Self-care during self-isolation: how to deal with the overwhelm

We’ve been living under different lockdown measures for 8 months as of writing, and this COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our lifestyle and our lives as we know it. 

As we all do our best to take care of ourselves and our families in these challenging and uncertain times, self-care is a critical tool we must turn to. Being cooped inside and self-isolated doesn’t mean your physical and mental health should suffer. There is a lot we can do to maintain a strong mind and body despite the chaos we are all facing today.

This excerpt is from Dawns: A Weekly Devotional for Self-Care and Spiritual Growth, co-authored by Isa Garcia, Janina Marie Rivera and Ida Torres, published by OMF Literature, the leading publisher and distributor of Christian books in the Philippines. The book is a helpful guide that we can use to practice daily self-care. 

Through these actionable steps that we can take everyday, we can be able to take better care of ourselves and show up as the best version of ourselves. 

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What To Do When You’re Too Overwhelmed

At one point (or maybe more than a hundred points) in your life, things will become just too much. Too many items on your to-do list. Too much pressure from your boss. Too much anxiety over things you have no control over. Too many people in the room with you. Too much anger over a situation. Too many things on your mind. When faced with too much, here are some things that you can do.

Talk to God. Don’t make this your last option. You don’t have to say a “formal” prayer. Make your prayers as normal as breathing. The more you talk to God, the more natural it will feel to turn to Him when things get too overwhelming.

Breathe in, breathe out. The act of physically taking a deep breath and releasing it after a few seconds can help your brain and your heart slow down. Do this a few times until you feel calm enough to think with a clear head.

Step out/away. If you need to leave a roomful of people, do it. If you need to walk away from a person you’re talking to, do it. When you need to leave that to-do list and walk around for a few minutes, do it. When you’re ready to face whatever needs to be dealt with, go back.

Read, watch, or listen to something. It sometimes helps to do something that is so far from your current, overwhelming task just so you can get your bearings back. Read a few chapters from a non-school or non-work book. Watch a few minutes of your current favorite show. Listen to soothing (or rocking!) music. The idea is to get your mind off things, if only for a while.

Sleep. Yes, sometimes, you just need to fully rest.

This is an excerpt from the book entitled Dawns: A Weekly Devotional for Self-Care and Spiritual Growth, co-authored by Isa Garcia, Janina Marie Rivera, and Ida Torres. It is available at OMF Lit Bookshop and other leading bookstores nationwide and can also be ordered online through OMF Literature.