Wellness at Home: 5 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself Right Now
With the present state of the world, many of us find ourselves rarely leaving the house. Maintaining wellness can be difficult when your work, home, and social life all happen under the same roof. But it’s vital not to neglect self-care when you need it the most!
The following list of ideas for practicing wellness at home has suggestions for taking care of your mental and physical health, both of which are crucial in today’s challenging environment.
1. Practice Mindfulness as You Begin and End Your Day
As the pandemic stretches on, it is all too easy to sluggishly muddle from one day into the next. Practicing mindfulness throughout the day helps make each day count. Aim for a state of relaxed alertness in which you are aware of your needs and feelings without passing judgment on them. A psychotherapeutic and meditative practice, mindfulness has proven benefits for both your physical and emotional health.
Mindful meditations are particularly helpful as brackets for your day. Begin and end your day with moments of presentness and self-assessment. Whether you practice a structured meditation or just take a moment to check in with yourself, make it a point to start and close your daily routines with a few minutes set aside to breathe and clear your mind.
If you benefit from more structured guidance, you might try one of the following mindfulness exercises:
- Perform a body scan. Lie still and focus on your breath, then extend your awareness into each part of your body, starting at your toes and moving upward.
- Focus on each of your five senses. What do you see, smell, hear, touch, and taste? Check in with each one, label it, and either let it go or embrace it.
- Exercise self-compassion. As you breathe, acknowledge either your anxieties about the day ahead (in the morning) or the stresses and pains you experienced during it (at night). Own both your emotions and your challenges as valid, and extend to yourself the same compassion you would to another in your place.
2. Take Frequent Breaks to Stretch and Move Your Body
Your computer will hold you hostage if you let it. Make a conscious effort to get up and move at least once an hour (preferably more). Even standing up and stretching for a minute can recharge your brain and help prevent the aches and pains of a sedentary lifestyle.
Take advantage of the freedom working at home offers you. There are no prying eyes to judge you for busting out a set of jumping jacks or high kicks in the middle of the office.
3. Eat Well
Living and eating well does not mean stripping your life of flavor or enjoyment. Food should be a source of joy as well as nutrition. Take the time to plan healthy meals that you look forward to eating. There are plenty of online resources to help inspire a healthy, satisfying at-home menu.
- Eatwell101’s Low Effort and Healthy Dinner Recipes: For when you want to eat well but don’t have much time to cook.
- Food Network’s 50 Most Popular Healthy Recipes: There’s a reason that so many have loved the dishes collected here. They’re incredibly satisfying as well as healthy.
- Cookie and Kate Food Blog: This vegetarian blog presents tons of delicious recipes, including nutrient-dense options and indulgences that manage to walk just the right line of healthy-but-not-too-healthy.
Most of us found our fitness regimens interrupted as the shape of the world changed. Fitness professionals have responded with any number of creative at-home solutions, ensuring you can find one that fits your schedule and preferences. There are live streaming classes, on-demand programs, personal wellness and nutrition guides, exercise blogs, and more.
Even better, try a subscription service that gives you access to all of the above, such as the ones offered by MyLifeWell.
Be careful not to idealize your workout in a way that keeps you from the exercise you can and will do. Sometimes you only have a limited amount of time or energy to devote to exercise. Curate a list of workouts you can turn to when conditions are less than ideal.
5. Consciously Enter and Leave “The Office”
The boundaries of work and life blur all too easily when working from home. You can find yourself distracted by chores during the workday or let work extend past its designated time slot into what should be personal time. When you go to work, go with the full focus you would bring to a day at an outside office. Then block off time to set work aside for periodic breaks, lunch, and at the end of the workday. Creating clear boundaries around these areas of your life will allow you to engage more fully in both.