When you look back on your life and your daily dynamic before the pandemic has completely taken over our lives, you can recognize patterns of stress that would naturally infuse your time. Whether we like it or not (and most of us don’t, really), stress is deeply woven into the fabric of the human experience. It can arise from regular interactions at work, from typical misunderstandings with our spouses, or it can come from a momentary mishap in traffic. It can be chronic or acute, and it can certainly rewire how we perceive the value of our lives and our relationships.
The one relationship you must protect from stress the most is that with yourself. Now that we’re deeply immersed in the pandemic and the turmoil that comes with it, stress is practically our daily reality. Facing those numbers published online, the earth-shattering realization that someone we know has Covid, or the idea that we are constantly alert not to get sick or get someone else sick – all more than enough to get yourself sweating with stress. Self-care is more vital than ever to battle stress, so here’s your little guide on improving your daily habits to do just that.
Skincare as your stress relief
Depending on your skin type and your kitchen supplies, you can work wonders for your pores with very little effort. Not to mention the benefits for your mind and confidence, because you can spend an hour taking care of your skin, your first line of defense, and thus enjoying the scents and the tactile dimension of your routine.
Consider applying a combination of nourishing, natural ingredients such as honey, avocado, or coconut oil for a moisturizing effect. Create your own facial mask and use it to pamper yourself and to treat your pores with a little extra attention during these stressful times.
Cherish your locks
Much like natural ingredients in that DIY face mask of yours can be a precious source of moisture for your skin, you can treat your scalp and your hair with the same kindness and attention. In fact, in doing so, you’ll create another self-care beauty routine perfect for reducing your stress levels. Merely combing your hair carefully with a natural comb will help you unwind.
Make sure you’re using natural items in your hair care such as organic and natural hair wax to style your hairdo, and protect your locks at the same time. When you take the time to tend to your locks, you’ll enjoy the process as much as the end result, and you’ll have another helpful ritual to banish stress in a simple, natural way.
Meditation and breathing for your inner Zen
If you’ve always been reluctant to try meditating, have you considered less conventional alternative forms that allow you to get active? In fact, meditation in motion has become even more widespread than you’d assume, since many activities are ideal for putting your mind into a meditative state, such as gardening, jogging, or doing yoga.
Sometimes when you’re feeling particularly anxious and you don’t have a chance to get active immediately, it’s enough to start focusing on your breath.
Aromatherapy as your go-to sensory delight
With a nourishing facial mask, you might feel that you’ve run out of soothing options. However, you’d be surprised just how restorative aromatherapy can be for your mind and body. Calming fragrances such as lavender can have a profound impact on your ability to fall asleep or even to keep your mind at ease during the day.
You can buy some lavender oil for starters to add a few drops to your pillowcase and see how it affects your sleep. Then again, you can purchase scented candles and place them in your rooms to see if you can balance your mood throughout the day.
Escape with the help of storytelling
Journaling is a powerful habit for facing your emotions and processing all those chaotic thoughts you have during the day. By writing about your life, you “cleanse” your brain before bed and thus allow yourself a clean mental slate to fall asleep.
Even more so, reading a good book can become your refuge. Great storytellers are able to pull you into the story from the very first sentence and allow you to escape the harsh reality from time to time in a healthy and controlled way. You’ll stimulate your imagination, build up your vocabulary, and most of all, get rid of pent-up stress and negativity.
Get your sweat on
Sometimes, it will be exercise, at other times, it will be a sauna. It depends on your mood and your energy levels, and of course, the situation with wellness parlors in your vicinity. When it’s healthy and safe, you can set up regular visits to the sauna to detox your entire body and mind properly.
Alternatively, a workout routine can elevate your fitness levels, enable you to become more resilient both physically and psychologically, and become more impervious to stress. In both scenarios, little time and effort can yield great results for your wellbeing.
It’s vital to accept that stress is inevitable, but not unmanageable. We can regulate our response to stress triggers and become more resilient in times of turmoil such as the ongoing pandemic. These simple self-care strategies won’t erase the pandemic, but they’ll let you appreciate yourself and those little moments of pleasure, and help you build a fortress in your own mind to stay serene.