The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live their lives. More than a year after it has first plagued the world, many people have been used to working or studying from home. As people strive to protect themselves and their families from the virus while balancing commitments remotely, the new reality has caused more individuals to feel stressed and burned out.
Yet, self-care should be a priority. While some people think that taking time to do self-care is selfish, it is actually a need. Having a much-needed me-time can help people alleviate their anxiety and stress levels during this challenging time.
The physical aspects of self-care involve going to the salon for a much-needed spa and waxing appointment. Moreover, self-care can include different practices that promote one’s emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental health. These are behaviors that one takes to care for their own health. It includes eating healthy, doing leisure activities, having regular exercise time, and more. Here’s how to practice self-care even in the middle of a pandemic.
- Sleep healthier and better
Unhealthy sleeping habits can take a toll on your body and mental health. Your mood and immune system depend on how well you sleep. Getting quality sleep keeps your immune system healthy, helping your body ward off infections. Sleep is also an indicator of your mental and emotional health. When your body is deprived of sleep, you can feel more stressed and irritable.
Sleep is also important for your brain functions. Without enough sleep, you could feel irritable and less focused on work. This can cause you to make poor decisions.
The quality of your sleep is also different from its quantity. You may be sleeping eight to ten hours a day but feel irritable the following day. Improving your sleep quality is more than just allotting more hours for a snooze. Here are some tips to help you sleep healthier.
- Have a consistent sleep routine. Turn off gadgets an hour or two before bedtime. Set a time that is early for you to get enough sleep for the day. Train your body to go to sleep and wake up at the same time even on weekends or holidays.
- Limit your afternoon naps. It is best if you do not take an afternoon nap at all. But if you’re feeling tired within the day, limit your naps to a maximum of 30 to 40 minutes. Napping for longer may disrupt your sleeping schedule at night.
- Avoid caffeine and large meals before going to bed. Refrain from drinking coffee and tea with caffeine eight hours before your sleep schedule. The effects of caffeine can last for hours, and withdrawal from it can cause fatigue and headaches. At best, take your coffee in the morning. Avoid eating large meals an hour or two before bed, as it can keep you up at night, too.
- Work out regularly
Spending more time at home can make you feel unproductive. Staying active has its benefits. It can lower your risk of health issues while keeping your immune system at work. It also helps boost your mood. Physical activity releases happy hormones, such as endorphins, and it also helps you gain more focus. Working out also improves the quality of your sleep.
You do not need to go to the gym to do exercises. There are many simple workout activities available online. Choose a routine that you can do at home.
- Pamper yourself
Even in the middle of a pandemic, pampering one’s self is still possible. For some, pampering themselves means a whole day of sleeping in or spending an hour-long bath. For others, pampering means going on a beauty appointment to get a glow up. Whether it’s a home massage appointment, a trip to the nail spa, or a night alone with books, what matters is that you do activities that make you feel relaxed.
- Do house chores on the regular
Many people think that self-care is all about indulgence. However, taking care of one’s self means having to deal with things that can be dreadful. Your future self will thank you for changing the sheets weekly and for doing the laundry regularly.
- Encourage creativity
Having a hobby is important, especially during these days. Many adults have lost touch with their creative selves, thinking that creative activities are only for the younger ones. However, creative work offers a lot of benefits. It stimulates the brain and physical health, and it also helps an individual get in touch with their emotional self. Some creative activities include painting, baking, creating poetry, and exploring arts and crafts.
- Take social media breaks
For many, social media can be a source of stressful news. As people consume content excessively, it can take much of our time. Social media should be used with intention, and when it gets too toxic, know when to disconnect.
Self-care is important so we can navigate through these hard times. When we take care of ourselves, we become stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. It also allows us to care for others better.