Self-care in a time of chaos and crises is a good thing. It does not matter if you are a Weekend warrior, one who lightly dabbles in the garden, or employed fulltime. In the wonderful world of horticulture, taking care of your self is key. Social distancing is actually a thing. For some of us who thrive on personal interaction, this is a gamechanger. I am one of those people lovers. It is even more critical at this time for me to practice self-care.
SELF CARE DAY STARTERS
Mental self-care should be the first line of defense. Not being around people to laugh, share stories and connect can be hard. Setting the stage for positive thoughts is the perfect way to start the day. Gather a bloom or a few from your garden. No garden – OH MY!! Consider finding a photo on-line of your favorite bloom, print, and place where you can see it. Why not print several and place them throughout your residence. I would consider this positive placemaking. Focus and imagine the fragrance, the feel of the leaves, or the texture of the stem. This is a positively simple way to embrace the start of the day.
Becoming overwhelmed can be a trap. Look at your business tools and prioritize the items of importance. We all have a list of low priority items that we almost never get to. What better time to do them? Unfinished projects or paperwork can big down the mind and affect the spirit.
Need to see your co-workers? Consider video conferencing. It is a terrific way to stay connected and collaborate. Even if it isn’t business, check in with your co-workers or clients virtually. Keep each other uplifted. This will speak volumes when the chaos dies down.
This is a perfect time to delve into those projects or reports that require research. I find that uninterrupted time for thorough research is time well spent. Organizing your files or purging reading material is productive as well.
In my neck of the woods, I had a “Snow Pile” of things for a snowy day or blizzard. Since we had no snow, I renamed it my “Moment of Chaos” file. Mental self-care is addressing those things that linger in the back of our minds.
One of my favorite self-care phrases is “Make time to enjoy life”. I adopted this phrase as I listened to my co-workers talk about time. Work, life balance is one of the hardest things to do. I was one of those “always busy” people at one point in my life as well.
One day, while sharing my calendar with my Dad, I realized that I rarely stopped. I seldom paused to really enjoy what I was doing. There was always a deadline or I had to quickly rush from event to event. I considered it never allowing myself to be bored. The act of taking time for self-care just didn’t happen or not often enough.
One evening while talking with my Dad, he shared three words with me. He said, “Just Be Still”. “Teres, You are just going and doing. It is impossible for you to really enjoy the moment. Just be still…” What wonderful words of wisdom. I miss my Dad immensely. One of the gifts he left me were these three words. When I start going, going, and planning to go more – I pause. Taking moments to breathe deeply, I am still. If only to reassess the importance of my why – I am still.
Taking time to get outside is a great way to practice physical self-care. As a gardener – stuck indoors with my garden just out of reach as I work indoors – I am dreaming. Dreaming of ending my day and walking outside to make use of the remaining daylight hours. Sitting all day is not healthy for anyone. Try leg lifts, Tai Chi from your chair, or planking at least once an hour. Don’t just sit and do nothing, do some squats, lift a hand weight or two. Something as simple as walking up and down the steps inside can make a difference. Self-care means coming out on the other side of this National crisis healthier – mentally and physically.
What perfect time to use a moisturizing mask on your face. Indoor heat can be drying to the skin. No-one will see you in your face mask as you make time to take care of your self. After a day of sitting in sedentary solitude, run a warm bath and soak. A bit of aromatherapy, exfoliating salt scrubs, and soft music, will go a long way in reducing stress or angst.
One final tip – meditate and be Thankful. Meditate about the things you are grateful for. Your family, your pet, a job, or even your greenspace. Think about how gorgeous your garden will be when we get through this. Start some seeds or just go to your favorite garden center and practice just being. Being able to make the choice of embracing the ability to realize all is not lost. Things are certainly a mess right now, but we know that change will come. Even after a long grey winter, looking forward to the signs of Spring is always a welcome relief.
Here are a few fun resources to check out that focus on self-care:
Tiny Buddha, Habitsbuzz, or The Little Book of Self Care. Each of these references offers great ways to get started.
Looking forward to getting outside and into the garden. Are you?
Dreaming of better days and practicing self-care,
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby