Remember all those things you planned to do when you first entered quarantine? Things like, get super fit, learn a new language, clean out the closet, cook a gourmet meal, and read three novels. Haven’t completed them? You’re not alone.
Many of us have veered away from the healthy resolutions we set on “day one” in favor of easier, more comforting options. We’re choosing more wine over water (no wonder liquor sales are up 55 percent over the same time last year), reaching for chips over carrots, and our workouts often consist of moving from bed to the couch.
Sound familiar? Don’t be hard on yourself! Isolating is tough. Our regular routines have been thrown out the proverbial window. We’re missing friends, family members, work, and school. Plus, we’ve become emotional ping pong balls, bouncing between boredom, stress, and anxiety multiple times a day. Luckily, getting back on track is pretty easy.
These effective self-care tips will help you while away your time while donning a smile beneath your mask.
Move Your Body! These days, it is much easier to get fit without hitting a gym. And researchers have repeatedly found that regular exercise can help our mood (by reducing stress, anxiety and depression) as well as our overall health (by reducing inflammation and lowering our risk of illness and disease). Walk around your neighborhood for a refreshing way to soak up some fresh air and vitamin D. Or change things up a bit with an at-home workout. Many companies are currently offering free online classes – Including US!! From yoga to cycling to core strength, you can find a slew of lessons to follow from the comfort of home. Before or after your sweat fest, join one of our free LIVE Streaming stretching classes. You can join a class right from our main home page. Stretching is key to relieving pain and tension.
Spend Time in the Kitchen. The easiest way to avoid eating junk food is to have healthier options on hand. Chop up fresh veggies and fruit and store them in containers in the fridge. When you’re craving a snack, head there instead of the cookie cupboard. For bigger meals, try planning the menu ahead of time so you aren’t left scrambling for ideas. Challenge yourself to make a dish from a different country every night to change things up a bit. You may find you actually enjoy being in the kitchen, plus it will help break up the day and create a routine. According to a study published in the journal Genes & Nutrition, cooking and eating food helps “give structure to daily life,” which is something we could all use a little more of these days.
“Chat” With Friends. Choose your favorite video conferencing platform and book a call with friends or family members you miss the most. Whether you play a virtual game, enjoy a meal together or merely catch up verbally, seeing your loved ones can improve your mood. According to psychologist Susan Pinker, socializing directly with another person can do wonders for our overall health, decreasing stress and anxiety by boosting our levels of oxytocin, which can lower cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone).
Set Limits on Your Devices. Ever fallen into an internet time warp? You know what we mean – you set out to scroll social media for a mere 15 minutes and before you know it two hours (or more) have passed? Save your sanity, and your eyes from the blue light, by setting limits on your device. Block your most tempting apps after 30 minutes or an hour to prevent yourself from getting sucked into the black hole that is social media. Seriously, how many Corona virus memes do you really need to see in a day? Too much screen time can lead to depression, anxiety, and can lead to serious sleep issues, found researchers from the University of Haifa.
Take a bath. Soaking in a hot bath can be as good for your health as exercise, found a study published in the journal Temperature. According to the researchers, you can burn as many calories by relaxing in water that’s at least 40 degrees Celsius for an hour, as you would by walking for half an hour. Bathing can also lower a person’s blood sugar after eating. While bathing shouldn’t replace your exercise routine (which is necessary to keep your bones strong, joints supple and disease risk down), soaking appears to be a great way to relax, get clean, and possibly reduce inflammation and blood sugar. Pass the bubble bath, please!