Due to the global health crisis, many of us have experienced radical changes in our lifestyles and daily routines. This “new normal’ is accompanied by a myriad of challenges related to self-care.
It might seem difficult to schedule time for self-care when you’re homeschooling your kids, working remotely, or worrying about the well-being of friends and family. But during a pandemic, caring for your own health is of the utmost importance. With so many sources of anxiety and additional demands on your emotional labor, it’s critical that you take the time and space necessary to maintain your Emotional Well-Being.
In the United States, September is recognized as National Self-Care Awareness Month. Here are 10 Self-Care Tips for your Emotional-Well-Being that will help you alleviate stress in order to live a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Start the day with some positive affirmations.
One of the biggest aspects of self-care is the “self” part, which includes how you view and speak about yourself. It might feel strange to talk to yourself at first but starting the day with a few positive affirmations can help turn your thoughts and feelings in a happier direction. Self-affirmation may also help to mitigate the effects of stress. In fact, one study showed that a short affirmation-based exercise increased the problem-solving abilities of “chronically stressed” subjects to the same level of those with low stress. Try searching for positive affirmations on Pinterest, write a few down, and start your day with some positivity!
Listen to uplifting music.
One of the best ways to wake yourself up and put yourself in a good mood in the morning is to listen to some uplifting music. Music Therapy employs music to help people cope with physical or emotional needs, and it’s actually been found to lessen symptoms in people with mood-related issues, such as anxiety and depression. Try creating a playlist of your favorite songs and playing it for 30 minutes as you get ready for the day.
Move your body.
Many of us are stuck at home due to the current global health crisis, but that’s not an excuse to sit on the couch all day. Staying active will benefit both your physical and emotional well-being. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can sharpen your focus, boost your energy, and improve your mood.
Be mindful of your social media usage.
Social Media is great for connecting with friends and family virtually, especially when you’re stuck at home. But when your social media usage becomes excessive, there can be consequences. Experts say that it’s better to use social media for personal interactions, rather than mindless scrolling. Try to use Social Media more intentionally and be selective about who you follow and what apps you’re using. But also, don’t forget to disconnect every once in a while.
Learn to say the word “No.”
If you feel overwhelmed every time you look at your calendar or to-do list, it might be because you struggle to say the word “no.” Knowing why it’s okay to say “no” goes further than making sure you don’t do things because you don’t want to. It also comes from a place of helping your mental health by making sure you’re saying “no” to things that won’t make you a happier person. If you’re interested in further reading, here are 5 Reasons Saying “No” Is A Good Thing.
Phone a friend.
There’s plenty of research to show that social interactions are connected with mental and physical well-being. According to a study published in APA PsycNet, close relationships and feelings of social connection have so many benefits that they should be considered a public health priority. Make it a priority to call or FaceTime friends or family members regularly.
Don’t forget to laugh a little.
Laughter is a strong medicine. It brings people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter can stimulate your organs, activate and relieve your stress response, and soothe tension in your body. Try watching a few funny videos on YouTube. It may seem like an unusual self-care tip, but it produces positive results!
Gratitude is an incredibly powerful human emotion and scientifically proven to have benefits for your emotional well-being. When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brains release dopamine and serotonin, the two neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions. Simple practices, like gratitude journaling, complimenting yourself, or small gestures of kindness can immediately boost your mood.
Try a guided meditation.
Meditation can help reduce stress, ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and regulate negative thinking. You can do it almost anytime, anywhere. But if you’re looking for a little guidance, there’s no shortage of meditation apps available to download. My digital programs each come with a guided meditation that you can use as many times as you’d like and are available through my online course Vault.
Get some sleep.
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep at night is a critical step in any self-care routine. Not only does it ensure that your immune system continues to run at its best, but scientists also report that sleep is one of the best ways to keep your stress levels in check. Even in small amounts, sleep deprivation can make you more sensitive to stress, and as a result, your mood may be severely affected. That’s why it’s so important to regulate your sleep schedule. Try setting an alarm for bedtime, as well as one for when you want to wake up. Additionally, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for quality REM sleep. Try to avoid distractions such as your laptop, phone, or television.
Practicing self-care isn’t always easy. In fact, we often forget to schedule “me-time” into our agendas because of how busy we are. It’s also common to feel guilty about setting time aside to take care of yourself. But once you begin incorporating self-care into your daily routines, you’ll begin to feel happier, healthier, and more resilient. You’ll also feel more equipped to help your friends and family through these difficult times.