How to Practice Self-Care During Times of Crisis

How’s your self-care right now?

As I sit down to write this blog post, the world is facing an international crisis due to the COVID-19 virus. While none of us knows what is in store on this journey, I do know that it will all be okay in the end. 

But for now, we are each tasked with taking care of ourselves, our families, and others in our communities. During times of crisis, whether it’s a pandemic such as this or a personal crisis (like a break-up, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one), self-care may seem like a low priority. However, research actually shows that our ability to take care of ourselves under immense stress is vital.

What is self-care?

The phrase “self-care” gets thrown around a lot in the media and on social media. While you might think of it as activities like getting a mani-pedi, having a spa day, or getting your hair done (things that aren’t possible in some areas right now), there’s a whole lot more to self-care than that.

Self-care is the act of intentionally engaging in habits and
behaviors that support your well-being. 

The team at Lincoln Park Therapy Group has compiled this list of self-care activities, broken down by category, to share some common self-care activities and additional ways you can take care of yourself during these unprecedented times. 

Wellness & Exercise

  • Eat regularly and keep in mind that… Grocery stores are still open and some stocked better than other. It’s okay to eat boxed and canned food. Have fun experimenting with recipes. Bake and enjoy tasty treats. Frozen fruits and veggies can be good to stock up right now so you always have them to use in a pinch.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Keeping up your normal sleep schedule is important and will help your mind and body regulate itself right now.
  • Do something physical everyday. Go for a walk, a run, a virtual yoga class, or a bike ride.
  • Take a few minutes to stretch every morning or evening.
  • Practice regular meditation. There are lots of great apps with meditations you can use. Check out Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace, just to name a few. Even just 5 minutes of meditation a day can be helpful. If that feels like too much, start with 2-3 minutes.

Learning & Enrichment Activities

  • Use an app to learn something new. Duolingo is great to learn a new language.
  • There are lots of free master classes available now. If there’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, now’s a great time to pick it up.
  • Take a tour. Many museums, zoos, and national parks have created online tours available to the public – for free!


  • Clean out your closet.
  • Organize your junk drawer.
  • Deep clean your house.
  • Put your loose pictures into albums… finally.
  • Do your taxes.
  • Rearrange your furniture.
  • Weed the yard.

Stay Productive at Work

  • Stick to a work schedule as best you can. Putting a boundary around the hours you work can help you separate your personal life and work life while you might be working from home.
  • Refresh your website if you have one.
  • Tackle the “back burner” projects you’ve been putting off for months. By staying productive, you will help ease your anxiety and give your mind something to focus on.
  • Design a new product or service for your business.
  • Create a business plan for your “side hustle”
  • Clean out your inbox.
  • Give coworking a try. Focusmate is a great website for virtual coworking sessions with people around the world.

Stay Social

  • Have a date night – at home.
  • Plan a virtual happy hour with your work buddies.
  • Do a movie night with your friends. Netflix has created a way to watch movies “together” through their platform.
  • Check on your friends and neighbors. Many people are reconnecting with old friends and loved ones during this time. Check on a friend from college, text a neighbor to see how they’re doing, or call the family member you haven’t seen in a few years.

Indulge Yourself

  • Do things that make you feel good. Give yourself your own mani-pedi or use your eyelash serum
  • Spend a day outdoor. Sunshine is nature’s antidepressant and while activities might be limited, you can still spend as much time outside as possible.
  • Wear your favorite outfit.
  • Play with your make-up.
  • Make your favorite dinner.

Get Support

One of the things I’m most grateful for right now is how digitally connected our world is. Though we’re engaging in social distancing, self-quarantining, and stay-at-home orders, we aren’t cut off from social support.

Giving and receiving support though this time is crucial. Make sure to check in regularly with the people you love, reach out for help if you need it, and make an appointment with us if you find yourself overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, or depression. We’re all facing this crisis together.


If you’re in the Chicago area and interested in therapy services, you can learn more about starting here. Or if you’re ready to get started, reach out to us and schedule an appointment.