We are currently living in unprecedented times due to the Covid 19 pandemic. How many of us are taking this time to look after ourselves and not just others? We have some handy tips here for your self-care, on a budget, during this pandemic.
Taking care of yourself in these uncertain times, not only physically but emotionally, is extremely important and it needn’t be expensive!
Detail both positive or negative thoughts. This is especially helpful with worries over the coronavirus pandemic. Using good old fashioned pen and paper or Word, once it is out of your mind, it can help you to relax.
If you need to, set aside ‘worry time’ but limit it to no more than 20 minutes. Experts say that writing down feelings reduces unpleasant thoughts about adverse events and helps your working memory.
Write down one thing every day that makes you thankful, even if it is an old memory that’s made you smile or something kind someone has said. Maybe you’ve done something for someone else and they really appreciated it. Building up positive thoughts by practising gratitude is of great benefit to our well being.
This is a great time to review your bills because we are normally to busy to find time to do this. As well as looking at your utility bills, broadband, credit cards also look at your mobile phone bill and your usage. Can you get a better deal with your utilities?
Are you paying for mobile data you don’t need or deals you never use? If you are, look at www.flexsimba.co.uk. They have a number of really good SIM-only deals, that are pay-monthly and you can cancel whenever you like. Great for using with boredom buster games!
Whether using an ebook or a physical paperback book, you can immerse yourself in a different world, and you soon forget your stresses and anxieties. If reading isn’t your thing, invest in an audiobook and be transported away by listening to a book. There are many free e-books available n many platforms.
Firstly, grab some good conditioner, apply to your freshly washed hair and wrap with a warm towel. Use a luxurious face mask or clay mask and dig out your favourite bath bombs or essential oils. Choose some soothing music, light some candles and run the hot bath. Lie back and relax; stresses and strains will soon melt away.
This will apply particularly if you’ve been working from home. Light a scented candle, or essential oils in a burner, keep the room at a reasonable temperature and choose a good book or podcast to help you wind down.
The light from our phones can stop our bodies producing melatonin which aids sleep, although some phones now have a blue screen filter. Having said that, scrolling through social media directly before we try to sleep is in no way helpful.
A warm drink such as camomile or hot milk can help you relax as can performing some very gentle yoga stretches. Fresh, clean bedding can help some people to sleep too!
Set aside 10 minutes, more if you can, and be guided by an app or podcast. There are some well-recommended apps for mindfulness to download, such as Headspace, Calm and Digipill.
Build ‘grounding exercises’ into your day. Find three things that you can see, smell, hear and feel. You can use this at any time, such as while walking home, or during a meal. Concentrate on what is happening now.
Learn to breathe well, using your stomach rather than your chest cavity. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of 5, hold for a count of 2 and exhale through your mouth for a count of 7. And repeat! Good mental health is essential at this time.
Maybe learn to knit or crochet, or invest in a colouring book for grown-ups- anything that helps to take your mind away from the daily grind. Learn yoga at home; there are many videos online to help teach you.
Coat your feet in coconut oil and a drop of lavender oil and put on some bed socks. Your tired feet will thank you for it, and the lavender will help you to sleep.
Cut and file your nails, and paint in your favourite colour. Using a good base and top coat will help the polish last longer. Massage cuticle oil into your cuticles and your fingers will look fabulous!
Walk, bike or hike, and you’ll soon be feeling better. Experts recommend 10-30 minutes of sunlight a day, or our vitamin D depletes. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be a very real problem. Those released endorphins when you are physically active will soon have you feeling more upbeat. Just remember to practice social distancing!
Get in touch with friends and members of your family. It doesn’t have to be an hours phonecall, but a quick “How are you?” text or email with a close friend or family member can boost both of you. It’s always nice that someone is thinking of you and they’ll return the favour.
Or find a new one! From rom-coms to murder mysteries, choose whatever helps you relax. Get in your comfortable clothing, grab some popcorn and forget about everything for a while.
Cook something that you truly enjoy, not just pleasing other family members. Maybe there’s a recipe you’ve been meaning to try but had no time?
Finish it off with a treat, such as pudding, a chocolate bar or cheeseboard.
Above all, spend time doing something you enjoy!