Another day, another week in lockdown. It seems that is the way of the world and the new reality we are coming to terms with. Even here in Australia where Covid numbers are comparatively lower than in other countries around the world, this little critter has an insidious power that is threatening both our economic, mental and physical wellbeing. But all is not doom and gloom, because despite the changes and need for adapting our current lifestyles, we can try to not dwell on the negative and scaremongering, but rather to embrace the opportunity to open up time and space for some self-care essentials into our daily practice.

When I looked up the definition of self-care, the common definition encompassed the words “taking an active role” meaning we are not passive in this process, and that we do not have it done to us. It also suggested that when we initiate self-care we are safeguarding, improving and or sustaining our own health – especially in times of stress or strain.

Self-care is different for everyone. For some people it is about physical activity and for others it is about food and nourishment, and for another group of people it is about prayer or spirituality. And whatever your self-care might look like, it is about including those regimes into your day to ensure your mind, body and spirit stays healthy – because compromising on your wellness means you are unable to enjoy life and be your best self.

In the beginning, taking time to incorporate a self-care routine into your daily practice might take effort, feel foreign and uncomfortable. You might find you resist it. But persevere. Don’t let inconsistency and insufficiency be your standard of self-care. When we begin a new skill or self-care practice, it takes effort and practice, lots of motivation to continue to do it daily. In time, it gets easier to do, it gets better, we find pleasure in it, and it ultimately becomes a habit and a routine – just like your morning coffee.

Remember, if you completely ignore meeting your own needs, you are unable to care for those around you. Putting the fuel in your tank, enables you to care for those around you. Simple practices like going for a walk, reading a book, watching an interesting tv show, doing a puzzle, calling a friend, having a warm shower, eating a nourishing bowl of soup are all healthy self-care practices and are doable in lockdown.

Someone once said to me that we can only take care of other people as far as we have gone ourselves. That we can give to others what we are in some way giving and receiving ourselves. If your tank is empty, you have nothing to give. Self-care includes taking time to nourish and nurture all of yourself, physically, emotionally (heart and relationships), psychologically (mind) and spiritually. Don’t wait until your tank is on reserve, today is the best day to start.

Take care. Stay safe and stay healthy.