These last few weeks have been tough, we get it. You’re either working from home now like millions of others, or perhaps you’re still going out into the world to brave these uncertain times in order to earn a living. Whichever the case, all of our lives have been upended in unique ways, and now more than ever, it’s crucial for us to focus more time on de-stressing, relaxing, smiling, thinking positively and maybe even enjoying this unexpected pause on our former state of “normal.”
In our new world of self-isolation, it can be mentally and physically draining continuing with our work schedules, homeschooling, preparing more meals at home, perfecting your home office setup and the myriad of other challenges that arise with trying to maintain consistency in our daily lives when the only consistency has been the ever-changing news surrounding the virus.
Let’s take a look at some ways to feel better by practicing self-care during these challenging times.
Get some fresh air. It’s April now, and likely the weather is getting to be pretty decent wherever you call home. Whether it’s walking, gardening, landscaping, yard work or even cleaning up after the dog, a little fresh air can work wonders to clear your mind and lower your stress levels.
Connect with friends and family. Sure, you can’t have girls night at your favorite restaurant or just drop by to see your extended family, but technology has made it so easy to connect via video chat, that it can feel just like you’re right there with your loved ones – while staying at a safe distance. If you’re used to chatting regularly anyway, that’s great! But if not, you can still take this opportunity to catch up with an old friend or even create more “quality” experiences like playing games together through video.
Dust off that former hobby. Maybe you used to be pretty crafty or jam out on the guitar. Your painting skills are rusty or your candle making supplies are taking up too much space. Life gets busy and things get pushed aside. Now, you just might have the time to dust off those bongo drums or that old keyboard. Maybe even shoot a quick video of your skills and share on social – there have been lots of inspiring stories of music bringing people together through these uncertain times.
Learn something new. We all have those ongoing mental lists of “things we’d like to do one day” – not necessarily a bucket list, but more a list of topics we’d like to learn about or skills to master, etc. Whether it’s a new hobby, a hair braiding technique, curiosity about a historical event or a unique sea-dwelling animal, choose something and expand your knowledge.
Pamper yourself. Before these last few weeks, you might not have spent much time on things like manicures, pedicures, skincare masques, etc. – or, maybe you just went to a salon or aesthetician to take care of these things for you. Since that’s out the window now, you can do your own self-pampering while saving yourself some money.
Perfect your hairstyling skills. You have your own hair routine and favorite go-to styles for work, play, the gym and everything in between, but now that you’re doing your regular routine a little differently these days, it’s time to experiment with different hairstyles, styling techniques like straightening, curling or crafting an updo, even parting your hair differently. Just the slightest of hairstyle change can make you feel refreshed and renewed while waiting for your favorite salon to reopen again.
Spend time with pets. It’s no secret that a furry little friend can help you feel better. Especially now with grim news headlines and cabin fever setting in, a pet can provide companionship, a shoulder to cry on and unconditional love. And, if you’ve always wanted a pet but were concerned about balancing its care with your busy schedule, now might be the time to reconsider your options.
Read. It’s a known stress reliever. It exercises your brain and builds your vocabulary. It battles depression and lengthens your lifespan. In addition to transporting your mind to faraway lands and testing the boundaries of your imagination, reading has many benefits. We’d love to hear what you’re reading – share it on social!
Work out. Physical activity is just as important as a mental exercise such as reading. Gyms are closed, but many trainers, gyms and fitness brands have expanded their resources to provide free or reduced-rate training through online platforms. There is no shortage of workouts available on the web, whether it’s a 7-minute interval training, an hour-long yoga session or something quite different. You can find body-weight workouts that require no additional equipment, specifics like kettlebell drills and even tutorials to make your own exercise equipment out of things you already have at home. Whatever you choose, get the blood flowing, the sweat rolling and you’ll most certainly feel better.
Expand your kitchen repertoire. You’re having more meals at home but maybe still sprinkling in a few takeout meals here and there. Chances are, you’re cooking more in general, so expand on that by finding and experimenting with new recipes. Or, if you don’t normally cook at all, now’s your chance to start with the basics. Cooking at home is also a great opportunity to eat healthier, as restaurant meals are typically higher in calories, fat and portion size. Your new at-home kitchen routine just might help you make better nutrition choices once things are back to normal.
Give your home some TLC. Since our homes are now seeing more of us, maybe it’s time to turn our attention to organizing, deep-cleaning, decluttering and creating a more livable space. With our busy lives, it’s easy to let mail or toys stack up, only do the basic surface cleaning and let our schedules dictate the cleanliness (or not so much) of our homes. Maybe nobody else is going to see your efforts right now, but tidying up can make you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Plus, looking around at a clean, clutter-free environment while you’re working from home can ease the burden of having to stay there, if only just a little.
Do the basics. If you’re having a tough time navigating this sea of uncertainty, like so many of us are, stick with the basics as a start. Take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed (pajamas to sweat pants?) and keep to a daily schedule. It’s easy to let things go and forget some of these basics, but a routine makes it easier to get back to your daily “before” once things are back to normal.
If you have a favorite de-stressing tip or other self-care ideas not included here, we would love to hear about them! Tag us on social and keep the conversation going through these uncertain times. We’re missing our guests just as much as you’re missing us, and we’ll be ready to serve you again as soon as we can.
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