Self-care is a fancy way to say, “Do the things you need to do for yourself.” Caring for yourself includes things that are important to your health — eating well, exercising, getting rest, and doing things you enjoy. It also includes things that are important to your happiness — spending time with friends and family, doing things that lift your spirits. The coronavirus pandemic is a good opportunity to think about self-care because during the pandemic, you can’t rely on your usual sources of self-care.
In ordinary times, self-care means going to the doctor, getting check-ups, and going to the dentist. But we can’t do that right now. With social distancing measures, we have fewer reasons to leave the house. Self-care during the pandemic means taking care of yourself without going to the doctor.It means eating well, exercising, getting rest, and doing things you enjoy. It means taking time every day to do the things you need to do for yourself.
Regular meals are important, but eating too much can make you ill. Sleeping too much can make you feel anxious and tired, and deprives you of the energy you need to work. Exercise is important, but too much can strain your muscles.
The pandemic has made us more alone, and that’s made more of us lonely. In the lockdowns, we are separated from each other. We are forced into our rooms, separated from our neighbors, cut off from the world. Isolation causes loneliness. As separation increases, so does loneliness. People who have been socially isolated for months feel lonely, and those who are lonely feel isolated. Loneliness is complicated. Apart from being negative, loneliness is also a positive emotion.
Being lonely can be good. It can stimulate brain activity, contribute to the activation of neural networks, and support our ability to learn. Loneliness can also cause people to feel more creative and alert.