How to Practice Self-Care During a Pandemic

As a Superwoman, you are always working to save others, whether it’s at work, with friends, and especially within your household. Life threw in a global pandemic, which added additional responsibilities and self-care is often the first thing to go.

By Dr. Erkeda DeRouen

As a Superwoman, you are always working to save others, whether it’s at work, with friends, and especially within your household. Life threw in a global pandemic, which added additional responsibilities, like managing a full household while working from home and setting up home school. While it may seem like the day will never end, you definitely should think about taking some time to care for yourself, even if it is separated into shorter segments.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make life a little more meaningful. To care for others, you must care for yourself.

- Dr. Erkeda DeRouen

Here are Seven Sensational Suggestions for Self Care:

  1. Nails 

A great set of nails can make one feel put together. While you may not have time to hit the salon, there are many options available for at-home application, ranging from traditional polish to dip powder to polish strips. While the solutions may vary, the purpose is the same. You can take 10 mins and have fabulous nails to remind you of a little piece of sunshine. Perhaps, you should paint them yellow! 

 

  1. Bath 

Showers tend to be the easiest thing to do because you can quickly hop in and out (if you need to). Sometimes, you need to make the time for a bath. You can run the water, light a candle, play music, and perhaps even catch up on a book. 

 

  1. Veg-Out 

Pandemic eating can be rough. You’re in the house more than usual and responsible for multiple meals a day for multiple people. Meal planning may be useful for the day-to-day, but sometimes it’s okay to indulge in a few of your favorite snacks that are just for you! Fruits and veggies are always the perfect go-to, but sometimes you need chocolate. Dark chocolate is the healthiest chocolate, as it has known cardiovascular, mood, and other benefits. Perhaps you may even want to splurge by ordering yourself an Edible Arrangement!

 

  1. Get Those Steps in 

Exercise is a key component of self-care. Not only does it affect cardiovascular health and well-being, which prolongs the lifespan, it can also help with mood. Taking a walk a day is a great idea. It can give you a change of scenery. If you live in a location where it may not be the best location to walk outdoors, you can get those steps in around the house. The recommended number of steps is debatable, but the more movement, the better. 

 

  1. Watch a Movie 

The pandemic has brought lots of screen time. Whether it’s another Zoom meeting or letting the children watch the latest thing on Disney+, most of the things that you have been watching during the past year have likely not been your first choice. Find a moment to catch something for yourself, whether it’s the latest rom-com on Netflix, action flick, or drama. Watching a movie gives you a chance to escape into a fantasy world, if only for an hour or two.

 

  1. Dance

Cardiovascular health is important. According to the American Heart Association, sufficient physical activity is defined as at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity for adults. It may be more difficult to prioritize exercise with less flexibility in “me time.” Perhaps, plan time for a dance break with the kids. While this is not technically “me time” it does allow you to break up the monotony of the day while getting up and moving to burn calories and boost endorphins. 

 

  1. Laugh 

Laughter is the best medicine! While this statement is cliche, it may be true. The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study from Psychosomatic Medicine Journal in 2016 conducted a 15-year follow-up study of 53,556 participants in Norway. Cognitive, social, and affective components of the sense of humor were obtained and found the cognitive portion of the sense of humor is positively associated with survival from mortality related to cardiovascular disease and infections in women and with infection-related mortality in men. Life can be stressful. Look for things to make you laugh.

Yes, these tips may be cheesy, but sometimes it’s the little things that make life a little more meaningful. To care for others, you must care for yourself.

 

Wishing you memorable moments in 2021!

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a Double Board Certified Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine Physician that serves as a thought leader in healthcare innovation. She is passionate about merging the humanistic aspect of medicine with the new field of emerging technology. Her unique skillset of healthy equity expertise, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, and lifestyle medicine, brings a diversity to the realm with a goal to shake up the landscape to provide quality, safe care to all who seek it.
Dr. DeRouen continues to advise pre-med and medical students for over a decade. She hosts a podcast focusing on hot topics in medicine and the admissions process for pre-meds and medical students. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Young Mothers’ Inc and Girl Develop It, Inc, both empowering women to overcome obstacles, network, and grow.

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