Self-care is different for each and every one of us. Anything that helps you live your best life will improve your care of self. Regardless of what helps you, you’ll find that it’s quite a personal journey and is tailor-made for you and your health.
Lockdown has highlighted the importance of self-care more than ever. With the advice to stay at home, only travel if necessary, and to social distance, it’s hard to find a healthy medium for your body and mind. This pandemic has changed our lives drastically, not to mention the detrimental effects it has had on people’s mental health. Many of us have had to deal with loss, whether it be loss of loved ones, freedom or even our jobs.
But it’s had its fair share of positives, like setting aside time dedicated to yourself by relaxing and unwinding. Perhaps you thought this would be a good time to take up a new hobby? Or even get into your fitness?
Here is a list of small activities that may help you when you start to feel blue.
Disconnect from social media
Although our ability to connect with the wider world through social media has helped many people to live their lives throughout this pandemic, it can also cause serious harm. Taking a break can really benefit your mental health and make you feel less anxious as it helps you to work on mindfulness. Maybe you could dedicate a few parts of your day to do this, say two hours after you wake up or before you go to bed – always remember that emails can wait! Put yourself first.
Connect with friends and family
Maintaining a connection with loved ones is essential. During these tough times, this has become extremely tough. We want to protect others as well as ourselves by remaining socially distanced so digital has become the new normal. Since the start of the pandemic, Zoom, the video conferencing service, has been a real hit for holding meetings, classes, as well as families and friends wanting to connect with loved ones. A simple phone call to your mum, best friend or someone you care about will instantly make you feel so much more positive.
Go for regular walks
Having to sit at the desk from morning until evening is the perfect reason why you need to go outside for some fresh air. If you’re not receiving enough Vitamin D, you’ll end up getting tired by the early afternoon. Now that we can see an end to lockdown, it’s a great time to meet up with a friend for a catch-up.
Making the effort to go for a walk whilst having a catch up with a friend, no matter how long, will do you the world of good and will increase your mood and productivity. Walking and talking is a great form of therapy. It’s easier to unburden yourself of something that’s been bugging you whilst trudging along with your best friend in the open air, than sitting on a consultation room couch having to look a counsellor in the eye.
Read a book
Reading a book may not be the easiest thing in the world to do when you’re feeling sad and stressed. You have a million thoughts racing around your head, but reading a book is the simplest way to escape and enter a whole new world where your worries no longer exist. Living in a time where travel is just a dream and immersing yourself into the lives of different characters will transport you to a whole other place.
Learn something new
You may have always said that you’ve wanted to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill but didn’t have the time. The biggest advantage of lockdown has been that we’ve been made to slow down and think. Now that we have time, learning a new skill has never been easier. So, go and learn that new topic that you’ve always said you were going to learn. Perhaps even take up a new language, draw, or even bake. Maybe even start up your own business.
Treat yourself to ‘me’ day
Even if you can’t take the whole day off, try to take at least a few hours to pamper yourself. Go treat yourself to a facial or manicure. Now that hairdressers have opened, you can book yourself a hair appointment! Just do something you enjoy, something that really benefits you.
Or if you want to stick to an at home pamper session, what a great excuse to have fifteen minutes to yourself! Why not put on your favourite face mask? Gather some candles or a diffuser and spend time relaxing in a nice hot bath. Essential oils and candles are perfect for a self-care day as they alleviate the effects of stress on the body and aid in relaxation. When you take the mask off and get out of the bath, you’ll feel rejuvenated and relaxed – let’s be honest, we could all do with some relaxation.
Whatever it is that you do, do it in honour of yourself and how fabulous you are. Take this time to love yourself, as hard as that may be at times, and just be present with you and only you – you’ve got this!