It's no doubt that social distancing has affected us all. Day in and day out, we're watching bad news unfold in front of us. The presence of COVID-19 in our communities and in our homes is, undoubtedly, impacting our mental health. For some of us, our days are filled with stress and anxiety, which is why it's such a critical time to acknowledge the difference between self-comfort and self-care.
In the past week, I've come to realize that I've fallen into a habit: Practicing self-comfort regularly. Happily. Not only that, but I've given it the name "self-care." The two are regularly confused but are certainly not the same.
Self-comfort isn't a bad practice and can be a great way for us to escape reality, take moments to ourselves, and relax. During this stressful time, it's no shock that comfort is what we are craving. And sometimes, it can truly be what we need. But recognize that self-comfort doesn't heal the stress or anxiety we are feeling. It only temporarily numbs it.
We must also prioritize self-care and ensure we're giving ourselves healthy amounts of both.
My personal practices of self-comfort look like:
- Reading a book to escape my current reality.
- Having a glass of wine.
- Indulging in food that is unhealthy, but tasty.
- Taking a lazy day.
- Watching a movie to incite feelings of laughter, happiness or even nostalgia.
My personal practices of self-care look like:
- Talking about my stresses with someone I trust.
- Journaling to spill uncensored and unedited thoughts.
- Practicing yoga or going for a walk.
- Getting adequate amounts of sleep.
- Eating foods that energize my body.
Self-care is not always the comfortable option—more often than not, it requires more energy than we want to give. It's not the choice that will provide an immediate escape to your stress and anxiety, and it's often not the choice we want to make. However, self-care will have positive long-term effects on your life and your well-being.
So, in this stressful time, make sure to prioritize self-comfort and self-care. And know that we will get through this!
Haleigh Beasley is a Media Sales Consultant for REVUE West Michigan, an extreme wine lover, an enthusiastic smiler, and a busy traveler. She's usually spotted with a book in hand and writing for her blog, A Busy Beas.