Life in 2020 has become more complex than ever before, and the ongoing pandemic has pushed us to change how we perceive our wellbeing and how we care for ourselves every day. Suddenly, mundane habits such as washing our hands regularly have become essential segments of our self-care routines, and we pay more attention to those subtle body signals trying to indicate that we need to tend to our physical needs more. We have become more attuned with our bodies and minds, but the excess stress we’ve been experiencing in the past several months have still left their trace.
To combat that stress, prevent more of it from accumulating and causing further damage, and to do our best to take care of ourselves, we need to rethink self-care once again. Here, we’ve listed a few tried and tested, 2020-approved self-care habits that should become the foundation of your own routine, or at the very least, its portion. Here’s what you can do to cherish your wellbeing every day!
Infuse your sleep with serenity
We all know how essential quality and consistent sleep is for our long-term health and longevity, as well as disease prevention. It’s during the night that our body repairs itself and restores its energy levels for the next day’s challenges.
However, when you’re under added stress, it’s a good idea to infuse your sleep with relaxing habits and set up your own unwinding ritual. For example, it’s good to use scented candles to serve as your soothing aromatherapy at home right before bed, and then you can unwind with a good book and the scent of lavender helping you relax and boosting your sleep quality.
Preventative steps to safeguard your health
Following government recommendations when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus should become a natural aspect of your self-care mindset. After all, by taking care of others who might be more susceptible to getting sick and those with chronic health issues, we contribute to the overall safety of our communities. At the same time, preventative measures such as wearing a surgical face mask help us protect others as well as ourselves when we run those daily errands such as grocery shopping.
Masks combined with washing our hands and using hand sanitizer when appropriate are all helpful during these trying times. It takes little effort and even less time to perform these actions, and yet, they can make such a tremendous difference. Consider your hygiene and these preventative measures the pillars of your own wellbeing even after the pandemic passes.
Micronutrients to add to your diet
If you have a balanced diet, you likely have little to worry about in terms of your immune system. Consuming seasonal, versatile foods packed with lean protein, healthy carbs and fats as well as vitamins and minerals makes it easier for your body to ward off illnesses and keep you energized.
However, if you are to boost your immune system with supplements, some of the most commonly recommended options include vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc, precisely because of their immune-boosting properties. Of course, it’s always best to first check with your physician to make sure you’re relying on healthy food sources, and then enrich your diet with supplements that will help defend your body from pathogens.
Social distancing and bonding
You might be one of those people who love to show their affection with hugs, kisses, and holding hands with friends as well as family. Now, in the era of social distancing, you might find it increasingly difficult to connect with people on a meaningful level and enjoy those somewhat limited interactions.
While you might not be able to go out for a cup of coffee with your best friend so frequently (if at all), you can schedule weekly Skype chats where you sip on your favorite beverage and talk. You can start a shared folder on the cloud where you add photos and notes of what has brought you joy every day that you’re not able to see each other – it might grow into a shared journal of so many little reasons to be happy.
Physical activities that heal and strengthen
Although most of us associate exercise with physical wellbeing only, the simple truth is that workouts are essential for mental health, emotional stability, and our overall health. Gyms might not be the best option now, but you have other opportunities to explore. For instance, what about jogging in your local park, swimming, or taking up an online class to train at home?
Yoga classes are becoming a powerful combination of stress-reducing, mindful asanas that simultaneously help build up your physical stamina while they provide you with the peace of mind you need. Perhaps kickboxing will achieve the same for you, or modern dance lessons – which is why exploring all available options is recommendable.
As complex and unpredictable as life can get, these evergreen self-care habits are important factors that can tip the scales in your favor. Yes, stress is still unavoidable, but the damage it does can be reduced with the right preventative steps, from ensuring your much-needed beauty sleep, proper nutrition, all the way to protecting yourself from viral infections. Hopefully, these and similar self-care habits will help you wrap up this year on a strong and positive note and provide you with the mental fortitude and physical health to handle the year that lies ahead.