This week has felt like quite the year, hasn't it?
Regardless of where you are in the world, you're likely being advised to practice social distancing or to even shelter-in-place, phrases that weren't in our lexicon just a month ago. If the experts are correct, these practices will become our reality for the foreseeable future and, with time, most of us will feel it taking a toll on our peace of mind.
To that point, we wanted to take a minute today to share a few self-care ideas to help you weather this crisis and the rollercoaster of emotions that have come with it (and are yet to come). We invite you to submit to us your own self-care ideas via our Facebook, Instagram or email account. We will update this post weekly to add your inspiring tips.
Before we get to that, all of us at Lexli want to extend our sincere thanks to the front-line workers who are keeping us safe and fed during this pandemic, including the healthcare workers, grocery/retail store clerks and stockers, truck drivers and delivery personnel, and more. You're performing heroic acts and your self care is enormously important.
1. Wash Your Hands Regularly
We know, we know. You've heard it a million times. But this gets our #1 spot on the list because what other act of self-care is more important these days? Don't forget to apply lotion when you're done to prevent your hands from drying out. (Read more about the negative effects of hand sanitizer use.)
2. Turn Off the News
Many of us at Lexli admit to overconsumption of the news of late, given how quickly this situation has changed. And while staying abreast of developments is important, so is tuning out to give your mental health a break. Instead, put on your favorite artist, some classical music or even just white noise.
3. Give Yourself a Facial
Many of us are working from home (increasingly just referred to as "WFH"), which means we're still sitting in our pajamas at 3 p.m. While "getting ready" in the morning now likely means just brushing your teeth, taking time to do something special for yourself when you're done for the day can go a long way to lift your spirits. Follow the directions for the Lexli facial or, if that isn't your thing, give yourself a manicure.
4. Diffuse Essential Oils
We all have that Facebook friend who regularly posts about the health benefits of oils. In particular, Thieves oil and oregano oil have long been purported to help boost immunity. While the jury is still out on that, most of us have experienced the mood lift that accompanies scents like peppermint, lemon and lavender. Play with different oil combinations until you find one that gives you a feeling of serenity.
Most adults would agree that "play" just isn't something we do anymore. But Dr. Stuart Brown says that playing makes adults happier and smarter. Try blowing bubbles in your living room, having a dance party, playing hide-and-go-seek with your kids or hula hooping.
6. Get Daily Exercise
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day is even more important now that most of our lives have become more stationary. Author Judy Foreman writes in Psychology Today that "Exercise has huge benefits for the immune system. Obviously, we need our immune systems more than ever these days." Plenty of workout apps are now offering free extended trials so there's really no reason not to get a sweat at home.
7. Create a Soothing Environment
Making your home feel as relaxing as possible can go a long way in reducing stress. Borrow some of the principles of hygge to create comfort, such as lighting with candles, placing your favorite objects in plain site and using your favorite, most comfortable blanket.
8. Practice Gratitude
It can be hard to find the silver lining these days but many are finding that the constrictions put on our lives are making room for unexpected beauty. Instead of focusing on the negative, look instead for the positive and practice gratitude. Preliminary research has suggested that people who are grateful are happier and have better relationships. Start a gratitude journal that you write in daily.
9. Center Yourself
When the chaos of the day gets to be too much, centering practices like yoga and meditation can help to reduce anxiety and stress. If you don't know where to start, visit YouTube where you'll find countless instructional videos.
10. Tackle a Project That's Been On Your List
Nothing can distract you from the news like getting immersed in a project. Most of us have a long list of tasks we've been meaning to get to but just haven't had the time. Revisit that list, pick the easiest thing on it and make a plan to get it done within two weeks. If you finish that task, move onto another one on the list. The feeling of pride and achievement you'll feel as you check things off will be worth the effort.
Additional ideas from Lexli followers:
"Take a hot bath with bubbles or bath salts. Add a glass of wine if you want!" - Barb F.