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How to Practice Self Care while Social Distancing

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

While many people are working from home, in quarantine and practicing social isolation, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. The public is constantly bombarded by news, social media and the overall sense of panic and isolation that has blanketed the country over the last few weeks. While the world around us changes, it can feel like many traditional means of self-care are no longer feasible. Although it is very important to stay on top of physical health by hand-washing, social distancing and staying clean, it is also important to consider one’s mental health during these difficult times. Here are a few ways to cope and practice self-care while staying at home!

Pick-up a new hobby: Find something that you’ve always wanted to try and give it a go! Look for something that encourages creative expression or presents as a healthy challenge. Remember, this new hobby should be fun, so don’t worry about perfection and enjoy the experience! For example, try a new cookie recipe or bring out the art supplies and find the artist within you.

Meditate: Take some time and allow yourself to disconnect from the media and any intrusive thoughts that may follow. There are many awesome apps available for smartphones that offer guided meditation and coping strategies, as well as YouTube videos that can be accessed for free anytime. Try using any guided breathing tools built in FitBit devices or simply searching “deep breathing exercises” on the web!

Exercise: Many gyms have closed as a result of efforts to social distance. While you might not be able to get on an elliptical or have access to free weights, there are plenty of workouts one can do in the comfort of their own home. Similar to meditation online, there are a plethora of instructional workout videos available for free on YouTube. Additionally, many gyms are offering live workout classes for their patrons to be able to follow along to. Staying active while home will help keep you healthy and happy!

Maintain a Usual Schedule: It’s very tempting to abandon a usual day-to-day routine as work schedules change and social distancing is enforced. Maintaining consistency with your bed/wake up times, as well as meals, will help keep you healthy and provide a sense of stability that can reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.

And most importantly,

Be Kind to Yourself: Many people have had to go through adjustments and challenges that have prevented their usual routines. Some find themselves snacking while working from home, staying up late, or missing out on their usual workout routine. It’s okay! Although we may be conditioned as a society to frown upon these kinds of behaviors, it’s important to remember to be kind to others, and most importantly, to yourself. The gym will open back up, fresh produce will be readily available and a usual routine will return in a few weeks. Your health and wellbeing should be your priority as you try to continue life with as much normalcy as possible. Indulge in your post lunch snack, watch a movie you didn’t have time for and practice these self care techniques as you need them. You are doing your best to balance life, and that’s all that matters!

Remember that social distancing is for a good cause and can keep you and others safe.

The public thanks you for doing your part and for hanging in there!

If you are looking for local resources to support you and/or your family during this time, please view our CPYD Resource Guide. Many organizations are still providing services during COVID-19, but with changes to reduce potential spread of the virus.

Additionally, please follow state and federal resources to stay up to date on information regarding the COVID-19 virus:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH):

For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance,

call 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV

Make sure to follow CPYD Coalition on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more safe medication practice tips and other news!

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