Who could have imagined a year ago that we would still be talking about COVID-19 and how to stay safe and keep your friends and loved ones protected from exposure? Yet, here we are, and not only is it important to take care of others, self-care is as vital now, if not more so than ever.
Self-care is a buzzword of late. It simply means taking care of yourself and doing things that are good for your body, mind, and spirit. There are intentional, scientific-backed ways that can help lift your spirits, give you energy, and help overcome down days and dark moods. There are a number of things you can do to continue to stay safe while also taking care of yourself. It can be as simple as taking a shower and getting dressed or more involved like making a self-care list with a number of things you’ll do each day or week to practice self-care.
Exercising is a great way to practice self-care and boost your energy and mood. You can get exercise while staying safe, too. All AC employees (part-time and full-time) have free access to Carter Fitness Center. They are currently open for staff, faculty, and students only. They do require mask-wearing and social distancing while working out, but there is plenty of space to do so.
Don’t want to go to the gym? That’s okay too. There are a number of apps and online platforms that allow you to work out in the comfort of your own home while also giving you a great workout. Check out this previous Badger Buzz post for a few stay-at-home fitness ideas.
The arts of meditation and prayer are nothing new. They’ve both been around for thousands of years. There are a number of apps that can be helpful, including the TAO app, offered free to students and employees of Amarillo College (see more below). There are also a number of prayer apps that could be helpful if you’re a person of faith.
Soak Up Some Sun
Get outside and take advantage of warm, sunny days when possible. This time of the year it can be hard to find a day that’s not cold and windy; however, when they come, be sure to get outside and get at least a few rays of sunshine. Just do it safely!
Make a Self-Care Checklist
Do you want to make sure you get in the habit of taking care of yourself each day? Try creating a self-care checklist. You can use one of these examples, or use those examples to create your own. But, don’t let it stress you out! Use the list as reminders of things you can do and enjoy doing each day - not things you have to do every day.
Take Advantage of AC’s Newest Resources
Amarillo College is also offering a few things that staff and faculty can take advantage of in the upcoming weeks to assist in your emotional and mental well-being:
Dealing with Stress During COVID (online workshop)
Dr. Kee has graciously offered to host a 3-hour workshop to help others and give some practical tools to assist in dealing with highly stressful situations during the pandemic: a loved one getting ill, loss of job or financial means due to COVID, and the potential or very real loss of a loved one.
Dr. Kee’s approach is to use methods from REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) to teach people how to deal not only with the extreme situations listed above, but his hope is that it can also help participants overcome those frustrating, but very real, situations like quarantine, social distancing, and wearing masks.
If you’re interested in registering for Dr. Kee’s workshop, you can do so HERE.
Staff and Faculty Support Group (in-person group)
AC’s Human Resources Department has partnered with Amy Spears, LPC, of LiveWell Counseling in Amarillo to offer a staff and faculty support group. Participation is free and completely voluntary. This 6-week group will address issues and concerns with stress, anxiety, grief, and more. Participants will learn about the pain cycle, the peace cycle, and learn practical steps to effectively self-regulate emotions.
The group will meet on Mondays from 12 - 1:30 pm starting February 15th and run for six weeks. The group will not meet the week of Spring Break and will resume the following two weeks.
Those who want to get more information or are interested in joining the group may contact Amy Spears at (806) 316-559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The TAO App is available for free to any staff and faculty (as well as students.) It may be helpful to think of TAO as an online library of engaging, interactive programs to learn life skills and to help you bounce back from disappointments or stumbling blocks in life. As you watch videos and engage with its interactive components, you'll gain the knowledge, self-awareness, and skills you need to achieve your goals.
There are a number of activities that you can do both at home and at work to help take care of yourself. Do something today, start something new or continue something you’ve been doing, something that’s good for you, and take care - self-care, that is.