(Post) Lockdown basics: self-care


During this recent and any future lockdowns, you’ll hear plenty of people telling you to focus on self-care (you can now add me to the list!).

But what does that actually mean?

Truth is, it can mean lots of different things, depending on your circumstances.

In this post I am going to outline a few different self-care formulas. See if any of them appeal to you. I should note that a few of these are a little ‘tongue in cheek’.

{these were written with stay-at-home conditions in mind, but they still seem relevant as we head into the holiday season, so I have left them up}


The Achievement Focus ๐Ÿ†

In the last lockdown I set about creating a whole lot of new healthy routines: meditation, yoga, healthy food, plenty of sleep, productive work. I very much focused on achievement.

I really tried to use the time afforded to me (by not having to head out into the world) to invest in trying to build a better version of myself: healthier and more productive.

I found it a really useful way to focus my energies and I got a lot done during the lockdown period,ย  but it was overall quite tiring, as I was trying to fit a lot into the day.

I recommend this focus if you feel you have the time and energy to dedicate to getting stuff done and starting new projects.

This is a good approach for those that like to distract themselves from the broader context.


The Zombie Focus ๐ŸงŸ

In this self-care formula, you spend most of the time wandering around aimlessly and upon encountering something edible, eating it.


The Simplicity Focus ๐Ÿ”‚

With this lockdown, I am taking a different angle. I am scaling back activities to just the core things I need to do (my work) and otherwise, giving myself permission to not get a million things done during the lockdown.

I am putting projects on the backburner, and being OK with using any free time to just enjoy the simple things in life: plants, a nice meal, some YouTube videos.

If you’ve already had a productive year, perhaps it is OK to give yourself permission to start slowing down a little, and the lockdown might be a good catalyst.

There is a paradox that often presents itself with this particular self-care formula, which is that giving oneself permission to scale things back, ends up leading to getting more done. But don’t count on that happening. See if you can be genuinely OK with scaling back activities to the core essentials.


The Exercise Focus ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ

Exercise in this lockdown is challenging as we can’t go to gyms or outside to exercise.

Which means whatever exercise equipment or space you have in your home currently, is what you have to work with.

That doesn’t stop some people though, who use the time to try and get their 10,000 steps a day, walking around the lounge, bicep curling two cans of beans.

If that is you, you go for it!


The Zen Focus ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ

Lockdown can be anxiety provoking which is sometimes a good time to kickstart your Zen training.

What does that involve?

Head over to Insight Timer and start perusing their massive catalogue of meditations and music and talks and sounds and live classes (including yoga!).

Now keep in mind that starting one’s training in relaxation/meditation, during a stressful period, can paradoxically make you more stressed (“this damn meditation isn’t working!”), but just focus on starting the journey of learning more about meditation and mindfulness, rather than becoming an expert in 6 days.


The Cleaning Focus ๐Ÿงน

Your home is a mess. Clean it up.


The Well Informed Focus ๐Ÿ“ฐ

Yesterday, when the whole lockdown was being announced, I was kinda glued to different news and social media sites, learning about the lockdown: why, what, how, when, who etc.

For many, staying informed is what helps deal with the uncertainty of a situation.

There will be no shortage of updates during the lockdown: from news services, from the university (make sure to check email and this page), from the SA Govt and SA Health.

Maybe you’ll find some self-care in simply keeping yourself well informed of what is happening. I’ve been keeping track via the ABC.


The Work Focus ๐Ÿ‘”

If you are working during this 6 day lockdown, chances are you are going to be working fairly hard, as your area is likely to be an ‘essential service’. This means fatigue and overwhelm are likely to be present.

Your self-care is likely to be focused on sleep (where you can) and good nutrition: the very basic building blocks of energy and concentration.

Don’t worry so much about getting the other aspects of your life perfectly in line. Just focus on doing a good job and resting/sleeping/refueling between work shifts. It isn’t a permanent state of affairs.


The Netflix Focus ๐Ÿ“บ

Remember all those TV series you haven’t watched yet?


The Social Focus ๐Ÿ“ฑ

If you are not sick of digital communication: Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Text, Email, Teams, FLO, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter +, then consider firing up all the platforms you have and getting in contact with everyone you know and have ever known.

You’ll probably find people are happy to hear from you and know that you are travelling along OK, or if you aren’t, willing to provide some support.

Don’t let physical distance from people stop you from spending your day interacting with people you like.

I have a variety of apps open on my desktop that allow me to keep in touch with people I care about.


The Potato Chips Focus ๐Ÿฅ”

I have multiple bags of potato chips. By the end of the lockdown, I will no longer have those bags of Potato Chips.


Jokes aside……

Check out our self-care guide and our self-care during difficult times guide for more ideas on looking after yourself during the lockdown.

If you are doing it tough for whatever reason, contact the Flinders Support Network who can direct you to the relevant university supports.

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