We are challenging you to dedicate the month of May to intentional self-care. Why?
First, when you take time for self-care, everyone in your life benefits. Second, now more than ever, we all need self-care habits to help us navigate the unknown territory of the coronavirus. (Watch this phenomenal 50-minute video: Mental Health & Resilience During COVID-19).
Making consistent choices to invest in your mental, physical, spiritual, social, and emotional health – and then reflecting – is essential to living a life you enjoy. For 110 years, we’ve been guiding young people on the path to self-discovery and helping them thrive. We also call this WoHeLo: putting a focus on the importance of Work-Health-Love for every person. This month, we thought we’d put our expertise to work through the #HappyCamper Challenge.
What do you need to give yourself this month? It can be small moments or a bigger action. This is personal. This is all about what YOU need. As they tell us before every flight: “Put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.”
Already doing some self-care? Now is a good time to reflect:
New to self-care? Here are some things to think about:
Looking for a little inspiration? Check Camp Fire’s #HappyCamper Challenge playlist on Spotify, curated by Camp Fire National Headquarters Staff.
Stress is a word everyone is familiar with. Simply living as a human on this planet requires some levels of stress – feeding ourselves, getting the kids to practice, finishing a term paper. Generally, our healthy minds and bodies can manage these daily stresses and continue to function at a high level. We may not even realize we are experiencing stress because our bodies are able to adapt well and can return back to a neutral state once the stress has been alleviated.
I felt like, for the most part, my body and mind handled stress pretty well. Obviously there were times when I felt stress more than others, and I had to work a little harder to adapt. But generally, I could trust my mind and body to do what I needed them to do – keep me going.
Then COVID-19 came.
Stress has a whole new feeling and definition for me now. My workflow was abruptly changed. My daily routine halted. People in my house lost their jobs. Everything about my life changed and very quickly.
Pretty soon after, my appetite and sleep schedule started fluctuating. Then came the anxiety, depression, disassociation, intense joy, moments of clarity, and then an inability to concentrate. My mood was all over the place (and still is).
For a lot of us, we don’t realize we are experiencing stress until it starts to affect our minds: our mood, our ability to concentrate, the presence of anxiety. However, a lot of the time, our bodies actually react first, often in small ways that we tend not to notice. When we did the relaxation exercise at the beginning of this post, were you surprised to realize that you had been clenching your jaw all day? Or that your shoulders had slowly been tensing and rising closer to your ears? I find myself having to unclench multiple times a day. Our bodies hold on to stress just like our minds do.
So how do we manage stress, when so often it doesn’t come to our attention until it starts affecting our ability to function at our best, or, in the era of COVID-19, our ability to maintain a relatively healthy mental and physical life while so much is unknown?
A good place to start is beginning to create habits of self-care.
Young people want to shape the world.
Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.
In Camp Fire, it begins now.