It’s been 7 months since the start of the global Coronavirus pandemic and there’s no doubt that it’s taken a toll on human mental wellbeing. In fact, the amount of stress placed on people around the globe has caused searches for self-care solutions to skyrocket. With all that competing information, it can be overwhelming and challenging to find the type of self-care that works best for you.
What is Self-Care?
Before we move on, let’s discuss what self-care is all about.
Self-care is a deliberate action that you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The term “self-care” may seem new, but was coined in the 1950s by the medical community and spread rapidly due to the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Panthers in particular were huge proponents of self-care, providing food, healthcare, and educational programs for their communities.
Today, self-care has come back into public discourse as a means of combating the stress caused by the world around us. However, self-care isn’t just lighting a candle and putting on a face mask. Here are 6 kinds of self-care you should be practicing!
Physical self-care is typically what comes to mind when referring to self-care. Any steps that you take to improve your physical body fall under the category of physical self-care. Here are a few examples.
Exercise - Don’t let the prospect of exercise intimidate you. We’re using exercise as a general term for moving your body. Going to the gym, taking a short walk, stretching, yoga, and more all count.
Spa Day - Sometimes a relaxing day at the spa is all you need for a reset. However, if that’s not feasible, there are plenty of options for an at-home spa day. Light a candle, put on a face mask, and soak in a bubble bath. Don’t forget to use some Aloe Infusion Face and Body Cream when you’re done for soft, glowing skin. Get yours here!
Emotional self-care is by far the most important to practice. A healthy emotional being is vital to processing and coping with stress in a healthy productive way. Here’s are a few ways to practice emotional self-care.
Journal - Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out, especially if they’re weighing you down. You don’t need to do any “dear diary” lines either. Just let a stream of consciousness flow out.
Meditate - Meditation is a fantastic tool for calming both the mind and body. Plus, it’s easy to get started! Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Thoughts popping into your head? Totally normal. Pretend your thoughts are clouds, floating by in the sky. With just a few minutes of practice each day, you’ll notice a difference in your emotional state.
In a time of isolation to reduce the spread of disease, we can start to feel quite lonely. Humans are incredibly social, so it’s no surprise that social wellbeing is a component of self-care. While we need to be careful with how we socialize, here are examples of safe socialization.
Check-in - Social distancing doesn’t mean interacting with loved ones has to stop. With the advancement of technology, not only can we call, text, and email friends and family, but we can video chat with them as well. Both you and your loved ones will benefit from seeing each other face-to-face.
Date Night - We get it, going out on dates isn’t feasible at the moment. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night! Pick a new movie to watch, plan a special dinner, or just go with a stroll around the neighborhood. Bring the romance home!
The brain is the powerhouse of your body. Not only does it help process your complex emotions, but works to understand and make decisions about the world around you. Give your mind a break with these tips
Pick Up a Hobby - Everyone needs a side project that they’re passionate about. Through a little trial and error, you can find yours. Not sure where to start? Think back to when you were a child. What was an activity that you loved to do? That will give you a starting point.
Listen to a Podcast - Instead of listening to your own inner thoughts, try listening to the thoughts of others. In a world of endless audio, there are thousands upon thousands of podcasts for you to choose from. From cooking to parenting, and true crime to comedy, you’re sure to find a podcast you enjoy.
Sometimes it’s our environment that gives us the most mental and emotional stress. Here are a few ways to spruce up your environment.
Go Green - No we don’t mean compost or recycle (though that wouldn’t hurt to do). We mean buy some plants. Science has shown that indoor plants purify the air, increase memory, and decrease stress. Not sure if you can keep a plant alive? Opt for a low maintenance plant like a succulent!
Clean Up - When we’re in the thralls of stress, cleaning is typically the last priority. Unsurprisingly, a messy room can be a great contributor to stress. If your mess feels overwhelming, start small and take breaks. Before you know it, you’ll have a clean room.
Sometimes it feels like the professional world never sleeps, and to and extent, it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you have to let it overwhelm you. Here are some tips for taking the stress out of work.
Use a Calendar - It might seem obvious, but often the easiest way to keep your work life in check is to plan. Keep track of what assignments are due and when to eliminate any surprise deadlines.
Keep Work at Work - When it’s time to clock out, turn off your notifications for any work apps you may have. So often we bring work home with us and now with social distancing, you may literally be doing work at home. When the work is done, shut down your computer, switch off your notifications, and leave work behind.
Everyone experiences stress, but not everyone can overcome it. It’s important to stay grounded and practice self-care in order to combat what life throws at you.
Do you have any self-care tips? Share them in the comments below!
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