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5 Self Care Tips During Stressful Times

We’re currently living in unprecedented times during a global pandemic, as more restrictions are put in place for us to stay home to try and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We must try and stay positive and use this time to spend with our loved ones and even with ourselves. Take some time for self-reflection and for slowing down.  Here are 5 self care tips that we can use to stay healthy physically and emotionally:

1. Unplug: Although right now the only way we can connect with others is online, but do so in moderation. Stay informed, but try not to fall into the trap of the 24/7 news cycle on social media and television, which can be mentally draining. Take a break from your devices throughout the day. Try it for 20 minutes then increase to an hour or more per day. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you’ll feel mentally and emotionally. 

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." - Mason Cooley

Image Credit ©Barbara MacFerrin Photography

2. Curl up with a book: With the increase in technology, so many people are instead turning to their electronic devices for scrolling through news feeds and watching short videos. There’s something to be said with holding a real book in your hand, turning the pages and feeling the paper. Research shows that there are so many benefits to reading books for adults and for children including increased vocabulary, enhanced memory,  improved concentration, enhanced imagination, reduction in stress and sleep benefits.

3. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness:  Mindfulness is the opposite of operating on autopilot. There’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually changing the physical structure of your brain. Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, and it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.  Whether you’re an expert or a novice, there are countless benefits such as stress reduction, reduced anxiety, clearer mind, better sleep, improved focus and more. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. If you have trouble meditating on your own, or if you’d like to start, try these free guided meditations.

4. Take a hot bath: After you put the kids to bed, take a hot relaxing bath. Throw in a bath bomb, bubbles, epsom salt or even essential oils like lavender, chamomile or rose (make sure to combine your essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut, olive or jojoba). When I’ve had a physically or mentally exhausting day, I look forward to drawing a hot bath before bed. It relaxes my muscles and helps me sleep better.  Here’s some tips on adding essential oils to your bath .

5. Get outside: During this challenging time of having to stay home indoors, it’s easy to melt into the couch watching tv, movies and working or playing on our computers and electronic devices. Set a reminder each day to get outside for some fresh air. Take a walk or a run. Reconnect with nature, listen to the sounds, smell the air. Even if the weather isn’t perfect. If it’s raining, bring an umbrella and listen to and smell the rain. If it’s snowing, bundle up and listen to the quiet or build a snowman! Bring a camera, whether it’s your cell phone or a DSLR and take pictures. I always find it relaxing to take pictures of nature and it reminds me of the beauty around us.

I hope you find this list helpful. I’m wondering about you, your work, your business, your health. How are you are holding up? Feel free to write and let me know how you’re doing. What is your favorite self care practice? Remember to be kind to yourself and know that we will get through this.

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