DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Wellness Wednesday: Taking care of yourself post-pandemic

Wellness Wednesday: Taking care of yourself post-pandemic

Students offer the sign of peace to one another
Students offer the sign of peace to one another. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked fear and anxiety in a lot of people, and avoiding the virus wasn't the only health concern over the past year-plus: Protecting our general well-being also became important.

In a climate of stay-at-home orders and other lockdown restrictions, self-care meant something different, and it also looked different for many of us. Perhaps we couldn't lean on family and friends as we used to, or that quick walk or grocery run wasn't as easy or calming. Most of us also had to adjust to spending entire days without ever leaving our homes.

With more people being vaccinated daily, the world is beginning to open up. This challenges us to shift our behaviors to a hybrid that includes venturing out into the world and engaging in some of our pre-pandemic activities while still being cautious.

As we enter this next phase, here are some tips on how to continue to take care of yourself and prepare your mind and body to be a bit more social:

  1. Focus inward
    • Reflect and meditate on the past year:
      • Write down some things you learned (any "aha" moments).
      • Write down those things that you would like to stay the same and what you would like to change.
      • Note how you want to feel (mentally, emotionally, spiritually).
  2. Focus on holistic well-being
    • Take time to explore each facet of wellness, and write down a few things that come to mind:
      • Mental
      • Emotional
      • Spiritual
      • Physical
      • Environmental
      • Social
      • Financial
      • Occupational
  3. Translate your reflection into self-care goals
    • Connect your reflection and lessons learned to your facets of wellness.
    • Example:
      • Reflecting on the past year, I learned that I want to make my familial connections stronger. During the pandemic, I was able to connect with my family on a deeper level and to stay in contact frequently.
      • Focusing on my holistic well-being, I realize that I want to continue strengthening my social relationships, including family and friends.
      • Self-care goals:
        • Connect with my family at least twice per week via phone or video chat.
        • Connect with a friend at least once per week via phone or video chat.
        • When I feel ready, plan an in-person outing with a family member or friend.

Remember to reflect inwardly and ask yourself, "What do I need?" Sometimes the answer might be time alone, while another time you may need to spend time with others or try something new. Shifting our mind, body and spirit to becoming more social will take time. Do it at your own pace, and take the precautions you need to have a good time and feel safe.