Articles, COVID-19, Mental Health, Staying Healthy

How-To Guide: Self Love During a Pandemic

clear mug on a stack of books

by Aaliah House

While nearly reaching a year since the start of the global pandemic, it is hard to fathom that we have been stuck in this unfortunate circumstance for nearly twelve months. It seems as if it was just yesterday, causing a loss in the tracking of time. As a result, many have fallen into a cycle of self-neglect. Pandemic or not, let us remember that taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, is just as important now as ever—even if it is from home. Let’s take a look at 10 essential self-care and self-love activities that you can partake in today.

1. Go For A Walk

Cliche, isn’t it? But seriously—take a nice, long walk. We tend to underestimate the power of going out alone, listening to some music, and just decompressing. It’s quite therapeutic and is definitely a productive way to declutter mentally while also doing something physically beneficial.

2. Take A Bath

Running a hot bath is a popular way to relax, however severely underappreciated. Baths are known to ease muscle tension, improve circulation, balance hormones, and assist heart health. So, try it. Take a warm bath, maybe throw in some bubble soap or a bath bomb and just unwind.

3. Read A Book

Do people still read these days? I feel as if the population of book worms has greatly decreased since the introduction of technology—however, it is never too late to get into it. Reading is a great way to indulge in self-care, as it allows for you to enter a world where all is possible. Additionally, you can find just about any book, any genre on the web for free. I would highly recommend testing this task out.

4. Listen To Music / Create A Self-Care Playlist

This one on the list is by far my favorite, as I personally love to just sit back and enjoy some good tunes. Listening to your favorite type of music, whether it be hard rock or soft jazz, is a surefire way to let loose. Creating your own playlist made for moments just like these is also a great utilization of time. Compile all your favorites into one playlist and just shuffle.

5. Clean

This one may be a bit controversial amongst the bunch. Now I know what you’re probably thinking: why would I ever want to clean when I am trying to de-stress? Let me tell you. When your life is organized, you will automatically feel 100 times better. Also, cleaning without being told to do so is nice. You get to work at your own pace and only complete what you feel up for. So, play that self-care playlist we were just talking about and get to cleaning.

6. Online Shopping

Retail therapy works, I promise you. Set yourself a reasonable budget, and go ham. Hit up all your favorite stores, many of which have great deals around this time of year, and buy yourself something nice. Whether it has practical use—such as an air fryer or snow boots—or is simply for the sake of pure indulgence—like that really cute top you’ve been wanting or the newest eyeshadow palette—treat yourself.

7. Watch A New Movie Or Show

Throughout quarantine, so many new shows and movies have been released on various platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Amazon, Disney+, etc. Alternatively, you can also check your custom cable options, as they often have free movies and shows to choose from. Whatever the case may be, do some research or ask a friend for a recommendation. Pop yourself some popcorn, get comfortable with some blankets, maybe even light yourself a candle, and start binging.

8. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to participate in acts of self-care and self-love. Not only is exercising great for your body physically, but it has also been scientifically proven to release endorphins, which in turn relieve stress, pain, and produce happiness. Try a run around your neighborhood or a 10-minute ab workout (Youtube has great options—check out this workout from Chloe Ting!). Either way, you’ll be left feeling happy and healthy.

9. Cook

Trying out new recipes is always a fun way to relax. The best part is, it’s completely versatile and customizable to your needs and wants. There are also tons of websites and applications where you can enter ingredients you already have at home, and it will generate lists of recipes that you can make out of those. I always recommend going for something sweet, but go ahead and try out whatever suits your fancy.

10. Take A Nap

Last up on the list, we have a good old fashioned nap. If all else fails, try taking a nap. Depending on your needs, a 20-minute power nap may suffice, and for others, they may require a few hours. Regardless, reset by taking a nap, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you.

As expressed, there are various different ways you can feed into your need for self-care all from the safety of your home and neighborhood. Make sure to always wear a mask when engaging in any of the outdoor activities mentioned above and properly sanitize after returning home. Good luck on your endeavors into the world of self-love, and happy wellness!

Check out this article from another GirlSpring contributor for even more tips on self-care at home.

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