Self-Love in the Time of the Coronavirus

Dear Reader,

They say it’s important to spice things up every once in a while, to keep a long-term relationship alive. Well, news flash, the longest-term relationship you will ever be a part of is the one with yourself. So, today I will ask you, how are you and yourself getting along?

As a couple of pandemic extremists, my partner and I have been living in virtual isolation for the past several months. While I see many others hiking, swimming, and traveling during the continuing quarantines on my Facebook news feed, we have been cooped up here chez nous, without more than a few polite in-person greetings to our neighbors. Seclusion has certainly given me too much time to think and I have come to the conclusion that I must (at the risk of losing my remaining marbles) inject some new energy into my relationship with moi. If you too are ready to revamp your relationship with yourself, please do read on.

Focus

When existing mostly in the confines of your residence, it can be easy for your mind to retreat within itself. When we dwell too much on the past, the future, or on hypothetical circumstances, it is easier for us to feel unhappy. Re-focusing your mind is a small, but important thing you can do to re-establish the internal balance that is integral to your relationship with yourself.

Notes on focus:

  • Engage in the activity you wish to pursue when your brain is most able to handle it. For example, if you mind is clearest the first thing in the morning, try to complete your analytical tasks then. If your brain is sluggish after lunch, add a brisk walk rather than immediately jumping into your creative project.
  • Did you somehow end up back on social media? This is a tell-tale sign that your brain is not engaged. If you find yourself turning into an aimless online vagabond, perhaps, now is the time to abandon the current task at hand for another. It is important to give yourself breaks when it is difficult to focus. Try adding a short burst of exercise, eating a snack, or even watching a show that you enjoy to reinvigorate your brain and get yourself ready to focus again. Social media is a distraction; try to cut down on this in favor of a more fulfilling diversion.  

Move around!

If exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy, then through the transitive property we can assume that exercise makes you happy – right??

While it may be difficult to push yourself out of bed, being physically active is an easy way to reinvigorate yourself. Making a habit of exercise will reap you loads of benefits, including a healthier body (obviously), but also a clearer mind. Seriously! Make a jogging date with yourself, or engage in strenuous aerobic exercise (online videos are great for this) to shake up your routine and give your brain an endorphin rush.

Make a nice meal for yourself.

The quarantine has made me hopelessly domestic! I have found myself not only cooking a nice meal every weekend (dessert included) for my partner and myself, but I also genuinely enjoy this ritual (gasp!). Even simple things, like heating up a piece of meat, boiling rice, and adding a salad can be a disproportionately rewarding endeavor.

Clean, clean, clean!

If you are like me—and I suspect a few of you might be—all this time at home means that your living space is a bit more cluttered than you would like it to be. Do the dishes, throw away papers, and pick up the clothes. In your relationship with you, it is important that you give yourself a nice place to live with a bit less dust, crust, and socks littering the surfaces. Even just tidying up a little here and there can be a productive break when your mind begins to wander.

Treat Yo Self

In your relationship with you, it is important that you do nice things for yourself, both big and small. For example, this past weekend I made myself a mimosa as I worked on an important personal project. A bigger thing I did for myself was buy myself a nice necklace even though I have zero occasion to wear it out in the foreseeable future. Without a small act of kindness to yourself every once in a while (even as small as sleeping in, taking a bath, or granting yourself sometime to read for pleasure), your relationship with yourself will become stressful. This may sound silly, but think about the stress you bottle up. How much of that stress stems from the fact that you do not have time to do the things that you want to do? Exactly! So give yourself the gift of time every now and then (even though this may mean saying no to external commitments) and treat yo self 🙂

Managing any relationship can be complicated, especially the most important one, i.e. the one between me, myself, and I. It is important to check in on yourself, especially when things are challenging.

I wish you and yourself a beautiful quarantine!

Love,

Raven

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