Self Care During Quarantine & the Coronavirus: 15 Practices to Keep You Healthy and Happy

Dr. Kimberley O'BrienBlog, Health, Mind Body Leave a Comment

Turn on the news these past few weeks, and it’s easy to feel a surge of stress and anxiety as we see the latest reports and developments in regards to the coronavirus.  Shops and restaurants are closing, vacations have been cancelled, there is tremendous economic uncertainty, and entire countries are in lockdown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Is this a stressful time? Absolutely. But, as an eternal optimist (in-progress), I also believe this time provides us with a massive opportunity to focus on our own self care during quarantine.  

What does self care during quarantine and the coronavirus look like? Today I’m sharing 15 self care practices to provide you with inspiration, along with additional tips to help keep your body and mind healthy over these next few weeks (and beyond)!  I hope these practices help you as much as they have been helping me these past few weeks. ❤️

Self Care During Quarantine

Self Care During Quarantine & the Coronavirus: 15 Practices to Keep You Healthy and Happy

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1. Lift Your Spirits With Aromatherapy

Scent has such a powerful impact on our mood!  Have you noticed this, and if so what are your favourite mood-boosting scents?  I LOVE anything that smells like the forest, and I’m currently burning a balsam and cedar candle as I write this post.  I also love diffusing essential oils, and my favourite blend is the Boreal Blend by Communion Botanicals, a fabulous local company here in the Kootenay’s.  Some of my other favourites when it comes to mood-boosting and nervous-system calming aromas, include lavender, ylang ylang, rosemary, rose, frankincense, and lemon.

A few simple ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine is to burn a naturally scented candle, light a stick of incense or to add a few drops of essential oil to your diffuser.  Make sure that you choose naturally scented products that derive their aroma from essential oils, not chemicals!

2. Set up a Video Call With a Friend or Family Member

Even better, make it a party with a group call! Thanks to technology, just because we are physically isolated from one another, doesn’t mean we can’t be more connected than ever.  If anything, now is a great opportunity to spend more time connecting with those you love.

3. Become a Bookworm

Do you have a Goodreads account?  Whenever I log into mine, I’m inspired by a long list of fabulous books that I have yet to read.  As you focus in on your self care during quarantine, now is a great time to bury your nose in an inspiring or uplifting book. I love memoirs, and one of my favourites is “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls.  When it comes to personal development, I’m a big fan of anything by Jen Sincero! What are your favourite reads?

Self Care During Quarantine: Bookworm

4. Relax in a Hot Bath With Epsom Salts and Calming Essential Oils

Epsom salts are high in magnesium, which is calming to your nervous system and helps to ease tension from your body.  I love adding a cup of epsom salts to a hot tub, along with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Light a candle, turn on some relaxing music, and feel the tension melt away! 

5. Calm Your Mind With a 10-20 Minute Meditation

Meditation is a fabulous way to relax your nervous system and to calm a worried mind.  My favourite meditation app is Insight Timer, which has hundreds of free meditations.  You can search by theme, and a few of my favourites include the gratitude meditations and those for mindfulness.  I also really enjoy the poetic meditation style of Sarah Blondin

Close your eyes, focus inwards, and start to breathe your anxiety away. ❤️

6. Listen to an Inspiring Podcast Interview

Podcasts are a great way to get inspired, and also to learn something new!  You can check out the Healthy Life Redesign podcast here, where I share health and wellness topics and interviews I know you’ll enjoy!  

When it comes to my own personal podcast listening, I love anything about entrepreneurship, positive mindset, nutrition, natural health, and travel. How about you? I’d love for you to let me know your favourite shows in the comments below this post! 

Self Care During Quarantine: Meditate

7. Grab Your Yoga Mat and Enjoy a Calming At-Home Practice

Mindfulness and movement… two of the most powerful ways to calm your mind and lift your mood, both of which are combined in yoga!  Whether you’re an advanced yogi or you’re new to the practice, adding yoga to your daily routine has plenty of benefits, both mental and physical!  Free guided practices can be found on YouTube, and there are also plenty of websites that provide low cost online memberships containing hundreds of classes. So, grab a mat and give it a try!

8. Get Outdoors and Move Your Body

Thankfully, most people are finding it’s still possible to get outside as a fabulous form of self care during quarantine (as long as you’re feeling healthy, of course!).  Jump in your car if necessary, and head off to the lake or forest where you can walk or run in nature. Inhale the fresh air, and feel the rush of endorphins as you get outdoors and move your body!

