Taking care of yourself is always important and especially so in times of crisis.
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Although it's a simple concept in theory, it's something we very often overlook in our day-to-day lives.
Not too surprisingly, in times of crisis—like responding to something as big and overwhelming as the COVID-19 pandemic—self-care often takes a backseat.
“The ability to care for oneself is predicated on the ability to consistently go inward and listen to what is there with open, compassionate ears,” says Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW, a clinical director at The Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor, Michigan in this article.
However, during stressful periods, we tend to focus outward, the article’s author explains. We diminish or disregard our inner life, ignoring our needs and limits. And yet, it’s during hectic or difficult times when we need to care for ourselves the most.
To help you spend some time focused inward, caring for yourself, so you can do better working and managing in today’s crisis, we’ve compiled these self-care resources—plus a few bonus “entertainment” resources for when you need an escape.
Mental Health Resources
Headspace: Free meditations you can listen to anytime
National Alliance on Meditation: COVID 19 resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Managing anxiety and stress
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak
Shrink Speak: Three-part COVID podcast
Brené Brown: Collective vulnerability, the FFTs of online learning, and the sacredness of bored kids (first episode in the Unknown Us podcast series)
Buddhify: Free meditation app
Calm: App for meditating (try for free)
Physical Health Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: App for wellness content and updates on the latest health information
Planet Fitness: Daily live workouts and a library of recorded sessions
Runners World: Article with links to free workout streaming apps
Yoga with Adriene: High-quality free yoga videos
Fitnessblender: 600+ online free workouts (no time limit)
Down Dog: Fitness apps, including Yoga, HIIT and barre all free through the end of April
Peloton: App is free for 90 days, no Peloton bike needed
Children/Family Health Resources
A way many of us reduce our own stress is by making sure our children and other family members are well cared for. Here are some resources specific to this part of self-care:
unicef: Tips for teenagers’ mental health during COVID
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Guide to helping families cope with the coronavirus disease
Crash Course: Free, educational YouTube videos
Entertainment ‘Escape’ Resources
OnBeing: A listening care package for uncertain times
Your public library: Many have collections of digital books, audiobooks, videos etc. accessible with your library card. Libby/Overdrive, Hoopla and Flipster are common ways to connect with library resources.
Let's Make Art: YouTube tutorials for water color painting/hand lettering/journaling ideas
Skillshare: Online courses to learn new hobbies/skills currently includes free ones and special membership offers
Met Opera: Free nightly live streams:
AcornTV: Streaming service now offering an extended 30-day free trial for new subscribers
Fender: Fender Play app offering three months free if you want to learn to play guitar, bass or ukulele
Duolingo: App for learning a new language
Blueprint: Online crafting classes
The Great Courses Plus: Currently a free month offer
I hope you find these resources both helpful and healthful.
Alecia Labove is professional development coordinator at CUES.