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There’s really no beating around the bush: times are tough these days. We’re facing a lot of challenges, and many of us are feeling stressed and tired. By engaging in meaningful self-care strategies, we can invest in ourselves so we can better take on challenges. And contrary to popular belief, it’s necessary, not indulgent.
Wondering where to start? Consider some of these suggestions.
Go on a digital detox
If you find yourself reaching for your phone the second you open your eyes and find that your stress rises with social media scrolling, it may be time for a bit of a “time out.” Consider unplugging on the weekends, deleting certain apps, or imposing time limits on yourself.
Reach out to others
Connection with friends can be incredibly helpful and uplifting. Whether online or in a physically distancing way (always follow your local regulations), people are finding creative ways to stay connected. Perhaps host a virtual book club or movie night?
Research tells us what we already knew: being in nature has huge benefits for our mental, emotional, and physical health. That includes for children too! While always complying with your local rules and recommendations, spend time in nature when you can. Have a picnic, go for a hike, tend to your garden, go canoeing … the list goes on.
You don’t have to be “good” at an artistic pursuit to benefit from it. Even if you’re the only one who sees the creative results, consider taking up a hobby like journaling, collaging, painting, or needlepoint. There are even coloring books for adults! Have fun with it.
“Mindfulness” is a buzzword for a reason: it really does help our mental and emotional well-being. There are so many ways to practice mindful strategies, including body scans, deep breathing, yoga, or simply paying attention to your surroundings with more intention.
Do the “not fun” self-care work
Sometimes, self-care can look a lot like doing the boring things we hate doing, because they set up the foundation for our success. For example, if you tend to overspend, think of how much calmer you will feel if you develop a budget, start paying off debt, and seeing your savings grow. The same goes for scheduling your health appointments and possibly even doing a deep clean of your home. Are there any important but “not fun” self-care tasks you’ve been avoiding?
Strange as it may seem, helping others can help us. If you have the capacity, consider volunteering, donating, or supporting your neighbors. Look up organizations near you to see where you may be able to benefit those in your community.