We see the phrase "self care" thrown around often, especially as we trudge through the ongoing effects of the pandemic. As people deal with job loss, shutting down businesses, or remembering how to teach fractions and history lessons to your children at the same time as answering frantic emails from your boss, we're all finding ourselves not only stressed out and stretched thin, but also burnt out.
You may not have the time, energy or money to join a gym to burn off some frustration, or the thought of working out may make your eyes roll in the back of your head. Fear not! There are still many ways to relax and release without adding the extra stress of spending money you may or may not have. Here are a few tips or suggestions on how to get your self care on:
1. YouTube It!
Did you know there are free workout and yoga sessions available on YouTube? A quick search brings up hundreds of results. If you don't want to pay a monthly membership or deal with a group of yelling sweaty people, you can workout from the comfort of home. Just find what you love (or something you've always wanted to try) and give it a whirl.
2. Mindful Meditation
Again, YouTube has a plethora of calming meditation playlists, as do pretty much any music streaming service, like Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music. I play affirmations for my kids at night before bed, then turn on nature sounds during my own wind down time. Meditation apps like Calm and Shine have free versions you can try, or pay to access even more programs. Meditation has been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety, stress and age-related memory loss while increasing focus and emotional health. Which sounds like exactly what we all need in these crazy times.
3. Put the Phone Down
Have you ever read a post on Facebook that got you so upset, you couldn't sleep? Do you notice when you check work emails before bed that you spend most of the night staring at the ceiling thinking about what tomorrow will bring?
Research shows that the blue light on the phone simulates daylight, which is great during the day, not so great before bed. The blue light suppresses melatonin, a hormone in your body that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. While some phones have a blue light filter, your best bet is to simply put your phone down just one hour before bed and pick up a book (or turn on that aforementioned meditation playlist!) It gives you and your brain time to calm down and drift off to sleep much easier, which means less irritation and drowsiness the next day.
What do you do to relax and unwind? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages!