6 self-care tips you can do at home

We know that having to self-isolate to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is a necessary measure that we must all take to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. But we also know that it can be stressful. Being inundated with news on the pandemic and being away from our normal social circles can be hard to deal with.

So what can you do to decrease your stress? Our experts have some self-care tips you can do at home during quarantine:

  1. If you’re working from home, take shorter but more frequent breaks. Take a walk outside (remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others), walk up and down a flight of stairs, stretch, or connect with a friend. Even just spending a few minutes looking out a window could help you reset.
  2. Take care of your body. Eating healthy meals, exercising, getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and limiting your alcohol consumption can help boost your immune system. Regular exercise can reduce anxiety.
  3. Do things that give you purpose and meaning. Many in our community are more vulnerable to the impact of the novel coronavirus. You can help others by offering reassurance and emotional support, and if possible, tangible help. Check on your neighbors and safely help if you can.
  4. Take care of your mind. Constant searching, scrolling, or consumption of coronavirus news can make us feel more afraid and often powerless. Take breaks from media coverage and use trusted resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health websites for updates rather than checking sites that may have unreliable information.
  5. Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Reach out to others and offer support. Call your friends and family. Stay connected using video chat, texting, and emailing. Personal relationships are crucial in maintaining perspective and elevating your mood.
  6. Increase your feel-good activities. Whether it’s mindfulness, talking to your friends and family members, going for walks, journaling, or watching your favorite shows, now is the time to increase positive experiences in your daily schedule. For a quick stress reliever, UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center offers free guided meditations in English and Spanish.

Acknowledge and honor your feelings of fear and concern, and then do something to move forward and away from those feelings. For many of us, maintaining routines will help keep us positive, balanced, and mentally well.

This article reflects the expertise of Wendy Slusser MD, a pediatrician who volunteers at Venice Family Clinic and associate vice provost of the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA, and Mimi Lind LCSW, director of the behavioral health program at Venice Family Clinic.