When was the last time you checked in with yourself? During the difficult period we’re experiencing, it is easy to neglect checking in on how you’re doing emotionally, internally, spiritually, and physically. The next time you have an opportunity to pause, whether it is planned or not (even right now!), consider doing one of these things to give attention to your well-being and happiness:
Pause to breathe. Self-love may simply mean taking a breath for yourself. This can be done at your desk, at home, on a walk, in the bathroom, anywhere at all. Taking a fuller breath can have an amazing effect on your mind, body, and being. Whether one breath or ten breaths, intentionality is key. After the breath(s), notice what comes up and take stock. The answers that come can guide you toward how to take care of yourself.
Make an appointment. When’s the last time you’ve seen a doctor? A dentist? An individual therapist? Regardless of what kind of appointment comes to mind, pandemic doesn't lessen the value in taking care of your health. If multiple appointments come to mind, write them down and make calls or send emails in an order that’s meaningful to you. You don’t have to schedule them all immediately, just have them available to work on as time avails.
Plan a date. Set aside time to spend with your partner, a friend, or yourself, either online or with appropriate social distancing. Block out the time to do something that is meaningful and interesting to you. This activity can be something that costs money or can be free, like reading a book or watching a show at home with a treat. Whether you have company or you are your own company, spending time in a meaningful way can be life giving.
Lou Lim is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.