The mantra for self-care amidst a pandemic may seem a little superficial. However, this article will not be suggesting having spa days, drinking a cup of green tea before breakfast, or baking cookies. Rather, we will be focusing on self-care in terms of protecting your body and mental health during an undeniably confusing and anxious period. Most of us, myself included, are certified couch potatoes bored out of our minds by now. If you are as eager as I to change that, these 4 self-care tips are surely for you!
Exercise admittedly is familiar territory in self-care. However, with the mobility restriction of the pandemic, our physical health is neglected now more than ever.
Firstly, 30 minutes a day is the ideal duration an individual should exercise to remain healthy. Initially, that may seem like a prolonged amount of time, so instead of diving in headfirst only to give up, start in short sessions then increase the time or split your workout throughout the day.
If you’re not sure where to start, workout regimes heavily saturate the internet, from blog sites to short tutorials on TikTok. YouTube is one of the best hubs for fitness instructors. These YouTubers offer a selection of 10-20 minutes videos that cover a plethora of exercises intended to complement each other. Moreover, the videos provide an added benefit of a workout friend in the form of an overly enthusiastic instructor yelling encouragements; “30 Seconds to go!”, “You can do it!” or my personal favorite, “Just a little more!”. To get you started, here are just a few particularly popular channels known for their comprehensive workout plans; POPSUGAR Fitness, Turn it up, and Bloglaties. Not to forget, the best part of working out is the overwhelming sense of achievement and the satisfaction of completing a workout! It is self-care for your body and your mind too.
2. Proper Nutrition.
The food we put into our body plays a vital role in our health as well. Our immune system should be a top priority all the time, but especially during the spread of such a vigorous virus such as COVID. While a strong immune system will not help in the prevention of contracting the virus, it is significant in improving the body’s response toward the virus if contracted. On top of a balanced diet, we should strive to include certain foods known to have immunity boosting properties. Self-care tips cannot get any easier than just watching what you eat!
Foods to indulge:
- Fruits, especially papaya and citrus
- Vegetables, especially bitter greens and broccoli
- Whole grains
There are also foods that weaken the immune system. While fine in moderation, eating too much can have adverse effects.
Foods to avoid:
- Fried foods
- Heavily Processed foods
- Meats that are not cooked properly (prone to carrying diseases and viruses)
3. Explore a new hobby
If you are plagued with restlessness, why not try a new hobby? New hobbies help us to exercise our minds and gain new skills. It is also a wonderful way to destress and forget about any mounting assignments for a few hours. If you are stuck on ideas, these are a few common ones: learning an instrument, writing stories, cooking, crochet, and knitting. Quite frankly, anything can be a hobby if you find joy in it. Personally, I have been trying to learn how to skateboard (though quite unsuccessfully!). It is also impressive and satisfying to come out of quarantine being able to say you have mastered a new hobby or two!
Being stuck at home for weeks ends can take a toll on our bodies, particularly our minds. I’m sure by now many of us have first-hand experience! If we do not dedicate the proper time to re-center, it can potentially develop into serious medical conditions. To end things on a fun note, one of our last self-care tips is listening to podcasts.
Podcasts are usually 30-minutes or 1-hour long spoken audio clips that cover a vast range of topics, such as feminism, sports, audio drama, TV shows, and more. So, there is bound to be a little something for everyone! Podcasts are extremely therapeutic and can provide educational benefits. I personally love to listen to French beginners’ podcasts whenever I can.
One of the amazing qualities of a podcast is that you can listen to it on the go, when driving, before you go to bed, or even during a workout. Talk about two birds with one stone! For a little extra incentive, some of your favorite celebrities could be a host or featured guest on a channel. Now, where can we find them? Spotify is a good place to start. Most of us already use it daily for music. There are also a ton of apps you can download specifically for podcasts.
Self-care is imperative during our pandemic, so I urge you to take the time and help yourself. I hope these self-care tips help you begin your journey in taking care of your mental and physical health.
By: Xjinnie Tan
Check out our last article here!