I hope it helps!
This article is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter, The Sunday Soother, a newsletter about clarity, intention, and useful tips for creating more meaning in your life that goes out every Sunday morning. Subscribe here. I am also a coach who teaches you mindfulness and thoughtful self-reflection so you can stop second-guessing yourself, make decisions confidently and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. You can learn more about working with me here.
On to the good stuff. And the good stuff is plenty. I’ve compiled every single self-care resource I could possibly think of into one place for all y’all. If we’re gonna be home, if we’re gonna be isolated, if we’re gonna be in pandemic… we might as well take care of ourselves, right?
The good thing is because 1. I’m a sensitive empath who long-needed work on taking physical, emotional and mental care of herself and establishing boundaries and finally figured it all out and 2. I do this work with my coaching clients:
I am kind of a self-care expert. And I’m sharing everything I know with you today.
So below I’ve rounded up everything I could possibly think of that might serve you in these times that, to me, REALLY constitutes as self-care. To me real self-care is doing the stuff that nourishes and props us up and makes us resilient and keeps us healthy in the long-term; sometimes, because of that, self-care doesn’t feel easy or fun or like the choice you always want to make in the moment. (And sometimes it does! Watching like 12 episodes of Super Soul Sunday in the bath with a face mask on sounds great to me.)
I’ve broken these self-care resources down into a few categories:
- Workbooks & writing reflections: Things you can do & write on for thinking, reflection, knowing yourself better
- Meditations — some of my favorite meditations to feel more centered
- Body stuff — fave yoga, stretching stuff, all the good easy ways to take care of fhis meat sack we have
- Escapist media — the TV shows & books that help me get out of my own head and into a more fun place
- And, of course: SKIN CARE!!!
My recommendations here: it’s as easy as with anything else to get overwhelmed by self-care and how to make the right choices for you. The inclination can be to want to do everything, when in fact the best thing to do is just choose 1–3 things you can do regularly that feel good. I advise picking one self-care practice for your body (stretching or walking or cooking one homemade meal a day, perhaps); one for your mind (meditation or journaling); and one for your heart (reading a great book or watching an uplifting movie). And that’s it! Don’t overcomplicate it; we don’t need folks getting burnt out by self-care choices out there. We got enough things to worry about.
In addition, here are all of my personal self-care resources that I’ve been working on for you.
- I’m doing free guided meditations, 5–10 minutes, every single darn day, 4:30pmET (for now unless I hear otherwise) on my Instagram. These are also raising money for my local food bank; for each person that shows up I donate $1 to the food bank. In three days we’ve raised $75 which can buy well over 100 meals.
- The Sunday Soother podcast — 30+ episodes of me talkin’ bout all this stuff. Career choices, emotional boundaries, interviews about anxiety, dating, burnout, self-knowledge, and lots more. My most recent episode is all about burnout in a corporate career, and leaving that career — and what comes next. I’ll be doing a self-isolation episode soon with Shani Silver, who writes on single culture — we’re both WFH introverts who live alone and have a lot of experience being alone. If you have Qs you’d like to see us address, let me know.
- My IGTV channel — I’ve been doing a series this past week called Weird Sh*t That Works — a video series all about all the, well, weird sh*t I do to take care of myself. (These are also being recorded as podcast eps so you’ll get them in both places.) I’ve also pinned a lot of self care resources to my Instagram highlights.
- My Morning Pages journaling community on Facebook — come join us as we journal our way through the end times! (lol, jk, I think)
- A short grounding meditation that I send to my clients
- All of my #dearselfjournalprompts — Instagram journal prompts I put together weekly to increase self-reflection in your life
Alright, let’s get to it! It’s time to (inserts ‘choose your fighter’ video game sound) LEVEL UP OUR SELF-CARE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS!!!
Good for: us heady, nerdy, people who like to spill their feelings out on the page; self-reflection experts; people who are feeling a bit at sea about where they may be going after this all passes; people who would like to use this time “productively”
- The queen here is Susannah Conway’s Unravel Guide. Though this is generally meant to be done at the close or start of a year, I think you can do it at any time. It will rocket up your intention and self-reflection and ability to understand what you need and want more (and less!) of and where you really, truly want to be in a year.
- I adored this writing reflection exercise from Psychcentral: “Create a “no” list, with things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. Examples might include: Not checking emails at night, not attending gatherings you don’t like, not answering your phone during lunch/dinner.”
- Katie Hawkins-Gaar’s Treat Your Future Self workbook is a delightful way to understand and execute on the things that would make you feel better.
- These 17 self-awareness exercises and question lists from Positive Psychology will really have you understanding yourself in a deep way after you go through them.
- I haven’t formatted it as a workbook yet but this is my intention-setting exercise I do every year.
- Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up is a simple yet wonderful resource.
- 20 journal prompts to get you out of your head
Why not pick one of the above to do, schedule a Zoom with some friends, and do it virtually all together?
Good for: Seriously, all of us. You need to meditate. I need to meditate. That guy over there needs to meditate. Your grandma needs to meditate. That baby? Sure, that baby should meditate. Consider it a self-care contribution to the world; when you’re calmer and less reactive, your positive emotions ripple out from there to everybody in your life.
