Between navigating work-from-home spaces and adjusting to the new normal, the COVID-19 pandemic has given people several reasons to be stressed, anxious, and depressed. With all that everyone has been dealing with since the pandemic started, there is no doubt that these self-care tips have never been more important.
The benefits of tuning into your body, taking care of it, and nourishing it accordingly are profound.
Research suggests that the more you practice and incorporate self-care in your daily life, the more creative, confident, and productive you can become.
Even better, the more you care for your physical and mental health, the more you make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and experience joy.
There is no single self-care routine that will work for everyone.
If anything, mental health and wellness are all about whatever can make you more relaxed and happier.
For some, it can mean watching a funny movie while taking a bubble bath.
For others, it can mean walking or checking with an online therapist.
Top Self-Care Tips to Boost Mental and Physical Health
Start making yourself a priority by keeping in mind the following self-care tips:
1. Get a Gratitude Journal
Many studies have shown that practicing gratitude has many peerless benefits, including optimizing cardiac health, reducing depression and anxiety, and sharpening brain function and peace of mind.
Make sure to set aside time each day to jot down a few things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal.
While a seemingly simple task, taking note of the things you are grateful for can dramatically improve your life.
2. Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
Many people hit the snooze button thinking it’s a gentler way to wake up.
On the contrary, it causes sleep disruption, making you sleepy.
Rather than hitting the snooze button countless times before waking up each morning, set the alarm for when you want to get up.
Your body will then adjust and wake up at that time.
This will make you feel more energized and less lethargic during the day.
3. Open your Blinds and Let the Sun In
This is one important thing you need to incorporate into your morning routine.
This might not be common knowledge, but just 5 minutes of sunlight the first morning can boost your Vitamin D level.
More importantly, it can also significantly balance your cortisol or stress levels.
4. Get a Houseplant
Besides keeping the air cleaner, plant exposure has also been proven to help improve mood.
How do you ask?
A 2015 study indicated that active interaction with house plants has been shown to suppress nervous system activity.
It has also been known to reduce blood pressure, resulting in an overall sense of calm.
If you don’t have a green thumb, try an air plant or a succulent.
If you feel more advanced, consider getting Areca Palms or Peace Lilies.
5. Trade Your Coffee for Tea
Herbal tea will not only help you stay hydrated but making and drinking one already creates a mini respite.
Whether trying chamomile or any of your favorite tea blends, tasting a soothing cup makes the mind feel relaxed and calmer.
6. Get a Massage
Many studies show that a massage comes with so many amazing benefits.
Whether provided by your significant other or a masseuse, getting a massage has been known to relieve stiffness and pain and reduce anxiety and depression.
Not only that but getting a massage has also been known to lower blood pressure and stress and increase circulation.
7. Read an Inspiration Story Each Morning
A recent study showed that 50 percent of Americans claim reading the news causes them stress.
Some even claim that reading or watching the news leads to sleep loss.
Here is an expert self-care tip. Experts recommend trading watching the news for reading a positive book or listening to an inspirational, uplifting, and happy podcast.
8. Say “No”
Stress is often caused by having too much to do but not enough time to do it.
That said, it is advisable that you prioritize your to-do list, reduce your workload, and manage your time accordingly.
Avoiding stress also requires saying “no” to things not on your priority list.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways to say “no politely.”
9. Meditate for Five Minutes
Some research indicates that regular meditation can undo the damaging effects of stress.
It also helps calm the part of the brain that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response.
Set aside at least five minutes for meditation.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Release any tension that your body is holding on to.
If your mind begins to wander, be gentle with yourself.
Simply bring yourself back to the awareness of your breath.
10. Exercise Regularly
Getting your heart rate up can help increase the happy hormones (dopamine, serotonin, etc.), improving your pleasure and mood and reducing pain.
Contrary to popular belief, exercising does not require spending countless hours in the gym six times a week.
Thankfully, even something as simple as exercising three to four days each week can already do wonders.
And you don’t have to go to the gym either.
There is no shortage of exercise options available at your disposal.
You can walk briskly, jog, take an online yoga class or do a quick circuit routine, whichever feels right.
All of it counts.
11. Spend 10 Minutes a Day to Declutter
Research shows that clutter can increase cortisol levels, the stress hormone that causes a lot of illnesses.
Not only that, clutter and stress will not only dramatically reduce your focus and creativity, it can also make you more sensitive to pain.
It is not your imagination that you feel more relaxed in a clutter-free environment.
Set aside at least 10 minutes of your day to declutter.
Investing those 10 minutes can go a long way toward ensuring you stay focused and stress-free.
- Self Care, What it is and what it’s not.
- How to Develop a Self-Care Plan
- Self-Care Essential: Top Ways To Connect With your Authentic Self.
- Great Morning Habits You Should Adapt
Over to You
There are countless ways to boost your mental and physical health. Start with the self care tips laid out above and take it from there. You will find other ways that will work best for you as you go along.