Your six-step self-care toolkit

Once again, New Zealanders are pulling together to stamp out Covid-19. In times like these, it’s more important than ever to take care of each other and ourselves.

The message is akin to one you may have heard before, flying to your destination: “Put your mask on first, before assisting others.” It’s key to take care of yourself, so you can be there for your loved ones.

Here are some steps you can take to cope with these times – and if there’s anything that we can help you with as your advisers, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Promote connection, promote wellbeing

As we adjust to the alert levels, it’s important to stay in touch with your wellbeing, and that of others. According to experts, keeping your connection with others ‘switched on’ is key to your wellbeing. It helps “feel safer, less stressed and less anxious”, as well as reminds us that we’re not alone.

So, make sure you check in on your ‘bubble’, call up older relatives and friends, and stay connected as much as possible.

Practise self-compassion

Self-compassion is about being understanding towards ourselves and accepting that sometimes situations can be less than ideal.

According to Kristin Neff, a key researcher in this field, you can try these three steps:

  • Being kind to yourself – Are you often a little too hard on yourself? You may want to turn the negative thought around to something more encouraging – just as you would do for a friend.
  • Recognising your humanity – Having a sense of common humanity can help sprout feelings of self-compassion. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, and has their ups and downs.
  • Being mindful – Feeling overwhelmed? Mindfulness is all about taming those negative feelings and thoughts, by being aware of the “right here, right now”, and bringing some steadiness to your world.

Following a healthy diet

The benefits of good nutrition are not limited to physical health, but also have an impact on an emotional level.

According to experts, what you feed your body throughout the day can affect your overall health, mood, and mental wellbeing. So, it’s a good idea to stock your pantry with greens, whole, high-fibre foods, and light snacks.

Movement is good for you

With more time indoors sitting at your computer, you may not find yourself as active as before, which can lead to feeling fatigued.

But the good news is, even moving around for a few minutes during the day can have multifold benefits. According to the Ministry of Health, movement is great for your body, your mind, as well as to keep those spirits up.

Consider doing moderate exercise for about 2.5 hours a week to release tension, keep stress at bay, and significantly boost your mood. Here are some activity ideas to try.

Take it one day at a time

When your work-life balance transforms as suddenly as it has, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

What might help is a break away from the ‘to-do list’ and taking a deep breath: one step at a time. Think about what you can do right now to help your situation, and what may belong to another day. Trying to tick off the more manageable things can really keep you going with the rest.

Last but not least, ask for help if you need it

Think you may need a helping hand? There are multiple resources and ways to help out there, and all you have to do is ask. Like this guide to help your mental wellbeing, and some parenting tips to support you and your kids. And remember – we are also here to help you, so if you have any questions at all, get in touch anytime.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.