I’m a big believer in the power of self-care. I think it’s one of the most important tools that we have in our toolbox to be our best version of ourselves at work and at home. In a time where we feel rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic on so many levels, we need self-care more than ever to stay resilient and power through.
The challenge to figure out how to manage work, family life, online learning, finances and keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy is not an easy one. It’s stressful and worrisome. It’s complicated. It requires a plan to navigate and adjust constantly in this changing environment. As an HR consultant, I’ve talked to company after company about how they are responding to keep their employees safe with Covid and they have shared their step-by-step plans, all backed by actions and well thought out processes to respond to every situation. As a work life balance blogger for years, I have written articles and coached women on steps they can take with self-care to thrive. The combination of self-care with a structured plan is powerful, especially in a time where we feel overwhelmed without a playbook to follow.
The truth of it is, we have it in us to figure this out. We are smart, we are resourceful and we are problem solvers. However, we can’t tap into our true capabilities if we are overwhelmed and stressed out. That’s where self-care comes in. Just like we are pivoting to quickly develop a plan to adjust at work, we need to adjust our self-care plan at home to help us get through this time in a healthy way.
Committing to a self-care plan that addresses your current needs will help you to be your best for yourself and others. Putting your plan in writing helps to ensure that you think through and commit to the actions that will make a difference. The added step of acknowledging your worries and recognizing what you actually have control over can help to focus on what you can do something about, not what you can’t. Here are three simple and quick tools to rock your self-care plan and get through this challenging time:
1. Develop a Self-Care Plan. Use the below chart to define your needs and actions you will take to care for yourself physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and professionally. Each of these 5 areas are important to consider to develop a well- rounded plan to care for you. Keep it simple with no more than 3 actions you can take in each area. Print it out and put it in a noticeable place like your bathroom mirror so you can keep it top of mind.
2. Do a Pandemic Brain Dump – A brain dump is a tool that psychologists have used for years to help people get worries out of your head and in writing so that they can be acknowledged and addressed. Check out the blog https://www.morningcoffeewithdee.com/brain-dump-exercise/ for a great overview of brain dumps and how they can plan an important part of self-care. Attached is a pandemic brain dump that I created to define and address your worries that you actually have control over.
3. Check in on your progress and adjust your plan. Check in on yourself every week, like you would with a best friend or family member. Ask “How’s it going? How are you feeling? How can I reset the plan and get back on track?” Update your Pandemic Brain Dump to get it cleared out of your head so you can focus. Publish your revised self-care plan and give yourself a positive affirmation that you are doing the best you can and are committed to managing through this.
Someday, we will look back on this time and see how much stronger we became in 2020. Until then, stay healthy and reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions that I can help with in using these tools!