These are strange, uncertain and stressful times. As we retreat into the safety of our homes, the world outside has grown quiet. Our routines are changing, plans are cancelled and for those of us who are lucky, working from home means a very short commute. It is almost as though the universe is forcing us to take a moment.
As we adjust to this new state of being for a little while, it is more important than ever that we tend to our health, both mentally and physically. The current global situation may have forced us to pause normal life, retreat inwards and to focus our attention on our health and hygiene. But let’s embrace the quiet and find the joy in our circumstances.
Selfcare is one of those tremendously over used words. The WHO defines selfcare as:
‘…the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote, maintain health, prevent disease and to cope with illnesses. ‘Selfcare encompasses several issues including hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental and socio-economic factors. Promotion of selfcare is a means to empower individuals, families and communities for informed health decision-making.’
Though we all use the term to encourage each other to take time out for ourselves amid the chaos of life, both definitions seem entirely relevant right now. During this crisis we need to care for our bodies and minds. Give yourself a mini facial, manicure or pedicure. Take up yoga or try meditation. Schedule a cleansing and relaxing bath at the end of each day. Get enough sleep.
With so much emphasis on health and hygiene we should all relish the opportunity to focus on our own wellness, without feeling guilty.
Being forced indoors has its benefits. Having nowhere to rush to is the perfect excuse to find creative and inexpensive ways to pass the time. Or perhaps to revisit things you love to do, but no longer seem to find time for. Read a novel from cover to cover. Write a letter or paint a picture. Do a huge puzzle with the family, or try new recipes using items from only the pantry. Stay connected by arranging video drinks with family and friends. Take a walk at daybreak and enjoy the sunrise (exercise outside is allowed).
Do things that make you happy and try to find joy in each day.
At apaiser, we have been advocating the health benefits of bathing and simple pleasure of cleansing rituals for years.
Bathrooms can be wonderful places of quiet contemplation and refuge from the outside world. Private sanctuaries in which we cleanse our bodies and our minds. They are rooms filled with moments of routine and ritual that punctuate the beginning and end of each day. Whether you enjoy a long soak in the bath, or a quick, refreshing shower – bathing has the ability to calm, soothe, revitalise, invigorate or relax us.
There is even something ceremonial in the simple act of washing your hands – the method, the movement, the intention… It is one of those cleansing practices which, though often unnoticed, set a rhythm to our daily routine. As our most important defence against this health crisis we all need to be pay more attention to this particular ritual. With all that time spent at the basin, perhaps it’s time to update yours?
So, during this time lets be more mindful in the bathroom. It will keep you safe, help you to care for yourself and bring you joy each day!