8 Ways To Love Yourself During This Lockdown
Face coverings, maintaining a two-metre distance, and hand sanitiser dispensers in public spaces are a reality we can’t conveniently wish away.
For now, here are eight ways to love yourself during this lock down, until our medical experts have dealt a crushing blow on Covid-19, and it’s ever surfacing new variants.
As for the vaccines, they’re still met with a nail-biting response across continents.
The Signs of the Time
Our once-bustling city centres and social scenes are beside their former selves.
Closed businesses, brisk walkers, and half-empty buses tow hand in hand.
More than a handful of us are stuck at home for more than a year—our lives treading on uncharted territory.
Complicating things further is the astronomical rise in domestic violence cases, the lock down adding more fuel to the fire.
The Irish Times reports that domestic violence has surged since the start of the pandemic, with the number of people charged with related crimes last year rising by almost a quarter to 7,600.
The paper says:
“Garda sources said there was a significant increase in coercive control cases last year, which are often among the most extreme forms of domestic violence.”
It appears that frayed nerves are continually searing stable family settings.
We’re frequently compelled to re-imagine what our personal spaces should be like.
This situation is mentally exhausting for many, coupled with the loss of steady income, online classes, a sink full of pots and pans, clothes and shoes strewn around the bedroom floor and living room.
A Different Kind of Life
You’ll agree with me that the pandemic and lockdown are taking a significant toll on every facet of our lives. Not one is left.
I had my fair share of anxiety last March when businesses and services were asked to close.
In the process of it, I lost my job.
I remember feeling my heart drop into my stomach; I felt jilted.
My confidence and self-esteem were almost deflating to the point of no return.
The general mood is that life and living are no longer what they used to be.
We bark at each other quickly; our fuses shorter than before.
What would have passed off as a joke in times past is considered a slight nowadays!
Yet, Cork-based holistic and mindset coach and founder of Futureself, Inga Kalace, believes that you can still make the most of these times.
To her, the lock down could be a period for self-reflection and self-discovery.
A time when you can get inside yourself, declutter your mind, and do a mental spring cleaning of some sort.
Have You Been To You Lately, Mum?
American singer Charlene sang: “I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.”
Before the pandemic, we were always on the go, constantly running on the treadmill of life.
We never quite had the time to sit still for a minute to think introspectively.
Borrowing a leaf from Charlene, I ask you:
Have you been to you lately, mum? Have you taken this time to look inward?
In the past, we were addicted to the rat race, always chasing our tail.
We went on holiday to self-compensate and travelled several roads but the one that led to our core.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand that the thought of looking inwards may stir up different kinds of emotions within you.
There may be the fear of confronting something unpleasant, or merely being afraid of what you might find.
For a mum with little children, finding the time to sit still for a minute could be a tough thing to do, more so when you have them tugging at your apron strings.
Your children notice your frown, your blank stares, and unprovoked sighs.
For assurance, they hold tightly to you as ye all sit around the T. V listening for a government solution to the crisis.
Self-reflection is a practice Ms. Kalace encourages as it’ll help you realise what needs to change around you.
It’s Time for Adjustments
The Mindset Coach thinks that it’s time to make some adjustments.
According to her, many people live through their minds rather than their hearts most of the time.
This means they haven’t had time to reflect on what their lives are about.
She explains that our lives had been on autopilot; we got up every morning with the same plan as the previous day; school, work, home, and sleep.
“And now that the world has slowed down, how do we cope?” She asks.
Kalace believes that staying inactive for a long time, makes the brain lazy and comfortable.
Our brain isn’t comfortable with change; that’s why we self-sabotage and often give up on our goals.
Related post: How to Avoid New Year’s Resolution Failures In 2021
According to the Coach, one way to stop this cycle is to reprogram our minds.
Reprogramming our mind is like a child learning to tie laces for the first time. It takes practice and time.”
Our Reality as Mums
The onus of keeping the family going rests on us.
It’s expected of us to hold onto the ball at all times. But we can’t run things on an empty tank, either.
There’s always the tendency for us as women to put others before ourselves, never taking credit for all the hard work we put in.
However, the Holistic expert says:
Finding me-time is absolutely importantly.”
She says that it’s time for mums to stop and think about what me-time means to them, what it is, and how often they need to have it.
For me, it’s sitting on a chair by a side lamp early in the morning before the children get up, writing down my thoughts.
I also love holding conversations with myself and encouraging myself. I enjoy being with me.
Your me-time doesn’t have to be outlandish. It can be something simple and easy to do.
Eight Ways to Love Yourself during This Lockdown
There is a saying that goes that you can’t give what you don’t have.
