Have you had to tweak your concept of self-care these past few weeks? GIRL, SAME. I used to think that self-care was going to Good Will, (love me a good thrift find 🙌)...Five Guys (have you tried their vanilla shakes?!)...or Home Goods (no explanation needed). But dang. God has stripped me of my comforts and challenged me to find true happiness and joy in Him. And even though I cry every other day (darn you, postpartum hormones), I know that He is teaching me to appreciate, to laugh, to pray, to use this crazy quarantine situation for His glory.
This post is basically a series of reminders of ways to take care of myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. I hope they are helpful to you as well!
Talk to God
Start your mornings with a simple, "Jesus, please lead me where you need me" or "Come, Holy Spirit." If you're feeling particularly anxious, reach out to a friend or family member and ask for their prayers. It might feel awkward, but it can be a total game changer! And if you are used to visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and no longer can because of church closings, look for an Adoration live-stream online.
Going outside can sometimes be the perfect "reset" for my brain. And even though I tend to be more of an indoorsy girl, I'll admit that when I force myself to take a break and go for a short walk, I come inside feeling like a totally different person. Here's a tip that I like to do when I take walks. Walk the first half in silence, listening for God's voice, or just enjoying the sounds of the birds and the breeze. Then pop in your ear buds and treat yourself to some of your favorite, uplifting music for the second half of your walk.
Color a picture (enjoy these free Catholic coloring pages). Paint some old furniture. Bake some cookies. Plant wildflowers. Write a poem. Pursue that hobby you've always wanted to try. Start the business or side hustle you've always dreamed about. Cut your hair (you can do it, I believe in you!). Paint your nails. Write a song. I've found that when I create something new, I feel close to the Ultimate Creator and gain a sense of peace.
Pause. Think of one thing that has made you smile today. Say out loud, "God, thank you so much for _____." If you can't think of anything that made you smile, try saying, "God, I'm trying to find the sun through the clouds. Please help me to see your graces throughout my day." Another activity that might be helpful is jotting down the things you're grateful for. I know most people do this at the end of the day, but I think it's an even more powerful activity if done at the beginning of your day.
Pray a rosary
I'll admit I'm not a huge fan or praying full rosaries. However, I do enjoy praying decades at a time. Sometimes, when I'm feeling distressed, I will just hold it in my hand as I drift to sleep or put it under my pillow. It's beautiful to know that Mama Mary and Jesus' graces are in those simple actions.
Write a letter
Quarantine is the perfect time to write some letters and send some snail mail to friends and family you wish you could hug. I challenge you to complete the 30 Days of Happy Mail Challenge! It lists daily prompts of who to write to and you can even snag some free printable stationery! From healthcare heroes and nursing homes, to your grandma and even Pope Francis, I know you'll enjoy serving others through writing letters and sending happy mail! Are you up for the challenge? Click here.
Treating myself used to look like me escaping and driving to the nearest ice cream shop for 30 minutes, licking a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream cone in my car while listening to John Groban. This looks different in quarantine, but I'm still determined to take some time to treat myself whether that be baking some cookies, taking a cat nap, or watching an episode of "The Chosen." (Have you seen it? You simply must!)
Holy moly. Social media can literally make or break my day. It makes me sad that I give it that much power, but that's just part of my journey of stumbling toward God. I know that He will guide me to sunnier moments when I unplug, look up to Him, and take. a. breather.
Get some rest
Definitely make sure you're getting enough rest. Not only is it a great practice for maintaining a healthy immune system, but "future you" will thank you when you wake up refreshed and well-rested, ready to conquer the day! If anxiety keeps you awake some nights (same here, girl), try holding your rosary in your hand, repeating your favorite prayer mantra (Jesus, I trust in You is always a powerful go-to!), taking deep breaths, and/or listening to your favorite relaxing song a few times before bed.
I hope these little tips on how to practice Catholic self-care during quarantine have been helpful. If you need some more ideas on how to relax and mentally reset, try this post for more ideas. Know that I'm praying for you, girl. We will get through this!