Let’s talk about “self-care.” In the past few years, self-care has become a catchall for wellness-meets-self-actualization; it looks like a bubble bath and smells like an expensive candle. But the truth is that self-care can be anything that brings attention back to you, helping you to feel more balanced. During these super depleting days that’s more important than ever. So we’ve rounded up our best self-care tips for managing stress.
This is part 2 of our self-care series. For our a list of virtual activities to do indoors, check out part 1.
Spruce up your space
While we don’t typically look forward to it, tidying can be a small but comforting achievement. You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo on your home to reap the benefits. The simple act of moving around, organizing, and feeling in control of our space can be a game changer.
Rather than binge-watching The Office (…again), try your hand at cooking or baking something new. Bon Appétit has a collection of healthy recipes organized to be comforting, freezer ready, or last the week. Or, use America’s Test Kitchen’s 14-day free trial to start learning to cook.
Create a wind down routine
Avoid going straight from Instagram scrolling to bed. Instead, create a space free from screens that helps you decompress.
If you’re commuting less these days, try using that time saved to take a bath. Bonus points for working in a simple breathing exercise: close your eyes and inhale to the count of four, hold, exhale to four and repeat.
Or (finally) start on those new year resolutions and get reading.
- If you’re typically a library browser you can still borrow e-books and audiobooks. No current library card? No problem.
- Our personal favorite: get library e-books onto your kindle using Overdrive. The process takes a few clicks but it’s worth it.
- Amazon is offering new and returning readers a two-month free subscription to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.
- Scribd, an e-book and audiobook subscription service, is offering a free 30-day trial that offers access to over a million titles.
When it comes to self-care tips for managing stress, our most important piece of advice is that deep and consistent sleep can change your life. Research has shown that sleep is critical for learning, memory, and overall health, but it also has a huge impact on our mood. When we don’t get enough we’re more easily frustrated, stressed and (of course) tired. Here are a few tips on how to get those REMs:
- Avoid caffeine, drinking alcohol and eating late in the evening.
- Exercise daily. It’s one of the best, proven ways to improve your sleep and health. Check out part 1 of our self-care series for a list of free fitness apps and resources to help you keep moving while indoors.
- Get to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule and limit any daytime naps to 30 minutes.
- Control your environment. Numerous studies have found that noise and light can cause poor sleep and health issues. Katrina, aka Kura founder & ridiculously light-sleeper, swears by Mac’s Snore Blockers and these cheap blackout panels that you can hang behind any curtain.
Give your skin some love
During these makeup-free and Zoom-heavy days, giving your skin some extra love can help you feel more human.
We recommend taking some time to master the art of facial massage. Try it as you use a cleansing oil at the start of your routine, or after applying a facial oil at the end of it. You don’t need a roller or any tools for this one: use the three middle fingers from each hand to apply pressure in small, circular motions. Move slowly across your face, going over forehead, cheeks, jawline and neck. Apply enough pressure so that you can feel the muscles beneath your skin move, but don’t drag or pull your skin as you go.
For the ultimate self-care package, treat yourself to skincare that’s customized to you. To get started, head to kuraskin.com and create a skin profile. In a couple of days you’ll receive cleaner, better products that are tailored to you.
Cut yourself a break
This is an unprecedented moment in time. It’s hard to overstate that. If it feels like you’re not yourself right now, you’re not alone. While there are some who seem to have settled into the new normal overnight that doesn’t mean you need to be there too right now. Remember to be kind to yourself and if you need time, take it.