- This was written for my Wednesday Wisdom Patreon Subscribers but I opened it up to everybody. It’s my comprehensive meditation 101 & my favorite meditation resources guide.
- Michelle Chalfant has a YouTube with a lot of meditations I love around empaths, self-worth, boundaries, and more.
- The Meditative Mind channel is pretty woo but I love their chakra clearing meditations.
Good for: Those of us whose nervous systems are freaking out. Lots of stress, feeling anxiety in your body, disconnected, buzzy, etc. These resources may be new to you — especially the energy and breathwork stuff — but they will help settle your body and your mind.
- I read Steven Kessler for his energy patterning and work and he just put out a really calming acupressure sort of hack you can use on yourself to calm yourself in the moment.
- Alternate nostril breathing is an easy and simple way to calm your body down. Here’s a video with instructions.
- We can still go outside which is VERY CRITICAL for me. I need to put my butt and hands in earth at least 1–2 a week to calm my nervous system and feel regulated. This is called earthing. Skeptics will laugh but this — or hugging a tree, literally — will immediately make you feel more centered.
- Yoga, of course. I’m trying to schedule virtual yoga sessions with my friends at the same time so we can yoga, alone, together. Who doesn’t love Yoga With Adriene? A Soother reader also sent along Yogini in Melbourne.
- 305 Fitness is the dance class that changed my life; they are doing cute YouTube livestreams of dance parties for you to do at home, since they are closed.
- Dancing Alone Together looks amazing — aggregated streaming, YouTube and IG live classes every day.
- 5–4–3–2–1 Coping Technique for Anxiety is a beautiful tool. Liz Gilbert posted this Instagram illustrating this concept recently.
- Breathwork — this is a really powerful tool you should try because you’ll feel blissful and high as a kite afterwards. This podcast helps break it down and has a brief breathwork at the end; here is a YouTube video that is good, too.
- EFT/tapping — I am pretty new to EFT/tapping but I know it helps a lot of folks I know with anxiety and fear. Here is a brief video explaining it.
- Energy clearing — if you’re a sensitive empath, like me, even if you’re social distancing, you are picking up a LOT of heavy energy right now. This meditation can help center and clear you.
- My sister-in-law also sent me this nice 20-minute meditation from her physical therapist about living more in your body.
- Take a bath with lavender epsom salts and/or magnesium flakes. It will make you feel so warm and calm and help with your sleep.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may find of use my weird things I do for better sleep piece.
Good for: all of us! Who doesn’t want to read a romance book or a Netflix? Let’s get some brain candy in here.
- I wrote this like 1.5 years ago but I think the resources still hold up: 27 Pieces of Escapist Media You Can Turn to Since the World is a Dumpster Fire
- I’m sorry, I can’t help it, but my boyfriend and I DEVOURED Love is Blind on Netflix. Definitely apocalypse ending culture vibes. Also my boyfriend is 12.5 (yes I say 12.5 instead of 13 because it makes me feel better) years younger than me and we couldn’t help but laugh hysterically every time Jessica talked about all the mountainous challenges she and Mark would have to overcome as society chooses to reject them for their 10-year age difference: Honey, I worried too, but it turns out: nobody cares.
- The Brothers Sinister is great romance reading; so is Red White & Royal Blue; so was Bringing Down the Duke. Highly recommend any of those. My fave romance series, London Celebrities, has a new series out, Headliners.
- If you never binged it when it came out, the now-defunct Mystery Show podcast is a FRIGGIN DELIGHT.
Skincare & Beauty
Good for all of us. Let’s have a glow-up and come out of this dewier than ever before.
- Kathleen Jennings Beauty is the queen of beauty, makeup and sheetmasks. Watch her instagram for tons of inspiration. She is the woman who got me to try “chin masks” — horrible looking things that promise to depuff your jawline.
- Here is my evening skincare routine; here is my morning skincare routine (I talk about all the products I use in each.) I’m going to do makeup and body and other wellness videos soon too. They’ll all be on my Instagram where I am also doing videos on what I am calling Wellness Prepper; just all the insane shit I am doing at home to try to feel and look good given all the time and anxiety I find myself with. Hopefully it provides you a bit of humor.
- Capitol Hill Style’s roundup of lotions and creams, I need these especially for your hands.
This doesn’t fall under any of the above but thanks to the reader who recommended the Gretchen Rubbin Happier podcast on Coronavirus. Lots of helpful ideas and resources in there.
And dat’s it! I think probably next week I am going to go back to regularly scheduled Soothers. Stuff I am sharing — some reader insights and my own follow-up to more mindful, conscious drinking, what that is looking like for some Soother readers and what it is looking like for me (one rule I implemented is no drinking alone which is proving verrrrry inconvenient right now but I think is overall really good for my mental health); my story about how I figured out I was lying to myself a lot and what I did about it; and a recent experience with a practice called “focusing” that was so wild I don’t even know quite yet how to explain it, but hopefully I will get there.
Stay safe, cozy, nourished, calm, grounded and mindful. If we can do those things, we can do most things. I believe in our resilience and our abilities to stay with the difficult experiences and triumph. I’m thinking of each and every one of you. If you need a friend to talk to, if you’re feeling lonely or scared, or don’t know where to turn, or are ashamed of the way you are feeling, just drop me a note. I’ll write you back or give you a call.
We got this.