5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During Challenging Times
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies and Stress Management Coaching
Labor Day represents the end of lazy summer days and a feeling that it's time to get back to work or school. This Labor Day may feel different from previous years, however. As we enter the fall of 2021, we still feel the uncertainty of an ongoing pandemic.
Unfortunately, instead of getting better, it sometimes feels like it is just getting worse.
During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that you take care of yourself. You need to do whatever it takes to support yourself so you can help others. After all, there is more than enough to keep you busy with meetings, classes, work, housework and laundry, children, pets, and more to take up our time.
You need to take care of yourself, even though it can be challenging to do at times.
You are the best advocate of yourself. And because of that, you must support yourself and keep your own best interests top of mind at all times.
Here are five specific actions that you can take to support yourself during challenging times.
Take Care of the Basics
It may sound silly, but you need to take care of the basics. Your body is like a machine. And like any machine, it needs energy, rest, and regular maintenance.
● Rest: It is critically important to make sure that you get enough rest every night.
Consider you need not only a certain quantity of sleep. You also need good quality sleep. Not getting enough hours of good quality sleep can harm you over both the short and long term.
If you have trouble sleeping, don't spend time on your phone or watching TV before bed. Instead, make your room ideal for sleeping. Get rid of any noises, lighting, and any other distractions that might interfere with your sleep.
Invest in a good bed and comfortable sheets so you can rest properly.
● Energy: Make sure that you are getting enough water throughout the day. Soda, coffee, and energy drinks may taste good, but they aren't as healthy for you.
In addition to water, make sure that you are eating appropriately. Eat foods from the food pyramid to help keep you feeling good throughout the day.
● Maintenance: Engage in regular exercise. Whether that's walking around the block, going for a hike, riding a bicycle, or going for a swim, make sure to exercise your body every day. Listen to your body. If you are experiencing problems mentally or physically, see a doctor.
Focus On Hobbies That You Enjoy
It would be great if everyone loved their jobs, but that's not the reality for many individuals. So during your free time when you aren't working, make sure to spend time engaging in hobbies that you enjoy and help renew you.
Hobbies are the things you do because they make you happy. They don't have to earn money or be useful. Their purpose is to satisfy your soul. So, take time to do it, whether that is rock climbing, drawing, knitting, singing, playing a sport, collecting, dancing, scrapbooking, or something else.
Spend Time in Nature
Going for a simple walk outside can be great for you.
Schedule picnics, hikes, or nature walks as a great way to take care of yourself. Being surrounded by the land, animals, and plants is a great way to soothe your soul and remind you of your place in the world. Look up the state parks near your area or visit your local park. Most naturalist public places are either low-cost or free.
Discover Your Unique Personality
It is hard to know what is best for yourself if you don't know yourself. Take some personality quizzes to help get in touch with your uniqueness. Personal assessments can help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. They can help you know what kind of person you are.
Knowing this information can help you better navigate work, relationships, career paths, and more.
There are plenty of personality tests available online. Some are free, while others have a small fee. Some popular ones are the Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, and HIGH5 Test.
Each test is different and assesses for different things. What you want to know about yourself will determine what test you should take.
Plan Your Future
It can be easy to drift through life, not worried about making progress or moving forward. While this may be easy, it is not particularly helpful. A great way to take care of yourself and grow as a person is to plan for the future.
Consider where you would like to be in five years. What would you like your life to look like? Will it look different than it is now, and in what ways? Your plans don't have to be to buy a new house or remodel your bathroom.
It can be as simple as planning to buy a new toaster or planting flowers around your home. Looking towards the future can help you take steps of advancement and avoid being stuck in one place.
To thrive in this life, you need to have your basic needs met.
You need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It helps if you have a hobby that fuels your soul. It is soul-nourishing when you are connected with the Earth. You need to understand yourself on a deeper level. And you need to have thoughts and plans about the road ahead of you. These actions will help you support yourself as you move into this next year, no matter what else may come along.
Until next time.
In thinking about your future, consider where you want to be professionally in five years. Do you want to be where you are right now, or do you want a change?
I will be starting a new coaching cohort in a few weeks. The group will be exploring their career options as they undertake the work in the "Jumpstart Your Job Search 2.0 Program."
The group coaching calls will start on Monday, September 20th, but it isn't too early to enroll in the program now and start the reading and doing the assessments.
Do you want to know more about what the program entails? Then make an appointment for a complimentary Discovery Session at https://teachersintransition.com/calendar to discuss if this program is right for you.