We’re in an unprecedented time.
2020 brought more change in the last six months than most of us had in the last five years. If you’re feeling pressure, you’re not alone.
We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some resources that can help. Here are our seven favorite ways to take care of yourself—and they’re all free.
Meditation isn’t just for yogis anymore. Over the years, more and more studies show the benefits of regular meditation.
These are a few of the most common benefits people see:
- Improved self-awareness
- Improved immune response
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced anxiety
If you’ve never meditated, don’t worry. There’s many tools to get you started.
Headspace is an easy-to-use app that offers a two week free trial.
When your two weeks are up and you don’t want to subscribe, check out YouTube and Spotify. Both have many guided meditations you can use.
Meditation doesn’t have to be hard. Sitting by yourself even for five minutes, breathing deeply and observing your thoughts, can be a game-changer.
2. Get outside
Ever noticed feeling better after even five minutes outside? There’s science behind that.
When you go outside, you get vitamin D from the sun, which helps fight depression and illness.
On top of that, spending time outside is linked to increased energy, stronger immunity, and improved focus.
So, go for a stroll through your neighborhood, visit a local park, or hike a local trail. You might be surprised how good you feel.
3. Get moving
You already know that physical activity makes a huge difference in your physical wellness.
Exercise also has mental health benefits like reducing depression and anxiety.
Plus, it helps you sleep better at night. Anyone who’s ever struggled with quality sleep knows that good rest and feeling good go hand in hand.
And you don’t even need to hit the gym. Walking, biking, yoga, surfing, or Pilates are all great ways to get active.
Find something you enjoy so you can stick with it.
4. Host game day
2020 made us isolate to protect our health and communities. But not seeing friends and family can take its toll. (Sorry, extroverts.)
Reconnect with your people over a game night. You can do this over Zoom or at an outdoor space.
Games like cornhole and spikeball are good for more active crowds and mafia is better if you want something more relaxed.
If games aren’t really your thing, look for other ways to plug in with the people who matter most to you. Social connection is important for your physical and mental wellbeing.
5. Celebrate a self-care Saturday
Introverts, we see you and here’s your tip.
Schedule a self-care day.
Bubble baths and candles are great but so is a day of Animal Crossing
You know yourself, so you’re the best person to treat yourself right. Set aside some time and do it.
6. Give back
Giving back to your community can have a bunch of benefits for you. Those include short-term perks like a rush of dopamine (the neurotransmitter in your brain linked to pleasure) and long-lasting ones like increased life expectancy
There are many ways to do community work. If you’re passionate about the environment, you can pick up trash in your neighborhood. If you want to support social equality, find a march and join. If you love kids, find a way to volunteer with an after-school program.
There are many ways to do community work. Do what works for you and aligns with your interests.
7. Pause and reflect
Practicing mindfulness, or being in the present moment, can help you decrease stress and improve compassion, focus, and relationships. We live in such a go-go-go world, it can be hard to slow down.
Give yourself the gift of some time to pause and reflect. Practicing gratitude is a great way to be mindful.
Think about all the good things in your life. Write them down. Now focus on them. That’s it
You’re probably sick of hearing how trying these times are every time your TV show goes to commercial. But it’s worth noting the toll this year’s taking on you and actively working to protect your wellbeing. We hope these tips help.