How my self-care routine changed during pandemic and how important to have it





Some might think that self-care here in the Philippines is hard with all the things that are happening but there are ways.

Pre-COVID times, my usual de-stress routine is working in a cafe shop every weekend. I usually try to manage some blogging and freelancing duties during those times.

Some people think that it’s stressful. But somehow, going out on a weekend became a self-care routine for me despite the fact that I have some responsibilities and tasks that I need to do. What other people don’t know is that being a govt employee can really mess up your social life so a diversion of any kind is very welcoming.

The usual working hours shift of a government employee is 8AM-5PM but sometimes we get out of work around past 7PM or even later than that especially when there are things that need to expedite. Also, let’s not forget how we sometimes need to take some work at home for the weekends.

For some, going out on a weekend is a bit impractical but it was refreshing for me. It’s helpful in a way because I can relax over some good food and music (I dig Urban Brew’s playlist) while doing the things that I am passionate about, which is writing.

Saturday became a self-care day, and when I need to go to the office on a Saturday I still go out on Sunday just to take a break. 

Now with the pandemic, my schedule went out of hands. Yes, there are days that we are allowed to work from home and that gave us more time for ourselves since our travel time lessened. But there are negative sides of work-from-home setup and even experts warned us about it.

The problem with the work-from-home setup is that there is no boundary. Sure there required time in and out apps that some companies use online to track their work hours but for some people it’s hard to separate themselves from work and household duties.

PANDEMIC AND THE NEW NORMAL

For the first few months in quarantine, I had trouble. At first, I thought ‘yey, more time for myself’ but I was wrong. My sleeping schedule went crazy that I often find myself sleeping for just a few hours before I have to wake up for the next day.

My inner consciousness thought that it’s okay to stay up all night since I don’t have to prepare and travel for work. If I’m being honest, I was actually having the time of my life and I was productive BUT tired.

I was able to do work and finish my content calendar of this site up until September 2020. I was able to conduct interviews for various artists like Johnny Orlando, Declan J Donovan, Gavin Haley, and many more for a music blog The Daily Mix Mag.

But I got exhausted.

I found myself figuratively floating and resting for a week straight. I mean, I stop writing and doing the things that I usually do to relax me.


MY NEW NORMAL SELF-CARE ROUTINE

When started to be unproductive, I didn’t understand what’s happening or why I am feeling bad about myself. I found myself always decluttering and moving things inside my room because decluttering makes me calm.

But it’s not enough. There’s a point where I can no longer purge anything because I don’t have anything left. 

So I turn to reading novels online.

So yes, I read to make myself occupied but after a few days, I felt unproductive because after work I usually return back to reading and then I wouldn’t stop until it’s time for me to sleep.

To be honest, I’ve discovered a lot of self-care routines throughout this pandemic. And that’s the thing, sometimes you find a routine and stick to it and sometimes it will fade and you’ll crave for more.

Your self-care routine should not be about what’s working for other people because remember that what works for them might not work for you and what works for you might not work for them.

Self-care is a generic word but the routine should not be general and specific.

Now, the self-care routine that works for me that I think will not fade its effect is my self-care Sunday.

Every Sunday, I allow myself to be super lazy and pamper my physical body. Bathing every Sunday suddenly became something that I’m really excited about especially with my speakers on while blasting some cool beats and singing with my lung’s content.

I don’t have interest or likeness towards bathtubs but right now, I wish we have one.

Aside from tuning out of social media for the whole day every Sunday, I devote my day pampering myself, doing skincare, hair care, and other stuff while using my favorite products.

I don’t know when my excitement to self-care started, I just found myself more cheerful than usual when I’m about to do my self-care routine.

See? Self-care routine doesn’t require a lot of effort. Sometimes what’s comforting is a simple task.


BENEFITS OF HAVING A SELF-CARE 

“You cannot pour from an empty glass.”

Filipinos are known to be resilient to a fault, but it’s time for us to end the way we romanticized our resiliency and stood our ground for a better life.

There will come a time where you will feel depleted and exhausted with all the things that are happening around you and it can break you.

There are a lot of things happening but self-care here in the Philippines or anywhere is very important not just for your physical body but also for your mental health. Aside from having a chance to rest your body, it can also lift your mood like what it does to me.

Self-care during a pandemic is a lifeline and can serve as your boundaries with work.

Some people’s self-care routine during a pandemic is about eating healthy and that can trigger your body to relax which improves your energy level and prevent stress.

For me, I’m at a point where I am very particular with my physical health, and in return, my emotional health is also strengthened and that is very important, the balance of physical and emotional health, and it’s the best way to value yourself.

That’s not the end of it.

If you are well, both physical and mental, then you can nurture other people. You can help them because your glass is filled and sharing it with other people is a nice way to give back and inspire people to value themselves as well.




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