The pandemic has been especially challenging for all of us. Whether you’re an essential worker picking up double or even triple shifts, a parent or student struggling through virtual learning, or just trying to make ends meet, no one can deny that stress and anxiety are at an all time high right now. That being said, it’s becoming more important than ever to remember to take care of ourselves in many different ways. Self care doesn’t just mean sleeping and eating and brushing our teeth; it also means taking time to do things that make us happy, intentionally setting aside moments to relax or recharge, and most importantly unplugging from the world around us.
Research shows that even a few moments of self care can make a huge difference in our daily lives. Self pampering triggers a biological response known as the relaxation response. This is a physiological reaction that lowers heart rate, blood pressure, hormone levels, and even our digestive functioning. Not spending enough time in the relaxation response can destroy your health, ruin your sleep and skin, and even cause your hair to fall out. The more you relax, the healthier you become. So how can you practice self care, especially during the pandemic?
Face Mask and Chill
Face masks are a universal symbol of relaxation and peace, and in this stressful time can be an extra luxurious way to pamper yourself. These days you can buy sheet masks almost anywhere and for many different price ranges, making it an affordable way to treat yourself. Throw a face mask on for half an hour and watch an episode of your favorite show. The cooling masks will depuff your skin and improve circulation, and the time off will be good for your focus and your brain!
A Tech-Free Walk
Go for an outdoor walk if you’re able to do so safely! One of the best ways to reboot our minds is through exercise. A walk outside in fresh air can help reenergize you, and the boost of good hormones that are associated with exercise help boost your metabolism and have been linked to improved moods and better health. Leave your technology behind and intentionally unplug to help yourself focus more on the sights and sounds of your walk and forget about the news for an hour.
Treat Yourself to the Extra Nap
If you’re finding yourself more tired than usual these days, don’t be worried- it’s a natural response to heightened stress. Constant anxiety or fear can drain our body’s battery, much like if you’d left your car’s lights on overnight and now the battery is dead. Even if you don’t feel like you did much of anything during the morning, make time for a nap in the afternoon and treat yourself to the extra rest and TLC your body definitely deserves.
Sleep, exercise, and time to yourself are three of the best ways to recuperate and unplug. These activities are also all easy to do while social distancing, making them great pandemic-friendly forms of self care. Next time you feel like you’re completely drained, try one of these tips to help rest and reboot!