In these uncertain times, the whole world seems to be in a state of stress and anxiety. We all have our own personal struggles relating to what’s happening on the planet today, and each situation is unique. But one thing we all have in common is that as humans, each and every one of us must practice self-care to help us get through this. Staying at home can present a varying set of challenges, and can definitely impact our mental and physical wellness. We do not have the same rituals and comforts that we did at the beginning of 2020...
Our world has changed dramatically and it can seem as though everything has been turned upside down in this time of crisis. It’s not easy for anyone, but we can find things that make it easier. Now more than ever, self-care is paramount. It’s important to prioritize our total wellness and care for ourselves properly to make the most of this. We can find ways to cope, maximize our comfort, and experience peace and calm amidst the chaos.
We’re stuck at home too, (solidarity!) and the good news about that is we’ve had lots of time to develop our own self-care rituals. We’ve put together a list of ten self-care tips to help you feel more comfortable and bring some stability and peace to your daily life. We hope it helps! Remember, we’re in this together.
- Prioritize proper nutrition. What we consume has a direct impact on our physical, mental and emotional health, so make sure you’re getting lots of fruits and vegetables (especially greens!). Taking vitamins helps too, especially since when we’re inside more, which can cause our Vitamin D levels to plummet. Vitamin D, which we usually get in generous doses from being outside in the sun, can help regulate moods. Many studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D to anxiety and depression. This vitamin also helps the body absorb calcium, which is important for bone health. Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster. But while it’s important to eat healthy, don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. Whether it’s chocolate, chips, or some other indulgence, allowing yourself to engage in some comfort food that may not be the healthiest is okay, and can help lift your spirits. Just make sure you do it in moderation, so you don’t get stuck in a cycle of unhealthy eating habits or overeating.
- Stay in touch. Trust us, we get how hard it is to not be able to hug or even hang out in person with friends and family. We know it can get lonely when you miss those you love. Technology can’t compare to the real deal, but it’s the next best thing, and it allows us to stay in touch with our loved ones without compromising our health or theirs. So embrace it! There are so many ways to connect with loved ones, whether it’s through email, phone calls, texts, or video chats with your chosen platform (such as Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc.) Now is an important time to stay connected and let the people who mean the most to us know that we care. It’s good for our own mental wellness to talk and keep in contact with people close to us as well. So take advantage of everything modern technology has to offer. You could even have a virtual game or movie nights. Staying at home doesn’t mean sacrificing relationships!
- Embrace your creative side. If you are one of those people who doesn’t believe that everyone has creativity in them, now is a great time to challenge that notion. We believe everyone has the capacity to be creative in their own way. So whether it’s drawing, painting, playing an instrument, crafting, starting a blog, or anything in between, this is an excellent time to find out what sparks the creative force within you. Take some time and think about what you’ve always wanted to explore creatively. Youtube, Pinterest, and Google are your friends in this case, as you can find in-depth tutorials for pretty much anything you can think of. This type of expression is excellent for your mental and emotional health, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge into creative waters! Keep in mind that you’re not shooting to become the next Picasso, Bach, or Martha Stewart - go easy on yourself, don’t expect perfection, and just lean into it.
- Play dress up. Just because you’re not going anywhere, doesn’t mean you can’t glam yourself up! You know the saying, “All dressed up with no place to go”? Getting dolled up just for yourself, just for the sake of it, can boost your self-esteem and make you feel more vibrant, which really can make a difference in your day. Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with a messy bun and PJ pants, and we aren’t suggesting dressing up every day (unless you want to, of course), but if you feel up to it, it really can lift your mood to put some makeup on, style your hair and dress up in your best clothing and jewelry. It’s a small thing, especially in such chaotic times, but we believe every little bit helps. Additionally, this is a great time to experiment with your look in ways you may not have felt confident in before. That bright orange lipstick or metallic blue eyeshadow taking up space in your makeup bag that you’ve been too afraid to try? Now is the time! Always wanted to rock a pearl necklace but felt you may not be able to pull it off? Now is the time! (We suggest our best selling “Aphrodite” Pearl and Leather Ribbon Necklace). No matter what your version of dressing up is, try it and see how it makes you feel! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
- Have a spa day at home. That’s right, pamper yourself! This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can simply entail a face mask and some cucumbers on the eyes, a nice facial steam with some essential oils in your shower, a bubble bath with candles., or anything that makes you feel refreshed and pampered. Little pieces of luxury are important to spoil yourself with, especially in times of stress. You could give yourself a massage with a massager, or, if you live with someone, you could take turns doing that for each other. Mani/Pedi are also great ways to feel beautiful, and they’re very simple to do at home with minimal products. Footbaths, hand treatments, exfoliation (with just sea salt if that’s all you’ve got) are all things that can be added to your home spa, so get creative and have fun indulging!
