Amid COVID-19, for many, their day-to-day life almost seems to have come to an unexpected stop. With many being asked to stay home and seek refuge among Netflix series, Hulu binges, and maybe the occasional arts-and-crafts session, we sometimes try to forget or block out the realities taking hold. With the practice of social distancing becoming crucial, it's only natural to feel anxious, bored, unmotivated, or even frustrated for how to adjust to the new normal. But in these times, it's essential to prioritize self-care.
For many, what seems to be one of the most significant stressors is the lack of control of what's going on around us and in our future. The truth of the matter is we usually feel like we are in control when we can schedule and maintain many aspects of our day to day lives. But, while things are being pulled out from under us by a virus that we literally cannot see, many people find themselves feeling uncertain about what is to come. However, we believe that it is vital to take a moment out of the day for practicing positivity amidst all the craziness, whether this will be taking a moment to practice some self-care, or maintaining a routine that keeps your mind and body healthy. From getting optimal sleep to practicing mindfulness, here are a few different ways you can practice self-care during social distancing:
Stay On Schedule and Get Enough Quality Sleep
Did you know that keeping a well maintained and schedule sleep routine is one of the most important steps for practicing self-care during social distancing? Well it is true! For starters, we need to keep consistency where we can, especially when it comes to our bodies. In practicing this self-care step, try before bed to unplug and wind down without any screens. You can dim the lights and set an alarm for the morning to ensure that you're waking up at the same time each day of the week. While naps may be more readily available, try to avoid them if you begin having trouble with nighttime sleep as they can throw off your cycle. If you're having trouble sleeping, get up and do something quiet and relaxing instead of tossing and turning - grab a book or journal if needed- as laying in bed only serves to make you more anxious in bed and can worsen insomnia.
Stay Nourished and Well-Hydrated
We all now that in high stress environments sometimes all we want to do is eat a whole bunch of junk food. Let's be real here - it's practical, easy, and quick to do. But there are warnings that come from eating all that junk food in a time like this. For starters, there are numerous studies that have been found saying that a high stress environment can have a dramatic effect on the gut microbiome. This means that a high stress environment can potentially lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria and, in turn,cause a whole lot of issues when it comes to inflammatory symptoms. In staying on top of your digestion and your diet, boost your intake of nutritious vegetables and drink plenty of water, as well as avoid junk food as much as possible.
It is found that diets high in antioxidants and low in sugar can actually help to boost immune function and fight off viruses, while processed food and refined sugar wears the immune system down. With the extra time to stay in, this makes an opportune time for many people to get in the kitchen and play with herbs, spices, and other ingredients.
Another way to promote a healthy digestive system is by taking a probiotic, as they are an amazing agent for combating harmful bacteria. They also help aid in absorbing nutrients and proper digestion, promote a strong gut lining, reduce infections and inflammation by enhancing the body’s immune system, and optimize mood. Not bad for times like these!
Get Active to Boost Your Mood and Well-Being
When you’re stressed, your muscles tense up, making for some rather uncomfortable days. This, on top of being less active or mobile when staying home because of social distancing, makes staying active that much more important to overall health. Exercise reduces body's stress hormones, such as cortisol, and stimulates the production of endorphins which are your body's natural painkillers. If you are lucky enough to have Peleton or Mirror, these definitely make amazing options, but there are also plenty of other ways to stay active if you lack the equipment. For starters, many fitness gurus and gyms are offering free streaming-services of their workout classes that you can do within the comforts of your home. There are also several yoga, fitness, and other workout routines posted on platforms such as Youtube that are easy to follow. If you find your muscles being stiff or tense, try practicing self-myofascial release, a form of self-massage by way of foam-rolling. Self-myofascial release increases blood flow to the muscles and gives a gentle stretch to the fascia, which can help you feel more open, free, and energized.
Ease Anxiety With Meditation and Breathing Techniques
During this time, another crucial self-care act is the practice of meditation and deep breathing. For many, the feelings of panic, worry, and fear create the worst possible outlook and no protection during the pandemic. If anything, it makes you more vulnerable to it, as the immune system can't function properly when the mind tells it to worry. To combat this, in practicing mediation, you are rightfully stabilizing your mood. By meditating twice a day—once in the morning and again before bed—you can ultimately help in aiding your body to find the balance that it needs. If you need assistance, consider utilizing one of the many smartphone meditation apps, such as Headspace. And if clearing your mind completely feels too intimidating, try a breathing technique to help shift your state of consciousness.
So A Little Affection and Treat Yourself
This may sound silly, but a way to practice self-care can be found in the simple phrase of "treat yourself!" Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle don't have to be the only two to put this practice into action. You can treat yourself or others to a little something to get you through these tough times. For example, if you are looking for something to keep you active and motivated, invest in one of our many smartwatches or fitness trackers, designed to keep your fitness goals in check with it's sedentary monitor, pedometer, calorie tracker, distance tracker, and more. You can also treat your little ones to our PlayZoom, which as educational games and activities to keep them busy during these times of social distancing.
As we said before, while these times may be tough, there are certainly many ways to practice self-care and self-love during these times. Share with us what you want to learn to do during this time by following us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables and by dropping a comment and like. Check out new blog posts published daily!