Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Published in For Kauai Online:
By Sandra DelGado
Learning to take care of ourselves, requires a genuine act of kindness with a willingness to keep our immunity boosted during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of uncertainty and change it is essential to learn the basics to de-stress while caring for our families and community.
The art of self-care is an expression of resilience, a simple reminder to slow down our affected minds, trust the flow of life, and utilize this time off to truly be present with our families, ourselves, and all the worries, doubts, judgements and restlessness that we are currently feeling together.
Self-care is an active and conscious choice to engage in things that bring us more joy throughout the day, a way back into harmony with everything around us. It is important to reflect on how we are taking care of ourselves, and mentally handling the heightened states of anxiety, stress and fear.
For Kaua‘i is here to support you through the crossroads with some easy tips on self-care. In order to keep our aloha spirits lifted, let’s make a vow together, stating moments of gratitude for what we do have, and stand strong together as we navigate each day with more grace. Here are a few basic self-care tips to de stress and brighten your spirits.
Do something you love to do — be creative (heart hobbies)
Reconnect to nature and play
Doing something you love while you have all this extra time off work will increase your mood and create an atmosphere of peace. When we are in harmony with ourselves, we have crossed the bridge to the present moment, a moment in our modern world that is often super hard to navigate back too. Doing what you love brings a subtle sense of satisfaction to your day. Immerse yourself in a creative outlet that is centering, easy and fun. Do you like to sew, fish, sing, organize, or are you willing to learn a new skill like gardening?
These are just a few ideas you can try at home. Anything that speaks to your heart, let’s together call it a heart hobby, and know that it is known to integrate our mind/body into a rhythmic activity that will adjust your focus and relieve stress.
Another selfcare tip is too reconnect back to nature. Reconnect back to being playful in your day. Utilize this time to get silly, adding laughter and light-hearted games to get you and your family through the days of being at home together for longer periods of time than usual.
Being in nature is known to bring you back into balance of mind, body and spirit. Kaua‘i has an infinite amount of nature spots to visit. Take a stroll in your neighborhood, perhaps set up some tents and build a fort for the keiki in your backyard while you learn to make a new healthy dinner for the family, maybe take a virtual yoga class online out on the lanai, sip a cup of matcha tea while watching the sunset. Making memories in times like these is way more important than making money. Trust that everything is going to be OK. Take at least 30 minutes out in nature every day, move your body and train yourself to take longer exhalations in your breathing, as longer exhales release tension.
The final self-care tip is learning to practice mindfulness, an ancient and learnable skill. Mindfulness is used to regulate emotions, increase a positive attitude and reduce stress.
When we are stressed out, our emotions begin to be demanding and sometimes can take over, creating a negative mood. By bringing more awareness to our reactions, judgements and feelings, we begin to understand how we operate and learn how to create calm in a world of disorder.
The most basic step in mindfulness is to focus on the present moment; stop comparing the future with the present and holding onto the past, just focusing on what’s wonderful in this moment. Close your eyes, feel your body rest down into your heart space, imagine you have swallowed the sun, and the radiant light is now beaming inside you, protecting you and raising your immunity system to stay strong during our quarantine.
Now take five breaths, move from shallow breathing to an expansive inhalation and rise up your positive energy field.
I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to enter into a calmer state of mind, using basic self-care tips. From here, state two things you are grateful for and send that wish out into our community. If you want more guided mindfulness practices, check out the number one free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress, called, insight timer, this is my daily app I use and perfect for everyone. The app has tranquil music selections, talks and guided practices for all ages.
Together as a community, we will get through this time, and we build our immunity systems together. The last thing we need on top of all this uncertainty is stress, so take time today to nurture yourself and your families.