This article originally appeared on ThriveGlobal.com on October 12th, 2020.
We’re all navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19. Parents are working from home, kids are attending school — some virtually, some in person, and some in a hybrid version of the two — and so many of us aren’t seeing the people we love as often as we normally would.
All of these changes to our way of life are difficult, and we may feel like we’ve lost our routine and rhythm. When we get out of rhythm, we sometimes lose sight of the most important aspects of life — particularly the things that affect our health and well-being.
One of those things? Self-care.
Even in the best of times, self-care can take a back seat to other priorities. But when we’re stuck at home with our loved ones, struggling to cope with the stresses of the pandemic and the happenings across the world, it’s easy to forget that self-care is just as essential as caring for others.
Here are four ways to make healthy living and self-care a priority for you and your family:
1. Find support in your community.
No one can do it all by themselves. When you make a commitment to healthy living and self-care, you need the support of those around you. Health IQ co-founder and CEO Munjal Shah says, “People must find a measured approach supported by the important people in their lives if they want to maintain results in the long run — it takes a village to sustain the pursuit of healthy living.”
2. Prioritize family walks.
Walking is a great, low-impact exercise. Not only can walking just 30 minutes each day prevent a number of life-threatening diseases and improve cardiovascular health, but it also lowers the risk of death. Best of all, it’s something everyone can enjoy. As a new mother of two, I know how hard it can be to find an activity that works for everyone, but taking daily walks is the perfect solution. It gets you moving, clears your mind, and betters your health.
3. Cook healthy meals together.
Gathering with others is important for our mental health, but it isn’t necessarily safe or possible right now. Instead, try cooking healthy meals with any family in your home while using either Zoom or Skype to bring others into the kitchen with you. Making a healthy meal together — even virtually — lets everyone share the experience. Not sure what to cook? Try a meal service like HelloFresh! These brands have huge followings of superfans for a reason.
4. Don’t put off healthcare!
Since the start of the pandemic, telehealth and drive-thru pharmacy services have made it convenient to keep your family healthy. With flu season coming up, getting flu shots when they’re available will be more important than ever. In short, part of your self-care routine should involve caring for your physical health needs.
Self-care is more than bubble baths and face masks — though both are great! It’s going for a walk every day, coming together for a healthy meal with your family, and leaning on your community when you need it the most. Times are hard right now, but prioritizing self-care will carry us through these challenges in even better shape than we were before.