It’s been a month where ‘self-care’ has begun to mean something different. I know there is so much going on in the world right now, it almost feels selfish to be worried about ourselves. But, I don’t know about you, I’m beginning to feel really claustrophobic and my anxiety is creeping back in after being (mostly) absent for over a year. It just feels like everything is going backwards, when I’ve worked so hard to go forwards.
We’re still working, of course, but it looks very different. I went into teaching because I didn’t enjoy sitting in an office on a computer all day (as interesting as I found HR!) and loved the face-to-face contact each day, the challenges, the dynamic thinking that was needed on the job. I know a lot of us are feeling our identity has been stripped back – it’s much harder to feel like a teacher without a classroom.
It very much feels like period of time (which, coincidentally, started almost the same day as this lockdown!) two years ago, where I was off work with anxiety and felt like I lacked purpose. It’s easy to feel like that again now.
So today, I am going to try and put some new ways to care for myself into my schedule.
- Have a set timetable that I stick to – stop spending each day lazing around with nothing to do but overthink.
- Learn some new skills (fondant icing, pastries, eyeshadows, origami…)
- Sit and do my work at a table (not on my lap!) so I have a separate work zone.
- Getting up and dressed every morning – even if it’s late morning – so that I feel more ready for the day. (Thanks Cass for this one!)
- Exercise! Go for that daily walk or run, do some yoga and home workouts. Stop putting them off.
- When I feel negative, remind myself of the good things that are also happening for me right now. I am healthy. I have a good group of people to support me. I still have gin in the cupboard.
We are all going to deal with this differently. This is so much bigger than any of us, but we still need to make time for self-care and ensure our mental health is still one of our top priorities. We can’t help anyone else if we don’t even feel ready to help ourselves.