Taking Care for Yourself
The social, financial, psychological, and physical stress surrounding the pandemic continues to challenge us everyday. With the world flipped on its head, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or stressed by it all. This is a very normal response, and at the end of the day taking care of yourself may be the best thing you can do during this tumultuous time. It is important to remind yourself to go easy and take some time for some self-care:
- Get some sleep
We all know that sleep plays a huge part in keeping our brains alert and our stress in check. However, getting some good-quality sleep also helps keep your immune system running at its best by giving your body time to recover from the day’s excursions. Most people need around 6-8 hours of good-quality sleep each night to function properly. However, these hours serve as a rough framework of just how much sleep you should get and some people may need more or less. Ultimately, what matters is that the amount of sleep you must get should align with your body’s internal clock.
A general rule that you can follow is if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap or take a break, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.
- Practice Positive Self-Talk
According to a research paper done by the American Psychological Association, practicing positive self-talk and reflection can influence your ability to better regulate your thoughts, feelings, and behavior under social stress.
A great way to jump-start this practice is to appreciate and acknowledge both small and big tasks you do during the day. By celebrating these daily victories and remembering to tell yourself, “good job”, you are training your brain to soak up these positive affirmations. This will generally help shift your mood and thought process in a more positive direction.
- Stay Active and Work-Out
Staying active and doing at-home workouts can help your body release endorphins and in turn sharpen your focus and reduce the risk of chronic health issues down the line.
Thanks to the power of the internet, there are a ton of free workout routines and programs to choose from all at the palm of your hands. You may find free workout videos to follow on YouTube, or you may also opt to follow workout programs and trackers in some free apps like Rebel or Seven–both are found in the Apple or Google Play store.
- Take a Music break
There is no denying that music has the power to evoke certain emotions and moods. According to the University of Minnesota, music therapy can help people cope with physical or emotional distress by providing a brief distraction of the mind from the surrounding environment. By utilizing free music streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music, you can curate playlists that will help you identify and respond to the mood you are in.
- Avoid mindless snacking and eat more intuitively
Dieting and self-imposing strict rules on what dietary options are off-limits can often be disappointing, especially when you break your fast or rule. Intuitive Eating is all about treating your body with kindness. It is not a form of diet–it is eating in a way that addresses what your body needs when it needs it.
- Declutter your space when you can
Now that most of us are spending more time at home, it can often make us feel that our space is in constant disarray, and that the constant state of disorganization can cause us more stress and anxiety.
By creating an environment that feels good to you, we are able to also elevate the level of focus needed in our day-to-day lives. A good place to start is to allot a small portion of your day, even if it is just 5 minutes, to declutter a portion of your home. Instead of doing a complete overhaul in a day, you can start with a small drawer or shelf that needs to be organized, and in turn create a more simplified approach to decluttering your life.
- Practice sustainable living
When we create an environment where we embrace sustainability, we are not only allowing ourselves to lead a greener lifestyle, but also lay the foundation for a prolonged quality of life as well.
One of the many ways to practice sustainable living is to properly recycle your waste, use more natural and eco-friendly chemicals when cleaning your home, reducing the use of plastic-package products, and switching your lights and other electronic devices off when not in use to conserve energy. At the end of the day, reducing the amount of waste in your life is not only beneficial to you mentally, but is also physically beneficial to the environment as a whole.