With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world and the Australian Government urging people to stay indoors and self-isolate, self-care has never been more important.
Thanks to the media, we all know what self-isolation is (if not there’s a guide here) but what exactly is self-care?
Self-care is the actions we take in order to relieve stress and restore our mental and physical wellbeing. The ways in which we revitalise and maintain our health vary from person to person, for example where one person might like to hit the gym daily, another may like to experiment with cooking recipes.
In short, self-care is all about the little things we incorporate into our daily routine to ensure we maintain a healthy mental and physical balance.
With Victoria’s stage 3 restrictions in effect, and TAFE students attending an increasing amount of classes online, the need to look after yourself is paramount. It’s easy to fall into an unhealthy trap of no routine which isn’t good for anyone.
So we’ve created a list of some of the most effective wellbeing activities to incorporate into your routine.
1. Listen to a podcast
Allow the nonsense to leave your mind as you delve into a podcast– it could be news, comedy, education, sports or lifestyle related. Your choice.
Turn up the volume on your headphones or speaker, and allow your podcast to take you on a journey. There’s no need to think about anything else in your life right now, just focus on your podcast. You might just find that you forget what’s happening in the world by the time you finish.
2. Read a good book
Who can say no to curling up with a good book? Grab that cup of tea and finally open the pages of that book you’ve been meaning to read for the last year.
Not only does reading allow your mind to wander and escape reality for a while, it’s also a great way to improve your English reading and writing skills and it lowers your heart rate. That’s a win-win.
3. Move your body
Exercise, Yoga, Dancing, Walking – whatever you like but get those arms and legs moving!
Research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can boost our health and wellbeing (that includes your mind too). Other benefits for exercising include reducing stress levels, increasing productivity and leaving you happier and more relaxed. Below we’ve listed some ways that you can get active:
- Put on your favourite songs and dance away the next 30 minutes.
- Take a walk around the block to stretch out those legs and get some fresh air.
- Join in on an online workout – some companies are live streaming free workouts such as Keep It Cleaner. Check out their Facebook pages for more information.
- Feel like getting flexy? YouTube has tonnes of free yoga flows. Pick one that suits your time limit and interests you.
4. FaceTime your friends and family!
Just because we have to be apart, doesn’t mean we can’t still catch up. Schedule in a FaceTime/Skype/video call with your loved ones and see what they’re up too. Chances are they would also love a distraction from their online studies or work.
Bonus points if you schedule a FaceTime workout or activity together! Uno anyone?
5. Get creative
You can do so many things. We recommend using what you already have in the house, but if you need to visit a craft store, make sure you follow social distancing advice!
- Get your paints out and create a masterpiece.
- Scrapbook your favourite photos.
- Knit a scarf or beanie.
- Write a poem.
- Make some music.
- Plant something.
- Try out a new recipe.
6. Practice meditation
Meditations can be really helpful when you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed – you can fly solo or use a guided meditation (try YouTube or wellbeing apps such as Bloom).
Some of the benefits of meditation can include decreasing anxiety, assists with focus on the task ahead (again, we’re looking at you online study!) and can calm the mind to provide a better sleep.
When you are ready, find yourself a quiet place and sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes and begin to breathe naturally. If you’re using a guided meditation, begin to follow the voice of your guide. If you’re taking time out on your own, just begin to focus your attention on your breath, and how your body moves with each inhale/exhale. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath. When your mind feels clear, slowly blink your eyes open and continue on with your day.
7. Spend time outside
There’s nothing quite like smelling fresh air or feeling the warm sun on your skin (in moderation of course), but did you know there are also loads of health benefits too? Sunlight can help with enhancing moods, to relieving stress and helping with sleep.
So get outside! Take a book, a stroll or just scroll, we’re not judging here.
8. Get plenty of sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The benefits of sleep can include stress reduction, helping you stay more alert and better overall health. It’s recommended that adults get between 6-8 hours of sleep daily, so get into bed, listen to some relaxing sounds and catch some z’s.
Bonus: Self-care Bingo
We’ve gone a little extra and created a self-care bingo card. Save it to your phone, or print it out and show us your self-care bingo game!
DOWNLOAD SELF-CARE BINGO
Support is available
Whether you’re studying a Certificate III or Diploma, you might be experiencing some changes to your studies with Kangan Institute. We’re increasing online learning across our TAFE courses, which includes virtual classrooms, webinars, and digital units and although you might feel a little isolated, you're not alone.
Find help with the below resources, and don't forget, it's ok not to be ok.
Kangan Institute Counselling:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
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