bothering or upsetting you?
The first step to overcoming stress and overwhelm, or preventing them from building up, is identifying the trigger. Something small and unimportant, left untended, balloons into a tempest of rage and destruction.
So what’s pissing you off lately? Find it and nip it in the bud. Think of one or two healthy ways you can resolve the problem.
5. Who can you connect with virtually today?
Fortunately for us, this global pandemic has struck at a time when we have the technology to connect online. Use it.
You don’t need an expensive Zoom plan. Free platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, Signal, Skype, and Google Hangouts help you stay in touch with your loved ones.
When many of us can’t fly because of lockdowns or health concerns and remain in self-quarantine, we need their love and support more than ever.
6. How will you get some gentle movement today?
Stuck at home in quarantine, it’s tempting to veg out on the sofa, binge-watching Netflix, and moving only to raid the refrigerator.
But science shows that our sedentary lifestyle is killing us — and has been long before the pandemic. Let’s not make the situation even worse.
If you can’t get out because of a strict lockdown or curfew, then walk around your room, take a stroll in your garden, or a gentle stretch on your balcony. Do some yoga.
And if you can get out, take a walk every morning or after lunch. Visit a park. Stroll by the beach. Or take up a hobby like gardening that will get you moving and outdoors.
Be creative and have fun.
7. Did you nurture your curiosity and creativity today?
Use it or lose it. This advice applies to the language skills you picked up in high school, and to the brain nestled in your head. People who stay curious, keep learning, and enjoy creative pursuits tend to be healthier and to live longer.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a professional artist or a university professor. But aim to learn something new each week.
Read a book. Try a project that interests you on YouTube. Write a poem, just for fun. Or be a little more adventurous and learn a new language, or to play an instrument.
You’ll keep your brain, and your body, young and healthy.
8. What can you let go of today to show yourself more self-compassion and kindness?
Stop trying to be a superhero. Even in the best of times, you can’t do it all. Well, you can try. But that behavior usually leads to overwhelm and burnout.
In unprecedented, tumultuous times, it can leave you stressed, compromise your immune system, and lead to serious illness. It’s time to be kind to yourself.
Do what you can. Forgive yourself for what you can’t. Listen to your body, and your heart, and take it easy when necessary. Let go of anything that isn’t vitally urgent.
Pace yourself and take things one step at a time.
9. What do you need to say “no” to today for your sanity and self-care?
Disappointing others can be distressing. It is for me. So I understand the desire to volunteer or to agree when others ask for your help.
Sometimes, however, you have to take a moment and listen to what your heart is saying. If you’re feeling resistance or doubt, your subconscious mind knows that you need to refuse. Do so gently, but firmly.
If you don’t prioritize your well-being, you’ll be of no use to yourself or to anyone else. Don’t take on anything that’s going to overwhelm or distress you.
Set boundaries for your sanity, self-care, and well-being. Doing so leaves you in a stronger, healthier position to take care of yourself and others.
10. Who or what are you grateful for today?
When the world is falling apart around you and dark storm clouds block the sky, simply looking for the silver lining gives you hope, and inspires you to take the action required to improve the situation.
Science backs this as well. People who practice gratitude are more hopeful, resilient, healthy, happy, and able to deal with challenges.
So, who or what are you grateful for today? Make a list. Jot it down in your journal. Start or end your day with a few moments of gratitude.
These are turbulent times. It’s natural to feel caught on a roller-coaster of emotion, spanning anger, confusion, fear, sadness, and moments of joy. Acknowledge how you feel without judgment. We can’t deal with our emotions if we don’t first face them.
Your daily self-care check-in helps you do that and offers some catharsis and relief. It only takes a few moments and sets you up to feel better and to take control of your day and your life.
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