- Read for pleasure. Many of us get caught up in reading necessary materials for work or school, or reading the news, but now is an optimal time to take some books down from the shelf, or order some new ones, to read simply for the joy of it. This is an excellent and fun way to pass the time, and it allows you an amazing escape into another world. Escape is something we all need right now, don’t you agree? And while our phones certainly have the power to entertain us for hours, why not use this time to return to the beautiful simplicity of reading an actual book? Whether you re-read some of your favorites or spoil yourself with some brand new books, reading is very beneficial for your brain, and it can be a very welcome distraction while you’re riding this out at home.
- Get your sleep schedule in shape. Proper sleep is so important at any time, but in a time like this, it’s especially crucial to make sure you’re getting adequate rest. According to Sleepfoundation.org, healthy adults should aim to get between 7-9 hours of shuteye each night. Trying to get to bed and get up at roughly the same time each day can help regulate your sleep patterns and get you into a healthy sleep routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, perhaps trying a meditation on Youtube, or practicing slow, mindful deep breathing can help. If your schedule has become less busy as of late, it can be tempting to stay up all night and forgo regular sleep, but it’s imperative that you try to get as much rest as you can. Remember to change and launder your sheets, blankets and pillowcases often. A clean bed is a healthy bed, and a clean, soft bedclothes can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep. Your body needs it to cope with stress, and this is a very stressful time for all of us, so hop into bed and catch some healthy zzz’s.
- Move your body! We know you’ve been bombarded with videos of home workouts, and that can be overwhelming. It’s very important to get exercise, but make sure you do it your way. Don’t compare or hold yourself to an impossible or unrealistic standard. Instead, find your own flow with a fitness routine that works for you. The last thing anyone needs is to put more pressure on themselves at this time, so prioritize fitness for what it is; something that makes you feel good and keeps your body healthy. This can be anything from walking around the block (while social distancing, of course), lifting weights in your yard or home, dancing (Just Dance is a fun way to get a workout in!) or any of the countless yoga videos you can find online. So crank your favorite music and have fun with body movement. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. Respect your body’s limits and boundaries and exercise the way you want to!
- Keep yourself entertained. Don’t forget to take some leisure time to watch movies, binge-watch some good tv, play your favorite games, etc. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be incredibly productive during this time. We must be gentle on ourselves and not feel guilty for doing the things that entertain us, as those comforts can be very helpful in challenging times. Make sure you don’t get yourself into a cycle where you’re on the couch all day, every day, but don’t guilt yourself if you’re spending extra time on these indulgences. It’s the perfect time to get through your Netflix watchlist, and add more to it!
- Take technology breaks. We know it can be tempting to reach for your phone the moment you wake up, and to be more or less be glued to it all day, but it’s healthy to designate some time without screens each day and night. Technology brings us many wonderful opportunities to connect, but news, social media, and screens in general can overwhelm us in many ways. It’s easy to get caught up in an endless scroll, especially when you’re stuck at home, but try to prioritize time without a screen. Over-consumption of anything isn’t healthy, so work on applying this to your screen time and engage in moderation. Your mind, body and emotions will thank you!
We want to know, what are your self-care tips for getting through this challenging time?
Are you using any of these self-care tips? If not, do you plan to implement any of them? Let us know in the comments below! Stay safe, stay healthy, and if at all possible, stay home!
By Stephanos staff writer Stephanie Deline