It’s been over a year since the first case of coronavirus was reported and while the vaccine is quickly being implemented in many countries across the world, we are still far from the end of it all. If you’re like me and have long been feeling stressed and fatigued by the constant barrage of upsetting news, death of friends or loved ones, or just from being isolated in general, know that you are not alone. Here are some ways you can practice some much-needed self-care in times of the pandemic.
1. Stay Active
Exercise is good not just for our physical health but for our mental health as well. You need to create the right exercise routine for your level of activity in order to stay healthy. Exercise can be difficult to do these days, however, with many gyms and outdoor activities still restricted. Luckily, there are a ton of trainers and fitness experts who now offers their services online.
- Yoga with Adrienne is an online yoga instructor who posts daily YouTube tutorials that target different parts of the body or for different problem areas. Her videos last anywhere from five to 95 minutes, so you never have an excuse to miss a workout.
- Nike Training Club offers a variety of different free workouts you can do at home at different fitness levels. It also gives you wellness and nutrition advice from experts.
- Fitness Blender is another great YouTube channel that gives you intense workouts in a short amount of time. They link their videos to their website so you can filter them by target area, calorie burn, intensity, and fitness level.
2. Practice Meditation
You’ll need to work out your mind as well as your body in order to stay healthy, especially during a high-stress time such as a global pandemic. Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, minimize negative emotions, and even increase your imagination and creativity.
Take some time out of your day to zone out and practice mindfulness. Something as quick as 10 minutes of stillness can do wonders for your overall health. You don’t have to do 10 minutes all in one go. Just as with any exercise, you learn to build up to it. Start with 1 minute of stillness. Then 2. Then 3. Until you can go for longer periods. If you find that meditation is not your thing, you can still do things in a more mindful way. Try to tune out distractions when you’re doing one small task, such as when you’re washing the dishes, or drinking a nice hot cup of coffee.
3. Prepare a homecooked meal
Eating a well-balanced meal is always important but during stressful times, sometimes a delicious and healthy homemade meal is just the thing you need to turn a bad day around. You’ll even find that the process of preparing the meal yourself can be quite relaxing and uplifting, so much so that it can even improve your quality of life.
Call up your mom or dad and ask for your prized family recipe or look one up online. Or better yet, let your creativity loose in the kitchen and whip up something that’s entirely yours. Just keep tasting as you go along, and you might just surprise yourself with what you come up with!
4. Unplug and detox
There’s no beating around the bush – 2020 was an extraordinarily bad year with new horrific news popping up every minute. With the speed of the internet and social media, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and saturated by the deluge of bad news that’s coming left and right. While it is important to stay informed, it can take a toll on your mental health. Try to limit your social media usage to an hour or so a day, and your news to a few trusted sources. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media as an outlet or because you feel isolated, try taking a break and divert your attention towards a different activity, such as any of the ones on this list.
5. Make a playlist
Music is an excellent way to reduce stress. If you’re feeling down, just launch your Spotify or YouTube app and create a playlist with your favorite songs. You can share the playlist with your friends so they can add their song recommendations as well. You can make a specific playlist for specific moods, like one for dinner preparations, one to help you get up in the morning, one for coffee breaks, one to listen to while working, one to boost your mood, etc.
Your mind will benefit from having a tidier space to work in. You don’t need to do a complete overhaul and chuck everything you own in the bin all in one go. Instead, you can spend five minutes a day decluttering a specific space in your house. This is also a much less overwhelming way to organize your house. You can start with one drawer in your room, or one shelf, or even one folder on your computer. This can even be your five minutes of mindfulness a day.
7. Talk to your loved ones
Caremarketing.com has reported that their patients’ health have significantly improved after a quick chat with their loved ones, and many other home care facilities are following suite. While in-person meet-ups may be out of the question for now, you can still schedule regular calls with your friends and family through Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, or even just via text.
If things are getting a bit overwhelming, try to step out of your routine. Even if you regularly practice self-care, you are not immune to feeling burned out or tired from everything that is going on. Physically distancing and self-isolation can become lonely, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones when its all feeling a bit much for you. It’s just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical. We hope these tips have helped and that you’re staying safe during these uncertain times.