Disclaimer: If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, and continual toxic stress please seek help from a psychologist and/or therapist, which will provide you coping strategies that will mitigate your symptoms as it relates to a mental health disorder.
During the year 2020, we have experienced a plethora of negative historical events such as political corruption, social injustices, and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic within this sociopolitical climate. What I have learned within the year 2020 is that it is imperative for individuals to engage in self-care during this stressful climate. So, what is self-care? you may ask. According to Merriam-Webster (2021), self-care is defined as engaging in a positive action that can improve the wellbeing of an individual as it relates to their psychological and physiological wellbeing (Merriam-Webster, 2021). Through caring for one's self an individual can improve their mood as it relates to stressful events such as COVID -19 and toxic stress. There are various ways in which an individual can engage in self-care which may include: eating healthy, taking a walk, exercising, getting an adequate amount of sleep, reading positive affirmations, journaling, and meditation.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is a necessary concept that everyone should incorporate into their lifestyle now more than ever. Since the pandemic of COVID-19 people are stuck at home and are experiencing depression and anxiety as a result of social isolation and a lack of connectedness with people. With the increase of technology, telework, and virtual learning people are unable to travel and engage in some of the activities they are accustomed to. COVID-19 has impacted people directly and indirectly with regards to their social, emotional, developmental, psychological, and physiological aspects of their lives and career aspects of their lives. These psychological and physiological effects may impair a person's ability to function within their occupational, home, school, and community environments. Also, people have been directly impacted by their daily functioning because now everything has changed in the world and the way we once existed is not the same and will never be.
Self-care with regards to meditation allows one to become one with themself. Meaning you are quieting your mind and becoming relaxed through this process; one can become aware of their emotions. Meditation takes practice but there are plenty of YouTube videos that can teach you how to meditate. Another form of self-care is journaling, and through this process, you are able to journal about your day and process which parts of the day you enjoyed. For example, I have a gratitude journal that allows me to compose one sentence about what and why I am grateful for something in my life. I appreciate various aspects of my life which include my family, friends, and my physical well-being, which is a form of positive psychology that includes concepts of positive experiences and positive states and traits.
Continual toxic stress affects the psychological, physiological, and development of an individual, which can impair an individual's ability to function within their occupational, home, school, and community environments Ultimately, engaging in self-care improves mood and mental well-being.
If you know other ways individuals can engage in self-care please list them below:
Merriam-Webster. (2021). Self-care. Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-care