The last thing you think of when you’re in the survival mode is self-care. However, it’s the first practice that comes to mind for people who are living in between homes. Yet, it’s a challenge to eat healthy (eat at all sometimes), get rest, and meditate.
I’ve lived between homes three times since September 2014. I have also lived with relatives but at least there I had my own room. There are times when I didn’t have access to a kitchen, a clean bathroom, or even a quiet space to rest.
I’ve lived in attics, grungy basements, temporary rentals, and hotel rooms. I have not lived in a tent or a car but the folks who do must practice self-care even under the most challenging circumstances.
5 Tips For Self-Care For People Who are Homeless
- Advocate for yourself
That’s even with advocates because you could get lost in the system given the number of homeless people at this time. Speaking up for yourself, setting boundaries, and saying no to uncomfortable situations is key.
2. Make sure you get adequate nutrition
This practice is the most challenging when you don’t have access to a stove, a fridge, or a place to store your food. Often, you have to buy already prepared foods which isn’t always healthy. Or you eat foods that are high in sodium, bad fats, or overloaded with sugar. This just leads to mood swings and weight gain.
See if you can find a friend or colleague who will allow you to cook meals at their home and store your food in their fridge. Or stay at temporary places that at least have some kind of a cooker and mini-fridge. This isn’t always possible but you might get lucky. Some foods you can carry in your pack such as dried and fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and protein powder packets.
Carry the basic supplements to ensure that you take the proper vitamins each day. This includes Vitamin D3, Magnesium (helps with stress), B12 (if you eat a plant-based diet), Vitamin C and so on. Keeping your body strength is crucial during times of high stress.
3. Find a Safe, Comfortable, and Quiet Place to Rest
You might not find a single place to stay. Perhaps, you rotate from different couches or sleep in a tent on some nights and couch surf on another night. Or perhaps, you are fortunate to have money to spend on a hotel or temporary rental. It’s absolutely important that you have this space to sleep.
Swallow your pride and ask your friends and colleagues for help. If they scoff at you or give you the cold shoulder than at least you know they aren’t true friends. It’s the times when we go through hardships that we weed out fake friends.
4. Buy Something for Yourself to Cheer up Your Inner Child
Your Inner Child is freaking out. This could cause you to feel irritated, annoyed, angry, sad, or in a rage. Buy your Inner Child something small even a colorful rock or a $1.00 coloring book and colored pencils. Or at least to take some time to do something delightful even if you think you should be looking for work or a home to rent.
You will have a better chance at landing a job or new home if you are in a good mood. So, appease the Inner Child and then be diligent in your search.
5. Find Work You Can do on Your Laptop
When you’re searching for a permanent home, you still need to earn money. But you need work that is flexible and that pays well. Look for remote jobs on LinkedIn or Indeed. Often these jobs pay you electronically such as through PayPal.
However, don’t accept a job with a writing mill but do find writing or tech jobs with legitimate companies that tell you their pay up front. It’s best to take a part-time remote job rather than a contract job. Or you can do what I’m doing which is to sign up with multiple editors of magazines and newspapers.
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