- Those who still have masks don them religiously everyday. There are no masks in the shops so many people are ‘maskless’. I don’t wear a mask, so maybe I am living dangerously. Based on informed research, I know the run of the mill masks most people wear are not effective. I have seen where people have pulled down their masks to sneeze before, let’s hope good sense prevails.
- Announcements have been made for people to wash their hands. Yes, you would think this is normal practice but mine eyes have seen fingers on one hand passed quickly under a pipe, after people leave a bathroom stall. Yup, even when the soap dispenser is right by the faucet. There are bottles of alcohol at the entrance to many places where we can spritz our hands to help. This is a normal thing anyway. As for me, I wash my hands well with soap and around my mouth as well, when I get to work, when I come home and before eating lunch.
- Interestingly, I don’t hear of or read about people being reminded to amp up things that boost their immune systems: eating fruits and veggies, sleeping enough, drinking water, taking vitamins and exercising among other things. Yep, I am even more intentional about these, as I often am during winter when influenza comes yearly.
- There is information on signs and symptoms to look out for and when to book it to the hospital. Let’s keep these medical professionals prayed up.
- There are announcements about avoiding crowded places. Well in Tokyo, we commute by train and rush hour is always crowded (think of over 2 million or more people each day) so yeah.
- We all read about the quarantine of those on the cruise ship and those getting off now, just like people outside the country.
- The atmosphere is becoming tenser everyday. I read today that someone pressed the emergency stop button in the train somewhere in the country. This was because someone who wasn’t wearing a mask was coughing. People will cough, sneeze and the like a lot now. It is allergy season, it is early this year and as brutal as usual. I never experience it but this year my nose is runny.
- Many of us are still doing the things we would normally do everyday. This is not a bad thing because being stressed isn’t good for the immune system. This too shall pass…
Combating information overload is a vital part of self-care. What we feed our minds often becomes what consumes us. The internet has allowed us to have access to news and other information from all over the globe. However, there is much sensationalism in how some elements are presented to us viewers. We need to be intentional about what we consume on the internet and how often we consume certain things, even if it is the news.
Does it ever feel like everything is spiralling out of control after checking out some news websites?
Is it important to know what is happening in the news all the time?
There are some people who can keep up with the news in the world, filter it and don’t get distressed by it. There are also others who are consumed with the seemingly endless travesties featured in the news. I am not saying to ignore them. Learn how much you can handle and proceed accordingly.
Combat information overload by Limiting the Time you Spend on Certain Things
It is important to be aware of what is happening in the world. I find scrolling through certain headlines on one or two news sites help with this. I then read one or two articles and compare how they are reported on the relevant sites. I also look for encouraging stories, to remind myself, that there are also good things happening in the world. I do this for about 30 minutes to an hour and then get on with other things.
This may seem a bit callous but many times what is featured in the news are things we have no direct control over. If it causes you to get into a funk that’s not good for you. Practice self-care and limit your exposure to that.
Balance who or what you watch or follow on Social Media
I balance my viewing of channels that discuss controversial issues with others that show lighter content. When I am watching YouTube to unwind after work, I don’t want to be worked up. This means I watch episodes of house tours and some family blogs which I find relaxing.
Twitter is great for information and some threads just rope you in. I only access it on my computer which stays at home. There was a time where I was on Twitter far too much on my phone. For my self-care, I limited myself and it was a good decision for me. The same can be said of Instagram. Exploring Instagram is a big time suck and if one isn’t careful you come away feeling less than the gem you are.
Listen to Some Music, Chill and Make Something to Nourish your Body
Put the mobile phone away, turn off the notifications and put some good music on when you get home. Make a nutritious meal or what you feel like eating and take your time savouring what you have made. If you live alone, like I do, enjoy the peace of being in your own space alone and relax. This is self-care. Unplug for the whole evening or a few hours before bed. Go for a walk and balance the day.
Here I am talking about information overload and sharing information, how ironic. There is nothing wrong with being informed and knowledgeable about a range of subjects and topics. Ensure that you are taking in what you want to learn and not what others are force feeding you, using different persuasive techniques. Be an informed participant.
If you find yourself feeling disillusioned with everything in the world, check what you are taking into your mind. We often forget to feed our minds with balanced and healthy fare like we should our bodies.