9. Cuddle With Your Fur Baby, or Even Better… Get Outside With Them and Play!

Do you have a dog, cat, or other animal to cuddle with at home?  Not only is snuggling-up or playing fetch with your fur-baby an amazing way to boost your own spirits, they will love you for it too! 

Self Care During Quarantine: Cuddle Your Pet

10. Stop and Smell the Tulips

If it’s not quite spring yet (it’s coming soon!), then treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet. Not only will the beautiful colours brighten up your home, the scent of the flowers provides you with another mood-boosting form of aromatherapy!

As spring does arrive, get outside in your yard or garden and plant flowers that you can enjoy outdoors!  Heading outside and getting your hands dirty in the garden is one of the best forms of self care during quarantine, or any day for that matter!

11. Start a Gratitude Journal, and Jot Down 5-10 Things You’re Grateful for Everyday

What are you grateful for, amidst all of the uncertainty and chaos of these past few weeks?

I’m grateful that my family is healthy.  

I’m grateful for the sunshine, which has been SO uplifting for my soul!  

I’m grateful to have a fridge full of healthy, immune boosting foods.  

I’m grateful for the ability I have to support my patients via telemedicine, after closing my in-person practice this past week. 

I’m also incredibly grateful for the technology that gives me the opportunity to connect with YOU here online.

I’d love for you to let me know a few things that you’re grateful for in the comments below!  By tuning into gratitude on a daily basis, you will feel your mood and energy start to lift in an incredible way.

Self Care During Quarantine: Gratitude

12. Fuel Your Body With Healthy Food

While stocking up on groceries, it may be tempting to buy a lot of packaged foods that have a long shelf life.  However, make sure you’re choosing options that will fuel your body and help you to maintain a healthy immune system!  

To prioritize your self care during quarantine, a few great veggies to stock up on include sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger (which can be frozen).  Canned tomatoes provide a great addition to soups or stews, and frozen vegetables are also always perfect to have on hand to add to a curry, soup or stir-fry. Frozen meat, canned fish, dried lentils, beans, coconut milk, curry paste, brown rice, and quinoa are also excellent staples from which you can create plenty of delicious meals!  

To enjoy healthy meals with less cooking, make a double batch of hearty recipes like my Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry.  You can easily freeze half of it to enjoy as quick and healthy future meals!

13. Curl up With a Warm Cup of Tea

Light a candle, grab a book and curl up with a warm cup of tea.  See how easy self care during quarantine can truly be?  

These days, my favourite warm beverage is hands down my Immune Boosting Tea, which I’ve been drinking almost everyday.  For additional inspiration on new hot drink ideas, check out my blog post where I’ve compiled 10 energizing alternatives to coffee.

14. Turn on the Music and DANCE

Get a sweat on, move to the beat, and HAVE FUN! Incorporating fun and movement into your day is so important.  What lights you up and gets your body moving?

Self Care During Quarantine: Ukelele

15. Discover a New Hobby, or Pick up an Instrument and Learn to Play

We all have lists of things we’d LOVE to do if we just had more time.  As many of our daily responsibilities of life are currently on “pause”, now may be the perfect time for you to follow through on those desires!  

Often it’s the simple things that light us up the most, but they get crowded out when life feels so busy. I love the idea of jewelry-making, colouring, learning pottery, and digging deeper into gardening (pun intended!), but these activities are always crowded out as others that are “more important” always seem to be prioritized first. I also have a ukulele hanging on my wall that I haven’t picked up in years, so learning to play a few songs is definitely high on the list of activities I’ll be prioritizing for my own self care.

Remember – You don’t always need to be “doing” and now is also an important time to just let yourself “be”.  Allow yourself to daydream, take a nap, and spend a full day watching movies if that’s what you’re called to do right now!  All of these activities are also nourishing and rejuvenating forms of self care.

In closure, I’d love for you to imagine yourself a few weeks or months from now.  You’re looking back over the time that you currently have ahead of you, reflecting on how that time was spent.  As you imagine yourself looking back, how do you see that you can make the most of it? How will you paint this blank canvas that you have in front of you right now?

This answer will be different for everyone.  Some people need rest. Others will use it as a chance to catch up on projects and tasks.  For some, it may be a time to reconnect with family and friends (even if only virtually). This can also be an incredible opportunity to focus on your health and fitness, perhaps by incorporating more immune boosting foods to your diet and by starting a new at-home workout regime.

What self care practice are you most eager to build into your routine?  Where do you need the most support? Let me know in the comments below!

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Self Care During Quarantine

About the Author

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien


Dr. Kimberley O'Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor in  Nelson, BC with expertise in the treatment of digestive disorders, fatigue and hormone imbalances.  She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan and the Real Food Recharge online programs.  Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!

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