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We’re officially just over two weeks into our self-quarantine and we’re really starting to feel the effects of staying home. We’ve binge-watched every season of every show on Netflix imaginable, scrolled to the end of every one of our social feeds and tried to teach ourselves every single TikTok dance ever created. We know first hand how easy it is to fall into these habits when we’re spending so much time at home, especially when our daily commute has become the walk from our bed to our living room couch – but all jokes aside, we also completely understand how uncertain and unsettling everything feels right now. So we decided to reach out our virtual hand to guide you through some self-care rituals that are designed to help you restore a sense of relaxation at a time when you may need it the most.
- Find your new normal
It’s pretty safe to say that after all of this social distancing, we’ve all pretty much lost any and all concept of time. So when it comes to defining our “normal schedule”, anything goes. Changing out of one pair of sweats into another? Ditching our bras for days on end? Eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner? It’s all fair game. But in order to reclaim our sanity, we all need to find our “new normal”. So when you wake up tomorrow, try getting dressed into something a little less comfortable, opt for applying a bit of makeup, make yourself a home cooked meal – take things one step at a time and do whatever it takes to create a bit of a routine for yourself. Now is also the perfect chance to implement some new habits, like jotting down five things you are grateful for each morning, so you can continue to follow them when your regular schedule resumes.
2. Give your brain a break
Although it’s important to stay informed, we also need to occasionally unplug and withdraw from the constant stream of news and negativity we’re surrounded with right now. In fact, the little light waves, beeps and buzzes that come from our devices can keep our minds alert and make it harder for us to relax. Give your busy mind something else to focus on – take a dance break, do a face mask, paint your nails, or get immersed in your favourite book.
This is also a great time to practise meditation – which can be as simple as closing your eyes and being aware of your breathing, or something a bit more involved, like a guided meditation which can be found through a quick search on Youtube or on apps like Calm and Insight Timer.
3. Write it out
Journaling gives you the chance to transfer all of the chatter that’s circling around in your mind onto paper. It can help you let go of any negative thoughts, refocus your mind and alleviate anxiety. So grab some colourful pens and a pretty notebook, then jot down your reflections and intentions. Robert A. Emmons PHd, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies that show how thinking about things you’re grateful for increases happiness – so also try and take note of some of life’s little blessings that you have to be thankful for.
Shop notebooks and pens:
4. Work out
For a lot of people, exercise is a good way to unwind and maintain peace of mind. But with so many gyms and fitness studios closed, staying active can be tough these days. Believe it or not, there are actually several ways to get your heart pumping while practising social distancing. Activities like yoga, pilates, and circuit training exercises can be done in the comfort of your home. Yoga is great for its soothing effects because it links movement with breath – both of which affect our body’s way of coping with stress. There are also a ton of fitness instructors from studios, like Barry’s Bootcamp and f45, offering classes online and via Instagram story. Taking advantage of these free sessions or even taking a short walk outside to get fresh air can boost your mood and reinforce normalcy – just make sure to maintain six feet of separation between yourself and others.
5. Take advantage of your free time
Use your extra free time to learn a new skill, try a different hobby or to work on the passion project that you’ve been putting aside because you never had the time for it before. You’d be surprised by what you can accomplish by the time the quarantine ends if you just set your mind to it. For example, masterclass.com is a great online education platform where you can sign up for classes taught by experts in the field and learn their techniques.
6. Reach out to your loved ones
In times like these, sometimes all we need to ease our minds is some encouragement and emotional support from those who know us best. Even though we’re practising social distancing, we all need to continue to support our loved ones and inspire each other to move forward – even if it’s from a safe physical distance. So pick up the phone and FaceTime your friends, call your parents, or send a text to your coworkers.
7. Soothe all of your senses
One of the most important parts of practising a relaxing self care routine is making sure the environment you’re in actually allows you to relax. Aim to create an ambiance that fosters comfort and calmness with a focus on soothing all five of your senses. Dim the lights, cozy up with a warm blanket, light your favourite scented candles, listen to some peaceful music and even drink a calming drink or cocktail. Try to incorporate all of the things that make you feel at ease – both inside and out.
8. Wash the day away
We’d like to think that a warm bath or shower has the potential to physically wash off any stress, energy or bad vibes that have built up during the day. And even if it doesn’t actually do that, we still believe in its ability to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Taking a bath, especially one filled with bubble bath, a bath soak, or even Epsom salts can help soften the skin and relieve muscle tension. So indulge in a little bathtime bliss and let your worries float away.
9. Load up on lavender
We’re going to let you in on a little secret, shh don’t tell. Lavender is a magical secret ingredient that has the power to perfect your relaxation routine. A study conducted by psychiatrist Siegfried Kasper MD, showed that lavender essential oils reduce the physical and emotional signs of stress and increases feelings of calm in most people, especially those more prone to experiencing anxiety and depression. So whether it’s in the form of a pure essential oil, lotion, or even a linen spray – you can trust this scent to take you to tranquility city time and time again. If lavender isn’t your thing, spritzing any scent that evokes a positive memory or thought is also a great way to boost your mood and keep spirits high.
No matter what you choose to do in order to relax, don’t forget that it’s also completely normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed right now. There’s no playbook for dealing with this and we’re all doing the best we can to get through a tough time. So if you’re scared or stressed, remember that you are not alone. Now is the time to reach out to your loved ones for support – because at the end of the day we’re all in this together.
Xo, The Pretty Little Hangers Team