Everyone give themselves a pat on the back and take a deep, deep breath. We are living through a historically difficult time due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There will come a day when we all look back on this (if we haven’t blocked it out altogether), and remember those profoundly tough days when we were forced to hide out in our respective caves and wear masks whenever we stepped outside to taste the fresh air. Seriously, we’re all being tested. It can be too easy to forget the value of sufficient self care when everyone is just trying to muddle through overwhelmingly chaotic living, and keep their heads above water. We’ve pulled together some helpful tips for reducing that terrible Coronavirus stress.
1. Exercise early and often.
A run or walk around the block can change everything. Literally, that endorphin rush and a little fresh air is a miracle drug. We spend too much time inside, staring at the walls, and we’re bound to get lost inside our own heads. We’re only human, after all. The brain gets bored and starts racing around, worrying about a ton of stuff that’ll probably never actually happen. Thanks, anxiety. So get outside. It doesn’t have to be some major sweat-soaked, grueling workout that leaves your limbs in utter agony. It can be a simple walk around the neighborhood. Maybe rock a podcast, or that new album that just dropped that you’ve been waiting on for months.
2. Maintain a healthy diet.
Many of us are prone to fits of emotional eating. All that stress is exhausting, and comfort food is the warm hug our bodies seem to crave when the ceiling seems like it’s about to collapse. The best way to get out ahead of those junk food cravings, and set yourself up for wellness is to stock up on healthy snacks. The best part is, eat enough of those healthy snacks and that appetite that was once ravenous and lusting after all kinds of fried messes will be temporarily satiated.
3. Take a media detox.
With news available at our fingertips and a continual stream of headlines that so often seem to contradict each other, the news can end up being a massive weight on one’s back. It can keep us up at night, igniting all kinds of anxiety in the vulnerable hearts of a worldwide population just trying to stay informed on a life-threatening virus. And it can be addictive. That voice in the back of your head will whisper convincing conspiracies about everything going wrong if you don’t check the news often as possible. Put your phone away or turn the computer off for a bit, and do something that doesn’t involve a screen. It could be playing a board game, reading a book, or going for a walk around the neighborhood. The news will keep doing its thing without you, and it will likely change its original stance by the time you check it.
4. Take a spa day.
Everyone deserves to treat themselves. What better time to gift yourself the luxurious, soul soothing pleasures of a spa day than the era of the Coronavirus. There’s nothing like being pampered at the spa. For a while, the feverish stresses of the world are kept at bay, and one can get lost (in the best way possible) in a steam, sauna, a therapeutic facial, or in one of those impossibly relaxing jacuzzis. You would be hard pressed to come out of those experiences not feeling like an altogether new person
5. Hit the fitness center.
Some folks are enjoying the return of their fitness centers. As long as everyone is following the safety protocols, the fitness center can be the most clutch place for a mental reset. Hit the treadmill, the elliptical, pound some supersets out, and watch with peaceful fascination as that accumulated stress gradually evaporates. Get the body tired enough and the mind itself seems to be wiped clean. It’s a beautiful thing.
6. Seek out a psychiatrist or family health professional
As we’ve mentioned, this an extremely trying time. Everyone is being pushed to their limits, and there will be days when it seems near impossible to find the light in such a dark situation. With so many people holed up together (whether it be roommates, family members, or couples) for endless periods of time, fighting seems to be unavoidable. When arguments seem to be an unfortunately regular occurrence and folks are incapable of making peace under the same roof, it can really pay off to bring in a mental health professional. You can find one online with a simple enough search. Just Google “find a therapist near me” or just check out Therapy Group of D.C. for an impressive roster of experienced therapists available online and in person to help out with those rocky moments.
7. Keep the connection alive with others
This one is crucial. It can be far too easy to sink into a state of complete solitude, where one can’t be bothered to make any efforts to keep up regular contact with the outside world. Instead, use all that wonderful technology at your disposal and have some fun with setting up FaceTime and Zoom calls. Zoom has especially made significant efforts to optimize their service for fun interactions. You can upload all kinds of cool, silly, and outright absurd backgrounds as you eat meals or knock back drinks remotely with your loved ones and beer buddies.
8. Get enough sleep.
Never undervalue the power of those zzz’s. Getting enough sleep gives your body and brain the chance they need to navigate the daily stresses of this wild life, as smoothly as possible. Plus, in this day and age with so many folks having the opportunity to work remotely, that reduction in commute time affords many of us the ability to sleep in a little extra even if we were tossing and turning all night.
9. Shop around online
With so many shops being closed, and the added risk of shopping around outside, it’s never a bad move to find some fun things to buy online. Maybe some new women’s white jackets or blazers, a cute denim jacket, or some petite skirts that happen to be on sale. Plus, by shopping for a new wardrobe online that’s within budget, you’ll give yourself something to look forward to. We could all use a little of that cheery anticipation in our lives.
10. Fall down the Netflix rabbit-hole.
The streaming services we have at our disposal are a thing of pure beauty. It seems like Netflix is dropping a new, ridiculously addictive show every week. It’s not okay, but it’s also awesome. If all else fails, it never hurts to get comfortable, pour oneself a nice, comforting beverage and press play on whatever Netflix show looks like the most fun.