Approaches to Self-Care As We Gradually Emerge Out of Shelter-in-Place

We are heading in a direction where cities, counties, and states across the nation are thinking about how to gradually open up once again

We are heading in a direction where cities, counties, and states across the nation are thinking about how to gradually open up once again, while taking the proper precautions to curb the outbreak of COVID-19. All of the persistent unknowns and changes to our routine during this time naturally can take a toll on our mental health. This article will outline a few approaches to self-care to keep in mind, as we gradually emerge out of sheltering-in-place. Different areas are pursuing their own unique plans, but the underlying similarity in most cases is a phased and cautious approach to opening up.

Check in with yourself often.

Given the stark disruptions and changes to our everyday lifestyles, create time and space for yourself to check in and reflect on how you are feeling. Some questions to ask yourself or discuss with your loved ones include:

What has changed in your routine since COVID-19? Which change has caused you the greatest distress? Which change has possibly led to some form of relief or comfort, if any? How have you helped your community or loved ones during this time, or how can you begin doing this? As the country is beginning to open up, what are you most worried about and what are you looking forward to?

Shift your expectations of “normal”.

Pre-pandemic life may have been what we defined as “normal,” however, it is essential to let go of that expectation in order to best move forward. Use your experiences and your community’s experiences throughout the pandemic to create your own vision for post-pandemic life. Envision this as an opportunity for personal and community growth, shifting the status quo of “normal”. Channel the adversity you and your community have faced into pressing for an improved post-pandemic quality of life. Overall, letting go of the ominous label of “normal” will uplift your wellbeing, allow you to grow, and help you adapt better to the given circumstances.

Stick with positive elements of your routine.

To help yourself maintain some consistency, reflect on the positive elements––if any––of your new COVID-19 routine. This could be potentially realizing that you enjoy having more time and space to yourself to reflect, or enjoying a newfound connection you have made with nature and the outdoors, or really any small or big change that you have come to appreciate during this time.


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