Telework experienced a major boom in 2020 and with it, we all experienced a variety of new trials and stressors. According to Owl Labs, “Almost 70% of full-time workers in the U.S are working from home during COVID-19.”(K.Celano, March 19, 2021). Working from home, I have learnt the importance of self-care, especially during a global pandemic. I am going to share some self-care tips from board-certified Music and Art Therapists as well as some tricks I have learned for myself this past year.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -Buddha
We often spend so much time working, taking care of personal business, running errands, caring for family… suddenly it’s the end of the day and we have to start it all over again tomorrow. This happens on repeat and I often find that I run out of time to take care of myself. When we work from home, this can be even harder because now work and home are the same location. It has taken time to learn self-care and to separate home and work. I make sure that at the end of day I put all evidence of my work away into a cabinet dedicated solely for that purpose. I also make sure that I always start and end my work day at the same time. Able ARTS Work therapists have also shared with me a few methods of self-care that they practice at home; maybe some of these will work for you.
"Regarding self-care, the activities I try to incorporate regularly in my routine include exercise, stretching, and artistic creation. I exercise regularly to improve my health and quality of life. I also try to incorporate longer stretching routines throughout my day to alleviate soreness from being seated so long during the work day. After work, I often practice songwriting and music production as outlets for emotional/self-expression." - Kassidy King, MT-BC
“Finding time here and there throughout the day to get up and move. Trying to take a walk around the house every two hours helps with keeping blood flowing and provides for a few moments to clear the head.” – Katie Prodanovich, ATR-BC, LPCC 7087
"I have been going to the beach during sunset and recording it as well as working out outdoors daily to get some Vita D!"– Able ARTS Work Board-Certified Music Therapist
"The only self-care management tools that have ever worked for me are regularly doing something to do with movement or fitness, and staying creative, usually in music; creating goals in different areas of my life and striving to achieve these goals. I feel that the way modern society is structured, most of our lifestyles are more sedentary in nature and with the pandemic, this lack of movement has become even more prevalent and normalized. I suggest MOVING when you can. Take walks, hoola-hoop, do yoga, learn a fitness routine - find something fun for YOU. I also suggest communing with nature once in a while, taking breaks from social media and technology, try routinely waking up super early, and mastering good sleep!" – Jesse Cantlay, MT-BC
“When I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed I find doodling in a sketchbook, or on a scratch piece of paper is very helpful. It releases the energy that is built up in my body and puts it into something creative. Creating this quick and simple creative piece also re-activates the right side of the brain and calms you.” – Katie Prodanovich, ATR-BC, LPCC 7087
“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama
It is important to practice self-care and to find time for yourself to recharge. Try to create time and space that is yours outside of work and personal responsibilities and explore to see what techniques you should adopt into your self-care practice. Feel free to try out some of the tips from our self-care list and adapt them for yourself.
Sign up for one of our workshops and learn some music therapy techniques and art skills to apply to your self-care. You can also sign up for asynchronous learning and watch pre-recorded lessons on your own time. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with more blog posts, workshops, and more.
Sydney Davis-Campos is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at Able ARTS Work, Learn for Life. She has a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History. Sydney has worked at Able ARTS Work for almost 5 years where she has also held the positions of Art Instructor and an Assistant Program Manager.