During this pandemic, so much focus has been put on our physical health and social distancing that everything else seems to get pushed aside. People around the world are worried about their health, family and jobs. It’s stressful and keeps changing every day. It’s easy to neglect things that we were able to take care of before. One of those things is self-care.

Self-care is so important in managing our stress and how we function every day. It affects our emotional and physical health and helps us better care for others. We have put together some useful tips to help you make self-care a priority and focus on your health.

Make Sure You’re Eating a Healthy Diet
When we’re stressed it can be tempting to eat things that may not be the best for us. Or maybe you don’t eat at all. What we put into our body is our fuel and keeps us going – so your diet is essential in staying healthy.

No matter how many times you may resist the notion to eat your fruits and vegetables, the truth that it’s good fuel for your body doesn’t change. Try to incorporate leafy greens like brussels sprouts or fruits like blueberries – they offer tons of vitamins and fiber for your system. If you’re on the go, a handful of nuts can offer protein, healthy oils and vitamins. Salmon is also a great choice because it’s packed with lots of omega-3, which helps your heart and your brain. And, don’t forget to keep hydrated. Water helps maintain balance in your body, energizes your muscles and keeps you regular.

Take a Break from the News and Social Media
The news can be stressful at the best of times. It’s important to stay informed with reliable sources but too much news or social media can affect your mental health. Try to only watch a certain amount of news per day or set specific hours to check social media. Make sure you’re following some accounts that will make you happy like @gmslivingwell, @animalsdoingthings or @tankgoodnews that feature happy and uplifting content and stories, I mean, who doesn’t love super cute animals!

Keep Your Body Active
Staying active is important in a non-pandemic world, but it’s even more important with the social distancing measures in place. Exercise does so much for our minds and bodies including boosting our immune system, reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep. 

Getting exercise can seem impossible when we’re told to stay at home, but there are lots of ways to stay active. Now that the weather is nice, get outside with family or friends (while social distancing of course). Go for a jog, bike ride or even just a walk through your neighbourhood. You could also try an online workout video or live class. Lots of gyms and trainers are offering free online classes during the pandemic, so take advantage of them!

Find Ways to Connect with Others
One of the largest stresses lately has been isolating from friends and family. Humans are naturally social, and our social groups have been shown to boost our mental health, help us live longer, improve our immune systems and just benefit our overall quality of life.

Just because we can’t physically see each other, doesn’t mean we can’t be social. Reach out with a video call. Not only can you chat with someone one-on-one, but you can also get the whole family involved. The phone is great but seeing someone can make you feel much more connected. Depending on the social distancing guidelines in your province, you may also be able to actually meet with your pals in-person. With it being nicer out, meet at a park or somewhere you can maintain distance. No matter what way you choose to connect, just make sure that you’re taking the time to do it.

Focus on What You Can Control
Not having control of a situation can cause anxiety. Our lives have become so unpredictable, it’s natural to feel stressed. For your self-care, try to only focus on things in your life that you can control.

Establish a routine for yourself each day. Decide that you’re going to get up, go for a walk or have coffee at certain times. Try creating a nice living space for yourself so that you’re in charge of your surroundings. Whatever it is that you focus on, make sure it’s something positive that helps you relieve stress.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
Make sure you know where to reach out to for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your doctor about resources you can use like helplines, online resources and counsellors. You can find a list of resources here.

The world is going through a stressful time, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from taking care of yourself. Paying attention to your own mental and physical health needs is important for you and your family. We hope these tips help give you some much-deserved self-care.