Over the last year, #SelfSareSunday has been trending on social media, but as we sit here writing this blog post, we can’t help but wonder, why hasn’t self-care been trending longer? The fact is that life is usually busy, hectic and often spent moving from one task to the next, but while we all sit in our homes due to the current pandemic, there’s no better time to focus on taking care of yourself and doing the things that make you happy, motivated and relaxed. We’ve rounded up the top 10 easy self-care tips. Happy loving!
1. Try Cooking Something New
Let’s face it, our Instagram feeds have been inundated with pictures of banana and sourdough bread (making us want to snack more than we already are if that’s even possible), because apparently baking comfort food is what you do during a pandemic. But, not all of us are bakers or even that great of cooks. That doesn’t mean we can’t try because we all have to eat, and there is often a sense of accomplishment (and self-love) we all feel when we make something new (especially if it actually tastes good). To help you get started, Food & Wine Magazine recently posted 14 recipes you can make using pantry staples, and includes everything from pasta to fried rice. Go ahead and try it out, we promise not to tell if you end up throwing it away and ordering takeout.
2. Marie Kondo Your Home
If you thought the KonMari Method was going away because of quarantine, think again! She recently did an interview with Esquire Magazine on how to spark joy….even while in quarantine, and we can’t help but think of having an organized home as self-care ideas that make you feel like your life is in order. Now, you might be thinking this is a huge task to take on and you’d rather binge-watch Too Hot to Handle on Netflix instead, but this doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. If you’re working from home, Kondo suggests making sure your work area is tidy before you start the day. Or, tackle specific areas of your home for a larger cleaning and decluttering, like your pantry for example. Kondo shared, “When it comes to pantries, I think it’s very important that you take inventory of what you have inside. Calmly take inventory of what exactly is in your pantry. If you’re really going to dedicate yourself to tidying your pantry, I recommend taking everything out all at once and seeing what you have. Check for expired foods and categorize them into types, and when you’re sorting through them, use empty boxes to really section them off. Make sure you’re storing by category and type, as well.”
3. Fall in Love with Some New Music
Music often makes us feel happy and spark joy (we promise this isn’t more from Miss Kondo!) and virtual concerts are all the rage right now! Ranging from big ones, like the One World Together At Home Special that recently aired, to artists hosting impromptu Instagram Lives. Ask your friends who they’re listening to and check out their upcoming Instagram Live to expand your current list of must-listen-to artists, or fall back in love with an old favorite. According to Vox there’s something for everyone, “Coldplay’s Chris Martin played stripped-down versions of the band’s hits on Instagram Live; Swae Lee of rap duo Rae Sremmurd had nearly 250,000 people drop in for his solo show. James Blake performed original songs and covers for over an hour, and The Roots launched nightly DJ sessions featuring Questlove.” So make a quarantine concert a key home event by cooking up a special meal or firing up your beverage cart to enjoy a few cocktails for this fun self-care activity!
4. Get Your Body Moving
This does not need to mean extreme HIIT workouts or using your cans of soups for weights (we know that’s a thing), but simply getting out for a walk around the block can make all the difference when it comes to mental health self-care. Use it as a time to further explore your neighborhood. Walk streets you haven’t walked down before, check out unique homes or murals painted on nearby buildings. And of course, there are health benefits to getting outside as well, according to a recent CNET article, “Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, two things everyone needs while weathering the coronavirus outbreak.”
And, if you do want to get in some more intense workouts at your home, then you’re in luck, too, because a lot of gyms are holding virtual classes and posting workouts online. From Planet Fitness who started streaming exercise classes on Facebook to Barry’s Bootcamp and CorePower Yoga, there’s a way to get your body moving that suits everyone!
5. Get Your Finances in Order
We’ve been stuck inside not shopping (well, maybe just not as much as usual), not traveling, not going to concerts and not eating out, among a hundred other things that we usually spend our money on that we can’t do right now. Think about what your goals are? A big trip once this is all over? Buying a house? Did you get that stimulus check? If so, have you thought about investing the money? This Nerdwallet article touches on everything from long-term investments to budgeting to ensure you have an emergency fund. While finances might not be considered a fun self-care activity, but it’s certainly an important part of your overall health and wellbeing which all tie back to self-care!
6. Get Dressed
While it’s SO easy to sit around in our comfiest sweats and leggings all day, there’s something to be said about getting ready that makes us feel like we’re taking care of ourselves. Refinery29 recently tackled this topic sharing insight from Jennifer Musselman, a psychotherapist who said, “Staying stuck in your pajamas day after day sets your mood. It literally keeps you stuck. Not getting dressed can also lead you to eat poorly, drink more, and reduce positivity and engagement in life across the board.” So, while you don’t have to put on your heels and jeans (who are we kidding, we still want to be comfortable) something as simple as creating a new “getting ready” routine can be one of the best forms of self-care.
7. Create Your Pleasure
Now on to our favorite form of self-care….masturbation. While this may not be the case of everyone, in our regular day-to-day lives, busy schedules can often mean that this form of self-care gets pushed to the back burner or maybe off your schedule altogether. But with a little more time on our hands and the fact that research shows masturbating can relieve stress, improve your orgasms and even help you sleep better then we say let’s get to it, ladies and gents! In case you’re looking for tips on mastering solo-play (including using lube) we’ve got you covered, check out this blog here, and this one here (for the ladies).
8. Don’t Feel Bad About Not Feeling Bad You Don’t Get To be Social
While some extroverted people are wanting to pull their hair out as a result of weeks in quarantine, there’s the group of introverts…you know, the ones who usually only commit to one social outing a weekend because they need their alone time, that is thriving in quarantine. And there’s nothing to feel bad about if you’re really enjoying this time alone. With more than 40 million adults in the United States affected by an anxiety disorder now’s the time to decompress, remove the anxiety and pressure you might often feel to hang with your friends, and just do you, no matter what that means or looks like. When things get back to “normal” don’t worry about feeling like you have to jump into a rigorous social calendar, ease into it if that’s what you need.
9. Seriously Look at Your Screen Time
We know this is easier said than done when you’re stuck at home alone and this is really our only link to the outside world, but stepping away from the screens, even if just for a few hours is a great self-care tip. GQ recently posted an article with insights from Cal Newport, a computer scientist who teaches at Georgetown, that will “help you rethink the importance of intention throughout this unprecedented period of isolation, and why determining how you spend your quarantine could help determine how your life spins forward once this is all said and done.” We’ve all talked about the importance of decreased screen time for years, but Newport says that “now is the time to take slow and deliberate consideration about how the tech you use affects your life.”
10. Do You
Self-care is all about you, so take this time and do whatever you want! Free of judgment, free of time constraints, and free of worry. Blast some music and dance around your living room, pour a margarita at noon on a Tuesday, cut those bangs girl (they’ll grow out!), sleep all day, make a mess and don’t clean it up right away, build something…just do whatever makes you happy as that’s the easy self-care!
Anxiety & Depression Association of America