Self-care is more important now than ever — adopt these nine practices to enhance your well-being and thrive in the face of challenge.
Life is filled with uncertainties and stressors — especially now. With so many unknown factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruptions to daily routine, it’s no wonder that anxiety levels are rising and rates of well-being are plummeting. Consequently, the need for self-care is more critical than ever. Yet as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to stay indoors and social distance, many feel that the new normal has made it nearly impossible to maintain well-being, let alone enhance it.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are nine tips and practices you should incorporate into your week in order to increase well-being and be productive through the Coronavirus.
In addition to the physical health benefits of exercise, years of research has shown that working out also has many mental health benefits, including higher self-esteem and resilience. These effects are caused by the body’s release of “feel good” chemicals called endorphins that reduce stress and enhance well-being. Yoga is particularly helpful in this realm as it is both physically strengthening and mentally calming. There is an infinite amount of free resources available online to guide you through whatever form of exercise you prefer, so stop sitting around and get active!
Research has found meditation and mindfulness to be extremely beneficial to well-being. Like yoga, meditation quiets the mind and increases bodily awareness. Start meditating today by using apps like Insight Timer or Headspace that offer guided sessions ranging from one minute to one hour — your newly relaxed mind will thank you later.
Seeing others in-person might not be possible right now, but you can still keep in touch and be social. In fact, research suggests that there’s a positive correlation between one’s social interactions and health, meaning you can do yourself good just by reaching out. Pull out your phone and start dialing! Your family and friends will be happy to hear from you and your well-being will benefit.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Despite the current global health crisis, there are still many things to be thankful for. Remember and reflect on the positive by writing down your thoughts and memories in a gratitude journal or jar. Doing so will not only help reduce stress, but it’ll also give you a renewed sense of appreciation for life and those around you.
Unleashing your creativity is a wonderful way to enhance your well-being. Need ideas? Write a poem, sing a song, or draw a picture — whatever feels best to get your creative juices flowing.
Studies show that goal-setting can lead to increased motivation and a greater sense of purpose. As a result, those who set goals achieve more. Get organized and be productive. Set goals for yourself and take pride in all you accomplish.
Volunteering from home might seem impossible, but there are actually hundreds of virtual opportunities to get involved and make a difference right from your living room! Help others and help yourself by gaining access to the mental health benefits of volunteering.
Find Reasons to Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine so look out for things that might tickle your funny bone. Silly YouTube videos and Netflix comedy specials are great places to start. Don’t let the stresses of life get you down — laugh your way to well-being and keep in mind that the challenges you face are only temporary.
Although it’s possible to increase well-being on your own, sometimes additional support can be helpful. If you’re feeling particularly down or believe your life is in danger, do not hesitate to seek support. You are not alone; mental health professionals and resources are available.
Incorporating these practices into your week will help increase well-being and create a sense of structure and normalcy, which is beneficial in and of itself. Enhancing well-being may seem especially difficult in light of the current global health crisis, but that’s exactly why it’s so important right now. We cannot control the circumstances that come our way. But increasing your well-being can change your perspective and influence the way you experience what goes on around you — and that is within our power.