The days are all blending together, aren’t they? While we may feel we’ve lost control of our lives (given what’s happening in the world), one thing we do have control over is making sure our physical and mental health is a priority. For me, there have been good days when I feel super productive and positive to days where I feel high anxiety, depression and I can’t even sleep at night. However, I have found there are ways to help keep things at bay, from little rituals to habits I’ve been trying to cultivate. I’ve started on new hobbies like DIYs of items I have in my closet and working on shooting creative concepts at home to keep my soul happy, but it takes a good mix of different habits and rituals to help your mind and body feel at its best right now. Here are a few tips I want to share with you guys on how to boost your mental and physical health.
Limit your Screen time and Read
I always enjoy snuggling up in a comfy corner and getting lost in a good book. Reading isn’t just good for your brain, but it also helps reduce stress and reduce your blood pressure. If you’re looking to reduce anxiety levels, I love a good spiritual or self-help book to help you deal with what’s going on in the world. If you want an escape into another universe, reading some page-turning fiction can really provide that! It can also give you a sense of connection to these characters and help you feel less isolated. I’m also using this time to read up on my favorite business-related marketing books to stay on top of my game. Call us old, but John and I love turning off the tv early some nights and reading to each other. It’s so soothing to have someone else read to you! If you have a partner or friend try it out. It’s the best way to soothe the mind and prepare your brain for a good nights’ rest while also giving your eyes a break from all the screen time you get in a day. Here are a few of the books I would recommend:
Obviously working out is important to help you work off all the snacks being consumed during quarantine, but getting physical is also proven to be great for your mental health. Getting your body moving can improve your mood by stimulating brain chemicals that help you feel happier, reduces stress and lower your anxiety levels. Excercise also delivers oxygen to other parts of your body and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. If you aren’t a fan of “working out”, any form of movement and physical activity works. It’s just moving around that matters! Do yoga, go ride a bike, dance around your room to your favorite playlist, learn a new TikTok dance (yup I do this sometimes for a little fun way to work out), chase your dogs… anything that makes your heart rate go up and your mind forget about any worries. If you want to try yoga or some sound baths to help get your body and mind in you can try Alo Moves at home. You can get a free 14 day trial to their yoga, fitness and sound bath classes which is awesome. You can also try Boho Beautiful for free on Youtube!
Self Care Rituals
I think in this time it can be easy to forget to do the little things like drink water, moisturize, take our vitamins or even pamper ourselves. What better time than now for self-care though, right? I’ve been loving indulging in my self-care and even give myself weekly pamper days where I put on my favorite playlist, light some candles and go all out. Here are a few things you can do to treat yourself: give yourself a mani/pedi, take a bath with candles and throw on a beauty mask, groom your eyebrows while drinking your favorite tea, try out a new smoothie combination incorporating all the vitamins or healthy powders your have. I love to add collagen and superfood mixes into my smoothies! Make sure to take some time to treat yourself even if that means taking extra time in the mornings to sit in silence with your morning coffee. Not only will it help improve your mood, but you also deserve it.
Limit news intake and screen time
This is kind of a no-brainer but everyone needs a reminder. With so much bad news happening now it’s almost impossible to not get stressed or depressed after looking at the news. While it’s important to know whats going on it’s also important to not be consumed by it. I’ve given myself a rule of only checking the news 2 times a day and never right before I sleep so I can get a good night’s rest. I also have found that limiting screen time in general (netflix, social media, online shopping) can really help my mind feel at ease. Studies have found that people who have too much screen time are more likely to be depressed and have higher anxiety levels. I’m not sure why that is but maybe because we aren’t spending enough time with ourselves and our own brains! Screens require our attention and too much time “outside of ourselves”. Try instead to do activities that will help you be more present and in the moment! Some fun ideas are board games, puzzles or diy projects (linked a few below).
I’ve always been a big fan of CBD and use it on the regular but right now I am more thankful than ever for it. If you aren’t familiar with CBD, it’s a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa plant, however it is not psychoactive and does not make you high at all! It comes in many forms and is used for many reasons like for anxiety, depression, PMS, for the skin in beauty products, for chromic pain or inflammation and more . Right now is a great time to use it for anxiety or stress. It really does wonders. I take my CBD in oil form on nights when I feel a bit worried and can’t go to bed. I prefer to use this oil and mostly take it at night before I go to bed and really love these gummies as well. For the face, I would recommend a good oil like this one which is very loved amongst skin care CBD fanatics! If you haven’t tried CBD yet, I think now is a better time than ever. Just make sure you get it from a reputable supplier like the ones I linked, there’s a lot of snake oil and crappy CBD out there!
SLEEP, DRINK WATER, LIMIT ALCOHOL
This one is so important, but it can be hard to fall asleep on time when we have anxieties and it can also be hard to limit alcohol when we feel it can reduce stress! Getting a good night’s rest is as important as exercise and eating healthy! It’s when our body resets and repairs so suffering from lack of sleep can impair your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep is linked to health issues such as depression. Along with getting enough sleep, drinking enough water is super important! Your body is made up of 60% water and it helps flush out bad toxins in your body, regulates body temperature, helps your brain function properly and also regulates your mood! The majority of humans don’t realize how many issues they have just because they don’t drink enough water. This is also why I think it’s important to lower alcohol intake right now. I know, trust me, I’ve been drinking (because it’s hard not to right now), but with moderation! Alcohol can dehydrate you and create an imbalanced ph level in your body. On top of that, it can also strongly affect your mood being that it’s actually linked to depression. I left this one in the same section as getting enough sleep because people who drink at night can sometimes wake up in the middle of the night due to the sugar levels in your alcohol spiking at weird hours. All in all, limiting alcohol intake, increasing water intake and prioritizing sleep will do wonders for you!
Take time to laugh
This one (according to me) is the most important!! Did you know that laughter can improve your immune system, boost your mood, and help you feel grounded and alert? Instead of watching movies that can increase anxiety/stress levels (like scary movies or dramas) or listening to music that’s kind of a downer (Sarah McLachlan comes to mind), try watching stand up comedians, fun shows and music that will make you feel good and happy! Laughter can be the best medicine!! Some of my favorite shows that make me laugh are Schitt’s Creek, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Friends (duh), The Good Place, Kimmie Schmidt, The Office and Portlandia!