Staying at home might be relaxing for a few days, but after a while, it quickly starts to get old. It’s common to feel lonely because we’re missing friends and family. It’s common to gain weight from lack of exercise. It’s common to feel a little sad or depressed at the loss of normal routine and activity. But by practicing self-care, we can protect our mental, physical, and social-emotional health and reduce these effects. Here’s how.
Everyday Ways of Practicing Self-Care
The heart of self-care is simply taking time for yourself. Taking time to relax, to listen, to enjoy. Taking time to breathe, to sleep, to learn, and to grow. Taking time to just be.
Practicing self-care can go a long way to improving all aspects of health—physical, mental, and emotional—and it really doesn’t take much time or effort. Here are some simple everyday ways to practice self-care.
Take time for sleep
Sleep is incredibly important for overall health, and sadly, far too many of us don’t get enough good quality sleep. So during this quieter time, try to focus on spending some quality time with your bed.
Depending on how well you sleep, you might also want to make some changes to your nightly routine or even to your bedroom. Consider how much screen time you’re getting right before bed, how close to bed you’re eating or drinking caffeine, and how much light filters in through windows and halls.
Focus on healthy eating
The concept of “food as medicine” is neither a new nor a groundbreaking idea, but it’s one we all too often overlook. Sadly, the standard American diet is characterized by a high intake of processed foods, refined grains, and far too much sugar—all of which have been proven to lead not just to weight gain (and weight-related issues), but to poor overall physical and mental health.
During this time, when restaurants are closed and there’s no rush from place to place to fuel a fast-food run, try to make some time for a little healthy eating. That doesn’t have to (and nor should it) mean a strict or restrictive diet; instead, focus on making small changes. Add in more fruits and veggies. Swap out a packaged sugary snack for a healthier homemade variation. Trade take-out for a home-cooked meal a few nights a week.
Remember, true healthy eating is all about making small, manageable changes that can be maintained for a lifetime!
Exercise isn’t just essential for maintaining healthy weight and physical well-being; it’s essential for maintaining good mental health, too. But with gyms closed, how are you supposed to get in that daily dose of movement?
Daily exercise doesn’t have to be big; you don’t need to run miles or lift heavy weights. It’s just about getting up and moving. Head to your computer to try out a new yoga video or an at-home workout on Youtube. Run up and down the stairs a few times. Tackle some yard work or a home project. Crank the music and have a 5-minute dance party. It doesn’t matter—just get up and move!
You’ve probably heard that Vitamin D is good for you, but are you getting enough of that essential “sunshine vitamin”? For most of us, that answer is sadly, probably not. We spend a lot of time inside, between working, eating, and watching TV.
The good news is that it’s easy to reap the benefits of being outside—all you have to do is go outside! Have your morning coffee on the front porch. Take your computer to the back deck. Leash up the dog for a lunchtime walk. Just take some time get out of the house.
Meditation has been taking the wellness world by storm in recent years; it seems everyone’s trying a new app or darting off to meditation retreats these days. There are even scientific studies on the relationship between relaxation exercises and lowered stress and anxiety levels. So… why not jump on the bandwagon?
Getting started with meditation can actually be very simple. If you have a smartphone, try downloading one of these top meditation apps. You could also try out some relaxing breathing techniques. If you’re already familiar with the concept of meditation, you might even just relax to some soft music to give your brain a break.
Learn something new
Always wanted to pick up a new craft or learn a new skill? Self-care is all about taking time to work on all aspects of yourself—health, interests, passions, goals, dreams, and more. So if there’s some skill or hobby you’ve always wanted to learn, think about how you might incorporate that into your stay-at-home life.
Do something you love
Above all else, take time for YOU. Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of ourselves and our lives, on the things we truly love and cherish. Read that new book you’ve been holding off on. Make that dessert you’ve had pinned for a year now. Take out your old camera or sketchbook or journal. Listen to the music that makes you happy. Ask yourself, what do I truly want, right now? And listen to the answer.
Now more than ever, we’ve got to make time for self-care. Please, don’t hesitate.
Want Our Self-Care Recommendations?
Looking for recommendations on the best parks in the Triangle, our favorite wellness apps, or even what healthy food you should cook up this week? We’d love to talk! And hey, if you’ve got any home buying or selling concerns, we’re ready to answer any questions you’ve got. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.