Your Daily Dose of Self Care

Your Daily Dose of Self Care

If “pivot” is the word of 2020, “self care” is definitely the phrase. But with all the stress of a year that has brought us everything from a global pandemic to murder hornets, how do we take care of ourselves, mind, body and soul? It starts with incorporating a few key actions and intentions into your daily life. Here’s a look at a few ways to get your daily dose of self care:

Start Small. It can be tempting to let the essentials go when we’re feeling down or depressed. This is especially true during quarantine, when many of us are still working from home — and sweatpants are the new trousers. It might sound obvious but the simple routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, performing  your morning skincare routine, eating a healthy breakfast and creating a checklist for the day is a great place to start. 

Set an Intention. Setting an intention allows you to be more intentional throughout your day, whether you’re working or enjoying a day off. Your intention can be a paragraph (perhaps about acceptance or embracing happiness) or as simple as one word or phrase like “thankful” or “try something new.” Remember to repeat your intention throughout the day to stay focused and centered.

Practice Gratitude. Speaking of writing things down, it helps to keep a running list of what you’re grateful for. Journaling is also a practice of self care, and is a great way to move what’s on your mind to a new space, allowing more room for happiness in your mind space. 

Embrace Sunlight and Fresh Air. With less sunlight this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. A good place to start? Go outside at least once a day to get some natural light — even if it’s simply to walk the dog or grab a take-out coffee. Just be sure to wear a mask and physically distance, of course. Extra credit: If you have the opportunity, it’s a great idea to carve out time each day to spend an hour around trees, flowers or water — nature truly is a wonderful healer.

Move Your Body. Cardio, strength training and yoga are all great ways to reduce stress and stay healthy — which is incredibly important every day but especially vital during a pandemic. Although you might be avoiding the gym right now, many fitness companies, like Peleton, are offering free trials of 30 days or more for their most popular workouts and classes. But exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be an intense workout. Even just a short walk can have an impact on your mental health. Mindful walks are also an opportunity for some physically distant socializing by making it a point to say “hello” to people as they pass by. Simple, friendly interactions with others offer a quick mood boost.

Stay Hydrated. We all know our skin can become very dry during fall and winter, and staying hydrated is the best way to keep skin healthy from the inside out. For an extra quench, add a scoop of hydration powder to your water bottle, use a humidifier and remember to moisturize your skin every day. It’s also a good idea to keep a lip balm on hand for dry lips. But seriously — water, water and more water!

Just Breathe. Even if you don’t meditate, breathing deeply can signal the brain that it should relax and everything is fine. Experts say you may not even realize you’re not breathing all the way in and all the way out until you try it: Inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for six counts. Then repeat at least a few times a day. Want to take it a step further? Consider subscribing to a meditation app like Headspace or Calm. 

Eat Mindfully. Speaking of being mindful, it’s important to apply a mindful approach to the act of eating. Often, we’re standing in the kitchen, looking at our phones or glued to the TV when we’re eating our meals. Instead, try to slow down and savor every single bite. Experts say Epicurean eating — a concept that involves appreciating the aesthetics of food and its symbolic value and pleasure — is correlated with a preference for smaller portion sizes (which helps with that quarantine weight gain) and a higher sense of well-being.

Find a Hobby. Having an activity or hobby to look forward to is good for your mental health. Love sports? Pick up a pair of snowshoes for the winter months. Live for yoga? Look for a virtual class, then get comfy in your living room on your mat. Adore food? Get cooking or enroll in a virtual cooking class. It’s all about finding something you enjoy and translating it into your daily life.

Wind Down Before Bed. Getting enough sleep is vital four our health — both mentally and physically. Some good tips for making that happen? Don’t eat or drink three hours prior to bedtime, put away your phone and laptop at least an hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 3 p.m., take a relaxing shower or bath and ensure your bedroom is a cool, dark space for sleep.

Don’t Isolate. It may be tempting to isolate yourself this fall and winter, so make sure to check in with your loved ones through video chat, phone calls or text. And if you’re prone to depression, don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones to check in on you on a regular basis. Perhaps most important of all: It’s OK to ask for help. Like the Beatles said, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Want to learn more about ways to incorporate self care into your life this season? Chat with your A360 aesthetic specialist during your next visit.

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