Likewise, to love others, you have to love yourself first.
Remember that you can only love others as much as you love yourself: love your neighbour as yourself.
Here are Inga Kalace’s eight ways to love yourself during this lock down:
#1 Self-love and care. For you to care for others, you have to love and care for yourself first.
Saying to yourself: “I’m beautiful inside out” can work wonders for your psyche.
It’s essential to do things that light you up! When you do, you evolve on a deeper level.
#2 Breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are beneficial to self-care.
They’re very powerful and work in any situation. They help reduce feelings of anxiety and anger as well.
Breathing exercises also help you focus, relax, and stay calm.
Try this: Place your hands on your heart and take a few deep breaths.
Repeat as many times as you wish. Doing this every day has fascinating benefits.
# 3 Stay connected. Staying connected with people is vital for our well-being as it keeps us happy, and boosts our self-esteem.
As humans, it’s in our nature to foster and thrive in healthy relationships.
Being locked up for so long has resulted in people’s inability to travel to visit their loved ones.
Nonetheless, you can still stay connected despite the restrictions and lock down.
There’re free mobile messaging applications used for international voice and video calls.
Your loved ones may be distances away, but they’re still within your reach. You can make the most of these resources.
I also told you earlier that there has been a surge in domestic violence since the pandemic started.
What we have is a crisis of loneliness on the one hand and brutality on the other.
A 2020 article by the New York Times, A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide, reports the rise in domestic violence globally.
Recounting an incident that happened in China, the paper said:
“As quarantines take effect around the world, that kind of “intimate terrorism” — a term many experts prefer for domestic violence — is flourishing.”
Balancing the paradoxical rise in domestic abuse and loneliness thrust upon us by the lock down is hard to imagine.
Still, there’s another form of crisis brewing, and it’s the feeling of listlessness despite being surrounded by family.
Kalace says that to give yourself a lift, you should keep in touch with people who brighten up your day and inspire you.
Do date nights with your friends over video calls. I love the idea too.
Last year, my former colleagues and I had occasional date nights over Skype and Zoom throughout the lock down.
We were all smiles, I tell you. Such calls did well for my mental health.
# 4 Have fun family times. It’s time to let go and chillax, mum!
Don’t worry too much about the sink full of plates or the out-of-place throw pillows. Have fun!
# 5 Eat well. Ensure that your body is well-nourished and hydrated. Drinking water with some slices of lemon is beneficial. .
Note: Lemon is acidic, so protect your enamel by drinking with a straw and avoid brushing immediately.
Healthy eating is about making the right choices. Your body and mind will thank you for it later.
#6 Find calm. Simply stepping out for a walk, or a run to breath in fresh air clears your mind.
Connecting with nature is a game-changer. Do it as often as you can.
#7 Sleep well. Sleep plays a vital role in good self-care.
Getting enough sleep and recharging your batteries will help protect your emotional and physical health especially now.
So, get enough sleep.
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# 8 Use essential oils. They’re natural aromatic compounds extracted from plants. It’s important to use high-quality oils for the best results.
Essential oils calm our emotions, manage our moods, support our sleep, cleanse our bodies, soothe our minds, and so much more!
Ms. Kalace says:
“More recently, I have discovered Aromatherapy, the use of pure essential oils to support my body. They have played a pivotal role in my daily self-care routine, giving me the natural tools to help trigger relaxation responses in times when I needed extra support.”
Do you know that inhaling a few drops of your favourite calming oil is beneficial?
You can also do a deep bath with a handful of Epsom salt, and a few drops of your favourite essential oils for a seriously amazing soak too!
Lavender: This oil has a calming effect on your emotions and supports your sleep. It’s the perfect self-care stress relief essential oil.
Geranium: This oil creates a sense of calm and peace, and helps to reduce your anxiety. It can balance your hormones also.
Ylang Ylang: This oil helps to reduce anxiety, which means it’s a positivity boost. It’s commonly used in hair and skin products.
Frankincense: This oil is one of the most renowned essential oils known for its soothing and healing properties.
Note: Always seek medical advice before you start any new regimen or routine.
The Holistic and Mindset Coach says that now is a good time to reconnect with ourselves.
When we know who we are, we’re less likely to become easily frustrated because we have mastered our positive and negative triggers.
Ms. Kalace says:
“Take a day off or two! I do not cook, clean, or do housework on the weekends.
Imagine you are on holiday but at home!
Have that naughty family takeaway, go for long walks, drink some hot chocolate and enjoy a movie night with your family.”
Remember to give yourself some credit. Do your breathing exercises and practice the art of self-discovery by asking yourself those questions.
See you soonest.
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