Worrying isn’t making us healthier. Yet, during this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic, that’s all we seem to be doing, making us vulnerable to chronic stress. According to webMD, stress can affect all aspects of our lives, including emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health.
Here are five simple ways to implement some self-care into your daily routine to relax, unwind and give your body and mind the love it needs. The best part? You don’t have to leave your home to do it.
- Take a bubble bath. The only thing better than soaking in a warm tub filled with suds, away from the noise of the outside (or inside) world is to add Epsom salts and essential oils to it. Studies suggest Epsom salts provide magnesium, which helps your brain produce neurotransmitters, promoting sleep and reducing stress. Essential oils add a nice touch and leaves you smelling nice and your skin soft. This is my favourite relaxing activity to do after a long day, and it is the perfect set-up for bed (or more self-care practices). Try dimming the lights and lighting some candles to set the mood even more.
2. Give yourself a massage. Lather up with body oil or lotion (Moroccon Oil is my favourite) and rub your body from head to toe. Moving in circular motions and applying deep pressure gives your body the comfort and relaxing movement it craves, ridding it of the tension built up throughout the day. Massaging your feet and hands in particular (like in reflexology) helps calm the central nervous system and yields great benefits for things like digestion and immunity!
3. Put on a face mask. Choose from clay, cream, or DIY, and once a week apply a mask to your skin, close your eyes, and relax your mind for a few minutes. Better yet, set a timer, focus on your breathing, and make it a meditation practice. It’s also good for your skin, deep cleansing, hydrating, and can lift your spirits.
4. Follow a guided meditation or yoga class. If you’re itching for a new practice, are bored of your usual routine, or new to meditation or yoga, Youtube is your friend. Search for “guided yoga/meditation” and explore all the free options many people have to offer. My go-to’s, especially at night, are progressive muscle relaxation or in-bed yoga practices. Ease out those kinks in your neck from the day and prepare to have a restful sleep ahead.
5. Drink some calming tea. Put the coffee aside for a moment and reach for herbal tea instead. The soothing aroma of fresh herbs like chamomile or mint and the comfort of a warm cup in your hands, along with many other studied health benefits, produce a calming effect for our mind and body. Especially while spending more time inside your home, you don’t need the extra energy from the caffeine anyway.
Whether it’s taking some time out of your day to give yourself a couple of minutes of quality self-care time or as you’re getting ready for bed, be sure to do something your body and mind (and soul) will thank you for. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
What do you do to quiet your worries and beat stress? Let me know in the comments!