Daily self-care: Coping with Covid anxiety and isolation
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Even alpacas get anxious and feel isolated sometimes. Beyond the regular day-to-day pressures can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress, the lack of social interactions and uncertainty around the future can also lead to feeling overwhelmed sometimes. It’s ok to feel this way? In fact, it’s actually really helpful to acknowledge that we feel this way. Being aware of our feelings can be a first step to allowing ourselves to process them. Which is why I want to share with you my daily routines that I have found helpful to handle feelings of anxiety and isolation, and boost positivity.
Self-talk for self-confidence
When we think about it, almost every morning while we get ready for the day, many of us spend time in front of the mirror. Of course, maybe we spend that time in front of the mirror to brush our teeth, put contacts in, or any other number of personal getting ready rituals we have. Our rituals are as unique as each of us but one commonality is that many of us spend at least a little time in front of the mirror everyday so why not add a little effective confidence-building to our routine with some mirror self-talk? Maybe you’re thinking: “Talk to myself in the mirror, I don’t know….” But, this mirror technique is an amazing way to reinforce ourselves by engaging with positive thoughts to boost confidence with just a few kind words to ourselves.
How does it work? Well, let’s go through it together…
One day we may look at ourselves in the mirror and say:
“Wow, I am fabulous?”
But, on another day maybe we can barely recognize the person staring back at us in the mirror and feel inadequate.
The mirror technique works by consciously using positive affirmations – even though it may seem a bit silly and like we don’t entirely believe the nice things we say to ourselves at first. But, the reaffirmation can help train our minds to default to positive thoughts when confronting ourselves and perceived shortcomings by silencing the self-critical voice inside our heads. This can help improve our well-being by exchanging unpleasant thoughts with positive and supporting ones.
Some examples which I’ve been using daily during my morning mirror time:
“I am capable of achieving my goals?”
“I am proud of myself?”
“Society standards can be unrealistic and the only person I am obligated to make happy is myself”
Give a try?
Reframing negative self-talk
Another great tool I like is reframing negative self-talk. For example, sometimes we just wake up in a bad mood. Other times we feel like we failed at school or work, or we just behaved in an inappropriate way to a friend because we were upset by our own problems. In such situations, it happens more often than not that we start to blame ourselves and instead of constructive criticism, we start attacking ourselves.
So, when you notice thoughts that automatically pop in your mind like: “I’m so lazy,” or “I can’t do it,” then try to reframe them. For example:
“I’m not lazy, I simply don’t have that much energy for this specific task today”
“I can do it? I just need to spend more time on it to succeed”
It really can be helpful to counteract negative self-talk with more supportive ways of talking to ourselves. Give it a shot the next time you find yourself experiencing negative self-talk.
Breathing exercise before sleep
A lot of people think of bedtime as the time where we can let go of the day and reset for tomorrow. But, that can sometimes be disconnected from reality where many of us replay the day’s distressing experiences and worry about the ones to come tomorrow. Not only that, with more and more digital connectivity in our lives, we may find ourselves checking our phones right before going to sleep and end up more unrelaxed and further away from sound sleep.
This is why I use an easy and quick breathing exercise that helps to soothe my nerves before drifting off to sleep .
It’s really simply:
Breathe in for 4 seconds
Hold the breath for 4 seconds
Breathe out to 4 seconds
Repeat as many times as you need?
If you want us to practice any of this exercise, you are more than welcome to join me by the Nuna app? 🙂
I hope that my daily self-care ideas will help you as they do me? As always, let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and see you in the next post?