Practice self-care while social distancing

In the midst of social distancing and other measures implemented to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, leaders of TWU’s Health & Wellbeing Initiative say it’s imperative to make self-care a priority when dealing with the changes these new restrictions bring.

“We’re in a steep learning curve (with COVID-19), which can be exhausting,” said initiative director Michelle Reeves. “Self-care gives us permission to relax; to detach for a while and allow our bodies to reset.”

Assistant director Allison Meguro agrees.

“We’re all having to learn, change and adapt,” she said, adding now that so many are working from home, couples sometimes are sharing spaces as well as helping children with schoolwork.

Still, Meguro said, “You need to give yourself permission to take time out of your day.” She and her family schedule time each day to take a break and go outside.

“I can come back and do the work later when the kids are asleep,” she said.

Those who live alone may face fewer distractions, but still may have to contend with feelings of loneliness. Reeves said it’s important to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues.

“We need to recognize that this is impacting everyone,” Reeves said. “To be successful on the other end of this, we need to support each other.”

Reeves encourages those who live alone to be proactive in reaching out to others. Today’s technology can play a role in keeping the lines of communication open.

Meguro has talked with her mother about setting up FaceTime or Zoom to watch movies with the family while self-isolating. Reeves said videoconferencing apps such as Zoom or Google Chat don’t have to be just for work — use them to talk with others or have virtual game nights.

“Do something fun and frivolous together,” she said. “We are social beings, and we need that interaction. Don’t underestimate the power of social connection and its importance to our physical health.”

Other ways to reduce stress:

  • Take advantage of in-home workouts, including Group X Classes on Facebook Live, taught by TWU Fit & Rec instructors
  • Color! Download TWU-themed coloring sheets and games provided through a joint effort between Marketing & Communication and Student Life
  • Search the Web for free online games, movies and educational resources
  • Take a walk in the park, but observe social distancing guidelines and stay at least 6 feet away from other people
  • Experience a change of scenery by going for a drive