It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year of lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and socially distant visits. For most of us, saying that life is still far from normal would be a total understatement. Even after all of this time, life can still feel confusing, overwhelming, and downright stressful.
Pretty much all sense of normalcy flew out the window, and that is a lot to take in. Think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for a second. In case you’re new to the concept, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs motivational theory proposed by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, using an image of a pyramid to display 5 needs stacked on top of one another (you can see them here). Once a need on the bottom is met, can you move up to the next one. The idea is that these 5 needs are essentially what dictate someone’s behaviour, which you can probably relate with. When your needs are met, you’re able to tackle the day ahead with greater ease – when they aren’t, you’ll likely have a harder time. This past year has completely shaken up our worlds, and while pre-pandemic we might have been able to meet our needs easier, it might be more of a struggle now.
Also read: 10 Ways to Stay Motivated
Think back to a little over a year ago when most of us could easily go grocery shopping or hug our grandparents without the fear of getting people sick. We could go to work in an office, share a birthday cake, or even grab a drink after work without too much thought. The virus has shaken up our worlds by questioning our safety or the safety of those around us, and that is a lot to process. And if you’re struggling to meet your basic needs right now (aka the foundation of the pyramid), then according to Maslow you’re likely struggling to meet the rest of your needs.
If you feel like you’ve been pushing yourself to the side this past year, it’s likely because you have been. Today we want to shift the focus back to you for a second by sharing 10 things you can do for yourself today.
10 Things You Can Do For Yourself Today
1. Go for a walk
Walks have definitely become a popular activity this past year, and with good reason. It gets you outside with fresh air in your lungs, allows you to stretch your legs, and gives you a change of season. Go for a long uphill hike to a short, a jaunt down the street, or basically anything in between. Focus on honouring your own fitness level, and try not to stress if your walk doesn’t look like someone else’s. It’s all about the experience for you.
As a society, we totally value this constant hustle and busyness way of life, and it’s not often we’re left alone with our thoughts and feelings. Meditation takes things back to basics for a second. It gives you a couple of minutes alone to clear your mind and focus on your breath. But with that said, it can also be extremely difficult if you’re not used to it. Try out a guided meditation, and give yourself a couple of moments to focus on yourself.
3. Create a routine
For a lot of us, our daily routines have basically flown right out the window this past year. Routines are more than just getting us out the door to work or for doing our homework in the evening – studies are showing that routines are calming and can help reduce anxiety. Even if we’re not leaving the house as much, or doing as much in general, finding a routine that works for you can help you take back control of your day.
Write it down, baby. Writing can feel extremely intimidating, and knowing where to begin can feel a little confusing. Yes, you can write paragraph upon paragraph about how your day went, but you can also make a point-form list, a song, a story, or a poem.
5. Get something to eat (TW)
This one is extremely important. Have you ever tried to drive your car without any gas in it? You wouldn’t get very far at all. Just like how gas is fuel for your car, food is your fuel (and coffee is not a food group). To have the strength and clarity to make it through your day, you really need to make sure you’re eating enough.
Shop Digital Prints
6. Do some yoga/workout
There can be a ton of feelings and emotions centred around the idea of working out, so let’s take it back to basics for a second. There are so many more reasons for moving your body than just aesthetic purposes. Regular movement has been linked to improving your mood, giving you more energy, and helping you sleep. In fact, it can even be downright fun. Whether it’s yoga, weight lifting, Jazzercise, or anything in-between, make it fun for you – something that you actually enjoy and want to do.
7. Give yourself purpose every day
We’re directing this point to the people who work from home, folks who have been laid off this past year, or those without kids, but it’s still important for everyone. Especially after the year we’ve had, our days can quickly feel like they’re blending together. Give yourself a positive outlet that gives you purpose in your day. An activity that gives you a goal to work towards or a project that you can work on. This could be anything from working on building a garden to care for, decluttering your closet, or learning a new language.
8. Have a bath
Light some candles, grab a bath bomb and relax. A bath may not exactly solve every single issue out there, but it will give you a few moments to yourself. Some time to focus on your own needs and just relax for a bit.
9. Reach out for help
We said this earlier, and we’ll say it again: nothing about this past year has been exactly normal. There’s no rulebook on how to navigate this time, we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go with the tools we have. But something we really need to remember is that we all had different tools going into this. While we’re all going through this together, our realities may look very different from one another. And if you are struggling right now, please remember that seeking out help is an amazing tool to add to your box. It’s okay to talk to your doctor or therapist about what’s going on. Even if you’ve been spending more time on your own, you need to remember that you are not alone.
Be kind and patient with yourself during this by giving yourself time to rest and recharge. You wouldn’t let your phone battery die, and you wouldn’t let your car run out of gas, so make sure you give yourself time to rest and recharge as well.