10 Tips for Self-Care During Difficult Times

The devastation to our community from the recent natural disasters has been overwhelming; the loss and destruction heartbreaking. We have all been impacted. Even if we haven’t been directly affected, knowing beloved community members who have suffered, or even just hearing the emotional stories in the news, can shake us to our core. During these difficult times it is imperative that we take care of ourselves. 

While the idea of self-care may feel selfish and indulgent, in actuality the opposite is true. Compassionate self-care is critical so that we may find the strength to recover, heal, and continue to support others in our community. In the spirit of that notion, we at WELL Dermatology would like to offer these simple and accessible self-care ideas in hopes of providing a respite for you, giving you strength and comfort along this path to healing and recovery. 

1 • Nourish your body

In times of high stress, especially if we have been displaced from our homes and routines, eating a healthy diet can easily take a back seat. Reach for the rainbow!  Brightly-colored vegetables (and some fruits) are loaded with healthy nutrients. Think spinach, kale, broccoli, blueberries and apples. Be sure to incorporate healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and raw nuts. Buy organic and local when possible. A trip to the Farmer’s Market can be a fabulous way to support our bodies and our community. And stay hydrated with plenty of filtered water.

2 • Move your body

Your routine may have been turned upside down and you may find it difficult to make the time to exercise. Try something as simple as morning stretches or a 20-minute walk. Make it playful. Get outdoors. Join others. Perhaps dance to your favorite song, walk on the beach, or join a yoga class. Try to actively move your body each day. 

3 • Laugh & Play

Laughter and play are essential for our wellness. And yet it can be difficult to cultivate during such difficult times. It can feel inappropriate to enjoy ourselves, but we need to remember that pleasure is a vital life force. Laughter is truly healing. Find what brings you joy and make it a priority. Do something you love for at least 15 minutes a day. 

4 • Embrace rest & make sleep a priority

Our bodies desperately need rest during these challenging times. Yet sleep can easily get disturbed when we are under high stress and in new environments. Try to maintain natural sleep rhythms with consistent waking and resting times and commit to sleeping 7-9 hours per night. Take a nap if needed. Rest and rejuvenate. 

5 • Surround yourself in community & spend time with people you love

Make the time to connect with friends, family, and community. Perhaps gather with friends for a meal, join a yoga class, or participate in a volunteer event. Be sure to reach out and connect. We need each other right now. 

6 • Breathe

Intentional breathing has proven to have positive impacts on our well-being. Take long, slow, deep breaths.  Try four-square breathing:  breathe in slowly for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale slowly for a count of 4, and hold your breath for a count of 4; repeat. Practice this a few times daily.

7 • Take media breaks

Whether from the news or social media, it is important to not constantly expose ourselves to all of the intensity. Limit media exposure to 2-3 times a day. Try turning off notifications. And turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to bed.

8 • Practice Gratitude

Cultivating a practice of gratitude can be incredibly nurturing. Even in difficult times, take the time to remember the many gifts in our lives. Every day, take a few minutes immediately upon waking and just before falling asleep to think of three things that you’re grateful for - big or small, important or silly. Just be present and take time to notice. This simple act can have a profound effect on our health and well-being.

9 • Quiet time

Take time by yourself in quietude. Perhaps read a poem or sit quietly in meditation. Meditation apps such as 10% Happier, Calm, and Headspace can be very supportive. Just 5 minutes a day can be helpful. Connect with nature. Touch the ground with your bare feet. Take a beach stroll. Look up at the stars.

10 • Nourish your skin

Skin care can provide a beautiful ritual of daily self-care. Nourish your skin with well-crafted natural products. Slow down. Indulge. Enjoy. Try just a few minutes a day of gentle facial massage with a botanical serum, a healing facial mask, or dry brushing followed with a nourishing body oil.  

Suggested nourishing topical products:

Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk • MUN Anarose Rose Toner • Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator  • Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum • Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum • May Lindstrom Youth Dew • Kypris Beauty Elixir • Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 • May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon • Tammy Fender Quintessential Serum• May Lindstrom Honey Mud • de Mamiel Salvation Body Oil • Pursoma Resurrection Bath Soak

In the wake of the recent devastation that our community has endured over the past two months, we at WELL Dermatology would like to be a resource to any and all that may be in need of support. There is much healing ahead and we are committed to supporting you along this path.