2020 has served us with a very challenging and uncertain year—the pandemic (and all the unfortunate changes the virus has caused), the justice movement, fires burning throughout the west coast, global violence, sadly the list goes on…
Though it’s been an incredibly hard year for the world, hopefully, we’ve been reminded what truly matters in life—family, friends, a roof over our head, and doing our best to enjoy the simple pleasures. To help ease your mind during this hectic time, we’re sharing 10 self-care tips to keep in your back pocket for when you’re feeling down. Learn our stress-reducing hacks below.
Make a weekly “feel-good” playlist.
You can add songs that calm you down, help you meditate, or force you to relax. Once your playlist is set, you can listen to it in the car, when you’re trying to clear your mind before bed, or anytime you are feeling stressed. Music can be used as a form of therapy, and as this study shows, it can be beneficial to calming the nervous system.
Soak in a bubble bath.
Try one of our go-to DIY bath rituals and enjoy the alone time as you self-soothe in the nourishing warm water. If you don’t have a bath, a long, steamy shower does just the trick too. Allow yourself to unwind and clear your mind during the relaxing soak or rinse.
Help out others.
When you’re feeling down, one of the easiest ways to shift your mood is by helping out others. This could be through donating money or your time to those in need or simpling calling three of your closest friends or family members and asking how they are doing. Try and keep the conversation positive and uplifting. We’re all in this together and need as much emotional support as we can get.
Unplug for 10-15 minutes.
During this time, focus on yourself and your surroundings. The emails and group text messages can wait. Giving yourself a moment of silence can help clear your mind and help destress. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy amount of quiet time can also help with heart health.
Enjoy a guided meditation session.
A few minutes a day of meditation can really bring back your inner peace. Our in-house life coach, Ryan Haddon, kindly curated a lovely guided meditation playlist for starters, or you can use an app like Happy Not Perfect. You can do it at any point of the day, alone in your room, or listen to it while you’re on a safe nature walk.
Have something to look forward to.
It could be something as simple as making (or ordering) your favorite meal for dinner or a (safe) getaway with your significant other or small group of friends. No matter what it is, get something on the calendar—the excitement of having something planned is such a simple way to keep your spirits up.
Save uplifting memories and quotes to a folder on your phone.
Sounds cheesy, but reading through inspiring quotes is a quick way to boost your mood. Our editor, Michelle Scanga, recently started a Family Friday tradition on her family group text where every week, she sends a sweet quote to the thread. Again, it’s another simple thing to look forward to, and if you’re like her and can’t see your family that often, it’s a nice way to keep everyone in touch and emotionally in check.
Take two minutes each day to journal.
Before you write this one off as “not for me,” consider easing into the idea by starting with writing down three things each day (or week!) that you’re grateful for. Journaling doesn’t mean you have to write a novel by any means. Keep it in a note on your phone or the old-school way and buy an actual journal (we love this one). Not only will you feel relieved getting your thoughts and feeling out, but when you’re needing a pick-me-up, you can go back and read older notes and remind yourself that whatever you’re going through will pass and brighter days are ahead.
Stretch it out.
Stretching improves posture, muscle tension, and your ability to relax. Take 5-10 minutes to move your body and elongate your figure. You can do this right when you wake up or at the end of the day between commercial breaks as you’re winding down during the evening.
Make your room your sanctuary.
A messy, cluttered room only adds to a stressful lifestyle. Aside from making your bed every morning and keeping your area tidy, consider purging unnecessary things from your bedroom (and closet) that are taking up valuable space. You’ll be surprised how shifting to a more minimalistic style can make you feel lighter and overall less anxious. Donate the items you no longer need to a family in need, which will also help make you feel good during hectic times.