Even before COVID-19, I was a big advocate for self care.
In my work as an integrative health coach, I encourage women especially (though hello guys, I see you and work with you too!) to take care of themselves, so they can continue to care for who and what’s most important to them.
And now, from all angles, we’re all being asked to do just that worldwide. We must care well for ourselves, so we can care well for others.
So we wash our hands, and we wear our masks, and we cancel our meetings. And we work from home if possible, and we share the toilet paper!
In this moment, our family, our neighbors, and complete strangers need us to take care of ourselves. Both for us and for them.
And as it turns out, one of the gifts of COVID-19, the coronavirus that’s invading our nation and affecting most of the world, is that in our best moments, it’s forcing us to stop and think:
- How can we care well for ourselves?
- How might our actions and interactions – and our lack of action – affect others?
- And, what’s the next thing we need to do – or not do – in these uncharted waters?
This mysterious virus is forcing many of us to slow down, take ourselves off auto-pilot, and make choices.
And when I think about it, the questions that COVID-19 raises about self-care aren’t unlike the ones we discuss in integrative health coaching, where we focus on changing lifestyle habits in order to reduce or avoid chronic disease and promote healing and holistic health.
What habits must we change, now and for the future?
When I work with clients on creating new habits around eating, sleeping, moving, or other lifestyle issues, we don’t always see clearly how those personal choices affect anyone but us.
What food we eat, how much sleep we get, how we manage our stress – it all adds up. It affects us, and that, in turn, affects others – whether we see it clearly at the time or not. We’re all connected.
Caring for ourselves IS caring for family, neighbor and stranger. And that’s whether we’re talking about the invisible spread of COVID-19, or the fallout from not stewarding our body, mind, and spirit well.
Self-care is stewardship, for ourselves and our world.
We’re all infinitely connected, all the time. And another of the gifts of this coronavirus is in how it’s highlighting those ways we’re all connected. That’s in a society in which it feels we’ve become so disconnected. In ways visible and invisible, our connections to community, nation and world cannot be broken completely.
We need each other.
Now, and in the future.
We need the people who take care of us to take care of themselves – now, and in the future. And we need to care well for ourselves, now and in the future. That allows us to continue to care well for what and who matter most to us.
COVID-19 isn’t what any of us had in mind, but maybe its lasting effects will be that we remember, long past its end, how we’re all connected. And then, may we continue to act with purpose, for ourselves and others.
Hi! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. I partner with people who want to create new habits to improve their overall health and well-being. Click here if you’d like to work with me through coaching, and subscribe to my Well Check emails here.