There’s no question that stress is at an all-time high during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, as people are “social distancing” at home and are adjusting to a different schedule, lifestyle, and way of living. And so that stress and anxiety about the future can surely build up! That’s why self-care ideas can come in handy to help you calm those nerves, regain perspective, and to feel happier and healthier each day amidst this strange time and tough transition.
These seven self-care tips can reduce stress and keep it low, where you can appreciate the good things you do have in life and how you can better serve yourself each day and show some self-love. Creating a self-care routine will provide anxiety relief, and as you make it a habit, you’ll be able to reap the benefits long-term.
Whether it be through a nightly ritual that brings peace after a long, hectic day, exercise or movement that benefits the mind and body, or little practices that can improve your mood and mental health, these self-care ideas are easy to implement at home, are free or don’t cost much, and are super enjoyable.
Let these self-care activities provide an outlet to unwind and to boost your wellbeing—just when you need them the most!
1. Take a Bath
Instead of hopping in and out of the shower, create a self-care routine that consists of a warm bath at the end of the day to unwind and show yourself some self-care and love. You can play soothing music, light a candle, or pour a glass of wine if you like. “Romance” yourself and feel at peace.
You can even add in bubbles for fun or Epsom salts to aid in muscle recovery, which would be especially beneficial if you’re active or you’ve done a home workout that day. The Epsom salts have magnesium to ease sore muscles, so it’s a great self-care idea that will also prevent muscle damage and injury.
2. Have a Healthy Snack to Look Forward To
To break up the day, find a “snack time” hour that you can look forward to each day. Yet, don’t dig into a bag of chips or cookies—those are high in sugar and unhealthy fats and sodium, which will spike blood sugar and lead to fatigue in an hour or so.
Instead, grab something healthy, such as a protein bar or an oat bar, both of which have fiber, protein, and good nutrients to keep your mind sharp and to settle any hunger pangs you may be experiencing during that afternoon slump. Want to add more protein and good fats to the oat bar? Spread some nut butter on top! It’ll be extra creamy and smooth too.
You can also go for nuts, veggies and healthy dip, a piece of fruit with nut butter, Greek yogurt, or some cheese and whole grain crackers.
3. Workout at Home
Working out can boost feel-good endorphins to release stress and anxiety, and if it’s part of a self-care routine, it can keep stress at bay regularly and promote greater wellbeing in general. You can choose an activity you love—HIIT workouts, boxing, yoga, Pilates, barre, or dance. Do whatever you find enjoyable and you can stick with. Or go for variety and do a bunch of different workouts in the week, instead.
4. Try Meditation
Taking a moment to meditate and work on channeling deep breathing can not only help you unwind and relax but it can also be a great tactic to re-set the mind when that feeling of stress arises. Think of it as a way to re-focus and channel your breath and energy into feeling more productive and positive.
You can make it a regular self-care activity by starting the day with a 10-minute meditation or breath work each morning. This will get you going on a high note with a clear, centered and optimistic mind.
5. Write in a Journal
Journaling can be a great way to write down your thoughts, express gratitude, and let your mind wander. You can keep a private journal for yourself or share with others—do whatever is most comfortable for you.
Spending 10 minutes each day journaling can help you get in touch with your emotions and create happiness. For instance, write down three things you are looking forward to each morning in the journal—you will have a happier day off the bat! Or journal before bed and write down three things you were grateful for that day instead—you will fall asleep with happy thoughts and excitement for the next day to begin.
6. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Let your family and kids bring about happiness and do fun activities with them if possible. If you are quarantined with your family, round up the kids for a fun kid-friendly project, such as working on a crafts project or cooking a new recipe in the kitchen. Baking, anyone? If you are not with family during this time, you can always FaceTime them (or any friends you’re missing!) too!
7. Get Some Fresh Air
Find ways to connect with nature, as nature can improve wellbeing and help fight stress and anxiety. Take some free time to go for a walk in the day or after a meal (if the latter, that can help balance blood sugar too! Win-win!).
Or if you have access to a garden or greenery, take a stroll, plant something new, or just sit under a tree and have a picnic or read a book. Just being outdoors in the fresh air will act as a self-care activity to free the soul, cleanse the mind, and make you feel more at peace and connected to the world at large.