Self-care without spending – Pandemic Edition

Black woman picking wildflowers

Hi Friends,

Since we are all doing our part hanging out at home, I found that quite a few of my targeted ads on social media surround self-care. A few brands are pivoting and creating “mindful” products to help pass the pandemic time, and while, I’m never one to knock anyone’s hustle. Most of us aren’t working, and we are budgeting whatever money we have to spend wisely.

For this reason, I would like to share with you how I’ve been self-caring, spending very little money or no money at all. Whether pandemic or not, I tend to spend a large amount of time alone. It’s the nature of my work as an artist and I love the solitude of being with myself. Naturally, this wears on the mind a little and caring for my mental wellness is as essential as brushing my teeth daily.

Journalling

I bought a book just for my “feelings” I find writing things down when you are in the moment helps to get it out. I especially encourage you to journal the old fashion way of using a pen/pencil and notebook. I also date all my journals. I do this to go back and read and assess how I was feeling at a particular moment in time. A number of my journals influence my art, poetry and other works.

extra tip: you can choose to save your journal once it’s full or burn it if you don’t want to revisit what you’ve written.

Planting

  • Cat walking through a garden of green plants such as hosts, ferns and hydrangeas.
  • a dahlia bulb sitting on the edge of a pot with dirt
  • tiny suckling of a plant held in a hand
  • tiny dahlias planted in a pot

I can’t begin to tell you the joy I get from planting things. The feeling of dirt between my fingers and toes. (yes, in the summer, I love to plant in my bare feet) Planting allows you to be one with nature and nurture and grow perhaps a flower or something to bring your body nutrients. In the summertime, My son and I planted a herb and spice garden. We drank herbal teas during the winter and enjoyed the spices we grew on pizzas and other dishes. Planting does not have to be a large endeavour, and Perhaps you have a backyard plot to plant a few things, a window box or a few pots of plants inside. Indoor tropical plants have been a favourite of people during the pandemic, and I’ll do more on this in another post.

Facetime/Zooming with family and friends

Most of us are all zoomed out, to be honest. Our jobs are over zoom, and our classes are over zoom, which contributes to the “zoom fatigue,” But you can break up the monotony of the zoom with people we care about, our friends and families.

Exploring Nature/Forest Bathing

Although people have been doing this for centuries, Forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice of being in nature. Shinrin-yoku directly translates to spending more time around trees, which reduces blood pressure and stress hormones. Since we live on the edge of the forest, we try to get out into nature as much as possible, rain or shine. I find I always return home feeling renewed and recharged. The benefits of Forest Bathing are numerous. The largest benefit I gain however is simply clearing my mind and allowing my thoughts to flow freely.

Making

Using your hands to create anything gives us a great sense of accomplishment. As a maker, I find this is an excellent way to self-care. For instance, I know quite a few people began making bread of all different varieties during quarantine, and it unlocked a sense of community and an accomplishment for most. When we make, we seek out instructions and share ideas with others; perhaps someone has a pattern you have not tried or a different take on a recipe you’ve already tried. The art of making can be as involved or personal as you desire.

These are just a few tips on how I have the last year. I am curious to know what you’ve been doing and how you are passing the time. Please let me know below.

PS. I have written a similar post to this two years ago which you can read here.

As always, stay safe, wash your hands and be kind to each other.

Natoya.

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