Take advantage of these stress-relieving self-care tips today.
It’s no secret that our lives have been upended lately.
We’re all working to adjust to a new normal where “social distancing” and “quarantine” are household words. Your world got a lot smaller a few weeks ago, and the change can bring about both social and physical stress.
While it’s important to implement self-care of our minds and bodies all of the time, it’s especially critical during times of heightened anxiety, like the ones we’re walking through right now.
Today, we’re sharing 10 tips for self-care that can help boost your mood, strengthen your immune system, and help you navigate the coming days with clarity and fortitude.
1. Feed your body well.
Quarantine snacks are real, and they are necessary!
That said, resist the urge to reach into the bag of potato chips every time you get a craving. Good nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system, and you need yours to be as strong as possible right now.
If there was ever a time to get creative in the kitchen, this is it!
Using the ingredients you have on hand, see what kind of nutritious meals you can come up with on the fly. If you need a little inspiration, some of your favorite restaurants and celebrity chefs are dishing up easy, make-at-home recipes to get you through this time!
2. Get enough sleep.
Your schedule might have cleared up significantly, but this isn’t the time to burn the candle at both ends.
During this trying time, you need more sleep than ever. While you doze, your body is hard at work, repairing your muscles, organs, and other cells. If you aren’t getting the recommended seven hours minimum, it can be tougher to bounce back if you do get sick.
Find yourself tossing and turning more these days? Stress-induced insomnia could be to blame. These tips, which include ditching the evening coffee and turning down the A/C, can help you drift off more easily.
3. Soak up the sun.
You might be stuck at home, but in most cases, you don’t have to stay indoors. When you need a mental break, go outside and soak up some vitamin D.
Take a stroll around the backyard, take the kids on a scavenger hunt, or bring lunch outside for a change. Whatever you do, use this time to connect with nature and give your eyes a break from the screen. Exposure to sunlight can trigger your brain to release serotonin, the feel-good hormone!
4. Try an at-home workout.
Gyms around the world are temporarily shutting their doors, but you can still get your sweat on at home. For a daily reminder to get moving, download a fitness app! A few of our favorites include:
All of these offer guided workouts designed for any skill level. In addition, many brick-and-mortar gyms are now offering virtual workout classes for free! A few of the top ones to check out include:
- Planet Fitness: Daily live streams on Facebook
- 305 Fitness: Cardio dance live streams on YouTube
- Orangetheory: Daily 30-minute workout videos on YouTube
- Gold’s Gym: On-demand and live video workouts
5. Draw a relaxing bath
Is there anything a good soak can’t fix? When the weight of the world is weighing heavy on your shoulders, sometimes the best solution is to dim the lights, play some soft music, and sink to your chin in a warm bath full of bubbles.
While we know they feel great, researchers show that there’s a scientific reason why baths are so relaxing. The warm water increases blood flow to your skin, improves lung capacity, and loosens your muscles. Draw one tonight and wash the worries away.
6. Declutter your space.
Take advantage of your new free time by organizing your home and getting rid of any extra clutter. While the idea of tackling this chore can seem overwhelming, remember there is no rush.
Keep it simple and try to clean one room per day. If you find anything you don’t need or use, decide whether to toss or recycle it. When you take it slow and approach it meaningfully, this exercise can be a therapeutic one, bringing peace and tranquility to your environment.
7. Practice mindful meditation.
Chances are your mind has been racing in a million different directions lately. There are certainly plenty of things to think about!
With mindful meditation, you can finally let it rest a little. This is the practice of focusing fully on the present, being acutely aware of everything you experience with your five senses. When performed for as little as 10 minutes, it can be like pressing the “reset” button on your day and mood.
You can meditate from any quiet place at any time. If you need a little help, apps like Calm and Headspace are filled with thousands of guided exercises. You can also use this time alone to pray, journal, or listen to soft music.
8. Exercise lightly.
You don’t have to emerge from self-quarantine ready to run a marathon or try out for the Olympics. This isn’t a time to push your body to the extreme but, rather, a season to nourish it.
That said, seek to move for at least 30 minutes per day.
Find a light exercise you love, and it won’t feel like working out. This might mean dance parties in the kitchen, walks around the neighborhood, or backyard soccer games with the kids. Get your heart rate going, your blood pumping, and your spirits up.
9. Stay in touch.
Social connection is a major part of self-care. If you’re feeling isolated, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family members.
Though physical distance might separate us, modern technology means we’re never more than a click away from the faces and voices of those we love. Hop on FaceTime and chat with your grandparents, schedule a Zoom meeting with your co-workers, or Skype your best friend in your pajamas.
Technology might get a little burdensome at times, but in this case, it’s a major blessing.
10. Schedule video therapy.
Taking care of your mental health is paramount, especially when you’re in the midst of a crisis. Understanding this, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional therapist if you need a little help adjusting right now.
Whether you visit one regularly or this is your first time, you can connect in seconds to a virtual provider ready to listen and share advice on ways to care for yourself. There are also myriad therapy apps available to help, offering everything from text-based support to professional online counseling.
Practice these tips for self-care today.
It’s natural to crave connection, harmony, and a healthy dose of normalcy right now.
While we all learn to adjust and lean on one another from afar, remember to listen to and respect your personal needs. These tips for self-care can help restore your sanity, renew your mind, and reset your mood.
If you need anything from our office during this time, don’t hesitate to contact us.