Life might be feeling a tad stressful right now, with many of us practicing social distancing. As we are settling into a new way of life, it’s important to find adapted ways to de-stress and conscientiously take care of our mental health. Social distancing and lack of socialization are important, but not easy! We rely on those interactions to live a balanced life, and while that isn’t possible, we’ve come up with a few ways to take care of yourself.
How could we not start with self-care? But not just in the face mask and bubble bath sense - tried and true, however, there are more ways to take care of your body and mind. Self-care is anything that you do for yourself to feel good! It can be making yourself a healthy meal, curling up on the couch with a movie, or painting your nails. Whatever you need to do to enjoy your own company, free from work or distraction, to let your mind rest from the bustle of everyday life.
2. Take care of a plant
Plants have so many more functions than being decor for your home. There is scientific proof that taking care of a plant lowers your blood pressure, purifies the air, and has several other health benefits. Aloe plants are easy to take care of, requiring little water and only some sunlight, plus, once some of its leaves are large enough, you can use the aloe inside to soothe your skin or mix the aloe into a DIY face mask.
Meditation has so many proven benefits for your mental and physical health - but you don’t have to be a pro! It might feel like if you aren’t perfect at it, it’s not worth doing. Meditation is almost like exercise that way; it’ll take time to build up your meditation muscles, but worth it! Consistent meditation has proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and such related conditions. We recommend starting with deep breathing, or pranayama to get in the practice of mindful breathing.
4. Take a (forest) bath
Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku is a practice originating in Japan, which entails stepping into nature and using your five senses to observe and engage with your surroundings. It’s not hiking, there is no trail to be followed or destination. You can go in a group or alone, but it’s advised that you keep quiet to let every part of the experience sink in. Check out this guide to forest bathing. If forest bathing doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, or there aren’t any lush forests around, there are variations of forest bathing for city living. At the very least, taking a short walk outside will do wonders for your mind and body.
5. Turn off the screen
Working remotely pretty much guarantees working on a screen, and if the ping of notifications isn’t enough, the constant squinting at a screen tires your eyes, can cause headaches, and definitely contributes to heightened stress. If your devices contain metrics, you may have noticed a surge in your screen time. Once the day’s work is done, take time away from the screen. Some easy ways to break away from the laptop or phone is to shut it off during meals; so you can focus on connecting with your family or housemates.
All in all, what works for you is what’s best. While spending time in your own company, look forward to the return of the world back to normal. The time will come eventually. Until then, call your friends and family, enjoy the beautiful weather - safely, and try enjoying a slower pace of life.
About the Author:
Evelyn Ashworth is a second-year marketing student at the University of British Columbia. She is an advocate for ethical and clean beauty and business and is a face mask connoisseur. She's always open to learning more about making an impact in industry.