This is my little reminder, like I tell my students, balance what you watch, eat and do, to the best of your ability. It is all a part of self-care. Take care of yourselves.
Who looks forward to coming home after a long day of work, to stand over pots cooking dinner? Certainly not me.
Since, I am all about spending responsibly and living debt free, I do not eat out on a whim most times. To take care of the basic need I have to full my belly after a long day of work, I meal prep. It is so satisfying coming home, knowing that there is a complete meal in the fridge. I actually, want to eat what is there 9 times out of 10 and don’t get tempted to buy something on the go. This is good for my savings and health in the long run.
Meal prepping is an act of self-care in my book. I can warm my meal quickly, eat and unwind for longer. I am able to eliminate cooking a meal after work which may be time consuming and just plain tiring. As a teacher, I am on my feet a lot, so I don’t want to be on my feet cooking dinner after work too.
Meal prepping takes some reflection though. I try to have two options and vary them from week to week, so I don’t get tired of eating the same thing. For example, this week I am having oxtail and vegetables as one option and lentil stew with quinoa as another option.
I do my prep on the weekend and portion out the servings in individual containers. I also give myself one evening to buy something on the go. There are many great options for meals here in Japan, around the train station where I live. I can get sushi, fish and rice, Chinese and a bunch of other options. I budget for this because I believe in having freedom in my budget.
As an act of self-care, I meal prep on the weekend when I am off from work. This is because I have more time to chop, marinate, steam, stew, boil and do whatever is required to make what I feel like having. A key step in this process is deciding what I will make and getting the necessary ingredients. I live alone so this isn’t very demanding. I dedicate 2-3 hours meal prepping so that I can have my evenings off.
I am able to sit and browse YouTube for longer, read a book, blog or do whatever else I want to do, that relaxes me. It’s now a apart of my routine, since I have been doing this for years. There is no going back for me. My evenings are far less rushed thanks to meal prepping on the weekend.
How often do we stop and count our blessings? Do we stop and say thank you to God for another day? Being grateful is a part of self-care.
Expressing gratitude for all things great and small in our lives help us to be content and mentally well. Discontent comes many times when we focus for too long, on what we don’t have. The things we yearn for but can’t see how to get them. Also looking too long at the lives of others and wanting what they have blinds you to your blessings. This is a joy stealer.
I often talk to myself at these times and remember the things I have that I am grateful for: relatively good health, family, friends, a job, joy, a place to sleep, life and so on. It is easy to get lost in the illusion of perfection we see in others especially on social media.
This world and its wants, make us feel as if we never have enough or that if we do not have certain things by a certain age we are less than. I am making myself learn to take my eyes off the world and fix them on what God’s words say about me. I focus on life-giving words to remind myself that I am not a puppet, to be tossed about by every flight of fancy that the world throws my way. I practice being grateful for the small things and big things as well as everything in between. I also actively pursue peace and contentment in my life. This is self-care in action.
I am grateful for something as simple as taking a shower and stretching out on my bed every night. After a tiring day, that is just wonderful!
A good way to practice gratitude is to jot down a few things each day that you are thankful for. This has a way of shifting the focus from what we lack to being content with what we do have.
Cultivate a grateful day, one day at a time and help your mind to be at ease.
Exercise is vital. We know this and understand this on a cerebral level.
It is however, one of the hardest habits to adopt consistently. This means I jump on and off that wagon. My fight is to stay on the wagon and work on being a healthier me.
I eat right most of the time. I mean good whole foods. I am a lover of the pescatarian style of eating, though I consume liver sometimes to boost my iron. Anemia is no joke,
So, I push myself to get up off the couch and go power walking after dinner. Vegging out on the couch is so addictive! I do some jogging, jumping jacks and stuff to get my heart pumping. The goal is 30 minutes or more most days. Walking after dinner daily is something I am working on.
My water in take is on point and I cut out juice and soda so long ago, I don’t even miss all that sugar. Some cheese snacks are my achilles heel. I gotta live so I am not sweating over those indulgences.
I am taking these baby steps to better health and reaping benefits. Weight loss is awesome but so is having more energy, being alert and sleeping well.
I hope everyone can keep moving and take steps needed to be healthy.
I do walk 1.3km to and from the station 6 days of the week and sometimes 7. I also take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators. Every little bit helps.
Small consistent steps lead to great rewards. Here is to remaining consistent!