One of the most important outcomes of isolation is that we have finally learned how to take care of ourselves. Everything that the self-care followers failed to convince us of in the pre-pandemic life caught up with us in lockdown, when we had to spend all the time at home.
At the beginning of March 2020, stress not only didn’t go away but also grew due to an unusual way of life. Something had to be done with this stress, and so we turned to relaxation practices and meditation started doing fitness and sleeping the required 8 hours, and in general, we stopped sparing time for ourselves.
This approach fits perfectly into the philosophy of self-care – taking care of yourself at all levels, from skincare to self-education and home decoration. Not surprisingly, sales of houseplants and home decor items have grown during the lockdown period.
In the field of beauty, the demand for everything that previously seemed like excess and an unjustified waste of time has noticeably increased: beauty gadgets, face and hair masks, body products have become part of daily rituals. And it’s so great that after the release from the pandemic, we will not forget how to take care of ourselves.
Now, at the beginning of a new year, it is a perfect time to analyze your previous lifestyle and develop new healthy habits. However, you should prepare for “the new life”: it’s better to check your body before changing your nutrition, or start visiting AddictionResource AA support groups if you have frequent alcohol cravings. Keep in mind, that every serious change in life needs previous preparation, so even if you don’t have an alcohol addiction, better check how long do AA meetings last. In the article, we will talk about the new habits you should consider if you have no health issues.
Always Have a Breakfast
You don’t have to start every day with almond oatmeal, spinach omelets, or vegetable smoothies like fitness enthusiasts do (although you can strive to do so). If you are not ready to have a hearty breakfast, you can always have a snack with an apple with a handful of nuts and drink green tea or limit yourself to a glass of kefir and cereals, and after a couple of hours, you can have a brunch or lunch. One way or another, it is necessary to eat at least something nutritious in the morning.
Studies show that among those who do not neglect breakfast, the body mass index is lower on average (that is, closer to a healthy norm). By skipping breakfast, we do not allow the metabolism to “accelerate”, but we provide ourselves with a jump in blood sugar for lunch, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. To make breakfast less of a hassle, the next time you shop for groceries, consider options for the morning menu for the week: stock up on seasonal fruits and green vegetables, nuts and dried fruits, oatmeal, whole grain bread, and moderate-fat sour-milk products.
Spend 15 Minutes a Day in Physical Activity
Regular long-term training is necessary if you want to gain muscle mass or lose fat, but if your goal is staying healthy and keeping fit, you will need less aggressive forms of activity. Even 10-15 minutes of sports a day will not only tone muscles, improve blood circulation and normalize blood pressure but also help fight stress: with any load of sufficient intensity – from running to push-ups – there is a surge of endorphins.
Among express workouts, Tabata has been the leader for some time, but you can start with less intense video workouts on YouTube – even with bodyweight, even with shells, from ballet to fitness yoga. If you’re not into reps and sets, take a brisk walk, jump rope, or dance to your favorite track. The main thing in this matter is not to blame yourself for irregularity: guilt will only kill motivation, and the realization that movement literally saves your body and spirit will allow it to gain a foothold.
Sleep in Complete Darkness
Scientists advise sleeping in complete darkness since only melatonin is produced in it, a neurotransmitter that tells the brain that it’s time to fall asleep. If sleep is not easy, darkness can be thickened: curtain the windows with blackout curtains, turn off all electronic devices, and get a sleep mask.
There are a lot of options on the market with built-in bonuses – from sleep trackers to eye patches, and some manufacturers even promise to get rid of migraines with their masks, which is hard to believe. It is better to start with basic sleep masks made from soft natural materials. The only drawback of the mask is that it is not possible to wake up in the morning from natural or simulated sunlight, and it is this awakening mechanism that, according to research, normalizes circadian rhythms.
Change Pillowcases Every Week
We take care of our skin so diligently, but every now and then we forget about the external factors affecting it besides the sun, wind, and frost. People spend a third of their lives with their faces buried in pillows. Pillowcases accumulate sebum from hair and face, dust, remnants of skincare products and even washing powder and fabric softener. All this, mixed with bacteria, often becomes one of the causes of skin irritation and pollution, the appearance of allergies, and acne.
Dermatologists recommend changing your pillowcase every week, and for people with sensitive skin, acne, or allergies to house dust, even more often. Treat this as an important step in your skincare routine – changing your pillowcase is just as important as weekly exfoliation. Dermatologists advise choosing a natural and loose fabric for bedding (silk or cotton is best) and remind you not to go to bed with wet hair if you do not want your skin to suffer from a damp mess of dust, hair conditioner, and fabric lint.
It is difficult to deny the beneficial properties of dry wine, the main thing is to know your limits. If you have noticed that you drink alcohol more than three times per week, it’s a sign that you might have an alcohol addiction. Get a consultation at AA support groups and find out how to get rid of alcohol cravings. There are different types of AA meetings, most of them are confidential, so don’t be afraid to visit.
Notice, how often you need alcohol to relieve stress. It’s not uncommon for people to look forward to Friday so they can finally have a drink, and often it takes the whole weekend. Or if you’ve ever noticed that you are going to drink a couple of glasses of wine but end up with a bottle or two. Those are the red flags. You should also be worried if, when meeting with friends, you are happier with the opportunity to drink than with communication and events around you.