At-Home Self-Care for Sheltering in Place

The world is a strange (and sort-of scary) place right now. No matter where you live, COVID-19 and the Coronavirus are likely front and center in your mind. Now is the time where we need to do our best to take care of ourselves and at-home self-care is the perfect way to do that.

If you’re new to my blog, welcome! I’m the author of Self-Care for Moms and Choose You, a Guided Self-Care Journal, so I know a few things about self-care. Given that the world is changing rapidly and many of us are feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, this is the perfect time to focus on self-care. AND- many of us have a lot of extra time on our hands to really, there are no excuses not to practice self-care. 

Some of us are being told to shelter-in-place (I am, in the Bay Area, CA). Now, many of us are faced with LOTS of time at home. And, if you’re a parent like I am, that means your kids are around a lot too. 

Everyone’s schedules, events, and activities are being canceled. We’re all going to be spending a lot of time with our immediate family and not much time with anyone else. With all of this time on our hands, it’s a great opportunity to practice self-care and create new habits that we might not usually have time for. 

Before we jump into the activities you can try, I want to share a few things related to self-care. Try not to just skip ahead, because these points are important.

There are 6 Types of At-Home Self-Care

All of these types of self-care are important and the way we accomplish these now likely looks different than we did just a few weeks ago. Check out these descriptions of different types of self-care and we’ll get into examples of at-home self care in a bit:

  1. Emotional Self-Care: Taking care of your emotional state: the good and the negative emotions, and working to create positive emotions
  2. Mental Self-Care: Taking care of your mental state: also the good and the bad and working to create a positive frame of mind
  3. Physical Self-Care: Taking care of yourself physically: from the foods you eat to your physical activity.
  4. Practical Self-Care: These are your tasks and to-dos. There are probably lots of these you can take care of with time at home.
  5. Social self-Care: Having social interactions. It may seems like we can’t do this now, but it just looks a bit different
  6. Spiritual Self-Care: Taking care of your soul; for some this is religious, for others it’s more spiritual and soulful

When you start practicing self-care, aim to meet all of these different needs across the various activities you try. 

Self-Care Can Include Kids

Sometimes we can do at-home self-care with our kids (and let’s face it, we’re spending a lot of times with kids these days). As you look at the activities, consider which ones you can do with your kids and which you might want to try solo.

You can set up activities for your kids while you do your self-care. Practicing with and in front of your kids is great modeling.

Take Time for Yourself

Solo time is important right now. Our family institutes alone time every day. My kids are playing in their rooms right now while I write this. Taking space for ourselves is really important right now. Don’t feel bad about taking breaks and making self-care a priority. You have the time- use it productively and set the groundwork for creating habits when life gets “back to normal.”

At-Home Self-Care Activities

There are lots of activities you can do at home with little-to-no money required. Please note that your individual circumstances and preferences will dictate which activities you’d like to try. Feel free to use this list as a jumping off point to get you thinking. 

  1. Practice gratitude daily– Notice, or start a journal or take daily photos to remind you 
  2. Read– Check your county library for digital downloads
  3. Go for a walk– As long as we’re allowed to get outside, do it! Keep your social distance and get out there
  4. Write– Even if you’re not a writer, this is a good time to extend some creativity
  5. Draw– This is a great one for families to do together. Remember, it’s not about the quality, but the experience
  6. Paint your nails– No one is heading to the salon, so do your nails at home
  7. Watch a funny movie– Laugh a little and feel that positivity flow
  8. Cook a meal– Even if you’re not a chef, this is a great time to learn
  9. Organize something– This is a great time to get some practical self-care done
  10. Attend church, virtually– Many churches are offering services online but if your church isn’t, you can attend another!
  11. Do a “happy hour,” focus on the happy; booze optional– Use a platform like Zoom or FaceTime to do a virtual meet up with friends
  12. Workout– there are so many YouTube videos available online and many instructors are streaming live workouts while gyms are closed
  13. Socially distant block party– Get your neighbors out and hang, 6 feet or more apart
  14. Practice mindfulness– Use an app like Headspace to help you focus on the present and be more forgiving of your thoughts
  15. Call a friend– This is a great time to connect with friends on the phone or FaceTime
  16. Write a letter– Let’s take it back to the days of pen pals (I’ve got my 7yo set up with two pen pals)
  17. Bake– Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, having a house that smells like cookies or pie is an instant mood lifter
  18. Clean your pantry– This is a practical task that rarely gets done
  19. Dance party– On your own or with your kids, this is a great workout and will boost your mood
  20. Sit outside– Bring some tea or coffee and just breath and enjoy nature
  21. Sleep in– Let’s face it, most of us don’t have to get the kids to school, so…sleep in!
  22. Take a shower (or a bath!!)- When you don’t have to leave the house, it’s easy to forget to shower, and baths? Who has time for that…Right now, you’re not in a rush, so take your time and enjoy yourself!
  23. Stargaze– Get everyone out of the house, wrap up in some blankets, and take a look at the stars
  24. Attend a museum, virtually– So many places are offering virtual tours; learn something new and enjoy yourself!
  25. Create a new routine– Routines give us comfort and predictability; we’re in a new normal for a while so create new routines (with time for regular self-care)
  26. Stretch or do yoga– Again, YouTube for the win! Take time to move in a gentle way
  27. Turn on music– Give you mood a boost with some songs you love (you might have to take turns with your kids)
  28. Pray– Religious or not, taking the time to quietly reflect and put your thoughts and desires into the world is a good thing
  29. Turn off social media– We’re all probably spending too much time there these days, so just take a break!
  30. Watch the sunset (or sunrise)- This is the perfect time to enjoy beauty we’re usually to rushed to appreciate 
  31. Go to therapy– Many therapists can do tele-health (where you meet remotely), so continue with your sessions or take the time to connect with someone.
  32. Drink water– Even though we’re home with easy access, you might still forget, so pay attention to staying hydrated 
  33. Check-in on people– This is about connecting but also taking care of others helps you feel good too
  34. Delegate– This is the perfect time to focus on teaching your kids the life skills they need, but also allows you to learn to delegate when things get back to normal. My goal? That my kids will do their own laundry (with some help) and learn to load the dishwasher. Depending how long we’re here for, there will likely be more tasks they learn to do!
  35. Enjoy your family– We all are busy and life moves quickly. Look at this as an opportunity to slow down and create positive interactions and memories

Hopefully this list gets your wheels turning for at-home self-care. (Here are 101 self-care ideas if you need more inspiration!). Remember that much of self-care is about being intentional about it and making it a priority. This strange, unpredictable world we’ve found ourselves in is a great opportunity to practice self-care on a more regular basis than we have been, and can allow us to come out of this in very positive ways. 

Want even MORE self-care ideas?

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