Working through a pandemic has been difficult for many of us. To keep stress at bay and bring our best selves to both work and home life, it’s important to keep our hearts, minds, and spirits strong and focused.

Try one of the following self-care tips today. If you already do one or more, add another.

  1. Drink more water: The more you drink, the more you crave. During this pandemic, it can be easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated, simply because you are busy managing many tasks. Make it a habit to drink more water. Schedule a watercooler break with one of your colleagues where you chat on the phone while you each pour yourself a glass of water.
  2. Watch your food choices: During a pandemic where you are surrounded by the comforts of your home, it can be too easy to indulge in snacking habits that increase your waistline and make you feel sluggish. Baking cookies is far too therapeutic to not eat a few. That’s okay, just make sure to balance a cookie out with a helping of spinach every now and then. Manage your portions, pay attention to when you’re bored and staring into the fridge, and take a step back and decide if you truly are nourishing your body—or if you’re trying to fill your time or feed emotions.
  3. Take a sun break: Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins your body craves, and one of the easiest ways to get it is to take a walk in the sun. Turn your face upward, close your eyes, and soak it in. A midmorning break is the best time to make this happen—just get out before it gets too hot!
  4. Engage with people: Schedule phone calls with those you love, break for a snuggle with your littles, or plan a FaceTime or Zoom happy hour. Share your thoughts, talk about books, or trade recipes.
  5. Get some exercise: Schedule an early morning walk or a jaunt at dusk. Swing your arms and get your blood pumping. Exercise is imperative to feeling good, and if you schedule it during a time when you are relaxed, you can enjoy the sights just a bit more. Stop and bend over to smell a flower, stretching your legs. Focus on each muscle that is moving when it is moving and welcome the feeling of that movement.
  6. Pause each morning: Before moving from bed, acknowledge yourself. Pay attention to the things you want to accomplish and separate them from the things you must accomplish. Love the person, dog, cat, or book that is next to you for just a few minutes. Then get up and get started.
  7. Love thyself: You are strong, you are beautiful, you are good.

Taking care of one’s self means recognizing where you sit in your space; it means holding on to the meaning and purpose that belongs solely to you. Taking care of your self can happen in the simplest of ways. Now go schedule that call with your colleague or your friend. And kiss your cat for me.