Since the Pandemic hit, we have all learned many things that we never expected- like the science behind the spread of germs, how to social distance, how to wash our hands effectively, and how to sanitize our work and home spaces. These are all wonderful to know and obviously very important too, but there’s another thing that we have all learned whether or not we have actually realized it… it’s that we need to slow down.
Before the Pandemic, most of us were living our lives at an uncontrollable speed. Many of us had such little downtime in the day that we would do at least 2 things at once. We would eat while we worked, work while we drove, read emails while we were on the toilet, and peruse through Facebook while making dinner. So this was our lives. We felt like we needed to do all of those things but didn’t want to give up anything for something else because, after all, it’s all-important stuff!
But as time went on and we were quarantined for weeks, we noticed a shift. A shift of the speed at which we were living our lives. This shift happened within all of us, even our kids. We collectively discovered that slowing down and being more cognizant of caring for ourselves was happening even if it just started with washing our hands for a mere 20 seconds to prevent the spread of germs. 20 seconds seemed like an eternity to some at the beginning, but hopefully, now it’s a habit that helps us think about how even small changes are so important.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced us to reflect on how we were living our lives before. Many were so caught up with their fast-paced lives, that there was no time to stop and smell the roses. This pause showed us that there’s more to life than the cellphone in our hands or the speed at which we could accomplish tasks. It has helped us realize that we need to slow down and care for our bodies and our minds.
Here are 7 ways to help you take care of yourself during the Q:
- Start writing in a gratitude journal:
This is one of the best ways to start feeling positive during a time of stress and uncertainty. Writing in a gratitude journal is a private way of expressing what you are grateful for. It opens up your mind to find the good from the day you experienced. It can help guide you on a path of positivity to finding something or someone in your life that you are thankful for. Writing about something that makes you smile is a nice way to start your nightly bedtime routine too! Usually, the journal entry spaces are short which makes it a quick write and not intimidating. Writing in a gratitude journal is a very easy way to take care of yourself starting from the inside!
- Meditation and yoga
Meditation is the mental practice of focusing your mind on something to achieve clarity and calmness. It could mean sitting still while breathing and thinking deeply. It could mean closing your eyes and just concentrating on your breath while laying down. However one chooses to meditate, it is an individual experience. Meditation practices can be guided through the help of the words of an instructor which can help the novice find space in their head for relieving stress.
Practicing yoga is another way that we can take care of our minds and bodies. Through specific body postures (asanas) and breathing techniques, yoga has been known to reduce stress, generate feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Yoga postures have also claimed to provide evidence that they improve one’s flexibility, strength, and balance which makes it a perfect fit for any aged individual. Youtube has yoga classes for all levels so you can begin your practice today!
- Enjoy a nice warm bath
If we can’t get to a spa, the spa should come to us! The mere thought of scented bubbles or bath salts with a warm drawn bath is enough to calm most of us down, but when you dim the lights, add a candle or two and step into the water, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when our muscles really start to relax. By spending some quiet time alone in a bath, you’re allowing yourself to mentally unwind and physically slow down. Find your favorite chillout tunes, let go of your worries, and step right in…you deserve it.
- Dance like nobody’s watching
You can still feel happy and refreshed without all that quiet too…you can dance like nobody’s watching and burn some serious calories while doing it! A fun place to start is by making a playlist of your favorite dance tunes on Spotify. Pick songs that make you smile and that have a beat that’s something you can’t turn away from! Then when you’re ready to let loose and have some fun, crank up those tunes and dance the night away!
- Eat healthy foods
Although it’s not as much fun as dancing around your kitchen, eating healthy is one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself while in the Q. When we eat foods that give us the nutrients we need to fuel our bodies to fight off disease and stave off infection, we are giving ourselves the gift of life.
A good life.
A life that makes it less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Having healthy, high protein, low carb crunchy snacks like Shrewd Food Protein Puffs nearby makes working from home easier when that mid-day slump arises. Shrewd Food has many different flavors so that if you need that crunch fix and like variety, you’re in luck. Also, keeping our refrigerators filled with lots of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants plus lean proteins makes healthy eating much easier than a pantry filled with snacks that are high in fat, carbohydrates, and salt. If you take the foods you eat seriously, you’re taking care of yourself seriously.
- Working out
Working out may not be the same in the Q as it is at the gym, but it is still very important for your mind as well as your body. Finding a workout routine that’s fun and new is all up to you. There are Youtube videos in many different languages, Facebook Live workouts, and Instagram workout sessions where you can choose the level and type of workout that fits in with your lifestyle the best. Staying in shape doesn’t need to be difficult because if you feel like a virtual exercise class isn’t your thing, you can simply walk around your block, neighborhood, or apartment!
When we work out, our bodies produce hormones called endorphins which induce feelings of euphoria. This is why, when we work out we feel great. Try to keep yourself as happy as you can by getting in a light workout as often as you can. Make sure to give yourself the rest your muscles may need to recuperate if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised. Stay strong, stay home, and stay healthy.
- Communicate with friends and family
Keeping in touch with those we haven’t seen since the Q started, is an important way that we can take care of ourselves. Humans are social creatures and we all need to be social to one degree or another. If we can’t see each other in person then many have resorted to Zoom chats. On Zoom, we need a special invite to join and we can see all the members on the screen and video conference. When we would normally be partying with our friends, maybe Houseparty would be a fun and safe alternative. This is a social networking service where users receive a notification that their friends are online and they can join in on the video chat. Both are great options to socialize while being safe. Facetime is an old favorite that many uses as a quick fix when in search of a familiar face that can be used just as easily as calling someone on your cell phone.
Even Though these are difficult times, we should all be thankful that we live in an age where finding happiness in our lives can be done right in our own living rooms. Let’s’ try to take advantage of the opportunities we have right now, because time is on our side, and let’s face it, we all have a lot of that these days!