Self-Care Tips for Essential Workers

If you are providing essential services during these unprecedented times, self-care is absolutely, well, essential! Stress can negatively impact your health and serving your community should not come at the expense of your own mental and physical wellbeing. Here are a few easy things you can do to show yourself some TLC.

1. Plan Something Fun

Having something to look forward to can be a bright spot in hard times. Plan a virtual get together with friends or family – play a game, share a meal or just enjoy each other’s company.

New to the virtual world? Zoom and Google both offer free video chat services.

2. Relax

When things feel overwhelming, carve out a few minutes for yourself to just breathe. The key to relaxation is to find what works for you. What works for one person may not be so relaxing for another. Not sure where to start? Try one of these:

  • Take a Walk

Walking relaxes body and mind. Walk alone or with a friend, enjoy the quiet or listen to music, an audiobook or a podcast while you do it. Walk in a park, near your home, or just in circles around the couch! Just find what feels good to you.

  • Get in the Water

Water can bring an immediate sense of calm. Whether you hop in a pool, the bathtub, or take a nice long shower, take a moment to relax and enjoy! If you have a waterproof speaker, turn on your favorite music for an even more relaxing time.

  • Clean Up

It may seem odd but tidying up can help you feel more at ease. Clearing out the clutter in your home, office, or car helps improve your mental clarity and gives you a sense of control in times of uncertainty.

  • Dress Up

Even if you have nowhere to go! A fun hairdo, freshly trimmed beard, a touch of makeup, or a favorite outfit can help you feel renewed and invigorated.

  • Laugh

Take some time to laugh this week! Call up your funniest friend, watch a comedy, or read your favorite comics – whatever it takes to get you chuckling. Sometimes, laughter can be the best medicine.

3. Ask for Help

Let go of the idea of perfection. No one can do it all on their own, and it’s OK to ask for help when you need it. If there’s a task you feel is looming over you, ask a co-worker or family member to handle it for you this round. Or, if you think some company could be all you need, ask to do the task together!

4. Be Prepared

Showing yourself love means showing up for yourself first and foremost. And when you’re an essential worker that means:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask and gloves
  • Keeping hand sanitizer and wipes on hand for when you enter your vehicle
  • Bringing healthy snacks with you to work to support in-range blood sugars
  • Having shoes and/or a change of clothes with you, just in case you get the chance for a quick walk

Remember that stress can manifest itself in many ways, including high blood sugars and weight gain. Don’t be discouraged! Take care of yourself and remember that your Care Team is here for you.

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