A survey in January this year for the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that 84% of American adults feel anxiety, sadness, or anger linked with long periods of stress. The cause of stress was the coronavirus pandemic for 80% of the respondents.
High levels of persistent stress can lead to mental health issues. According to separate research, 41.1% of American adults reported having symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder in January 2021, a significant increase from 11% in January to June 2019.
The APA cites changes in weight as one of the most common indicators of difficulty in handling mental health problems, and 42% of respondents gained an average of 29 pounds of unwanted weight during the pandemic.
Weight gain is unhealthy in general but is particularly unsafe during this period because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that being overweight increases your risk of developing serious illness from Covid-19.
All these data point to the fact that experiencing stress is inevitable during the pandemic, and, therefore, it is vital to be able to manage it. If you do not, you run the risk of developing mental health issues that have physical consequences. These make you vulnerable to the worst outcomes if infected with the coronavirus.
One of the ways you can manage stress is through self-care and self-pampering. The APA suggests setting aside 15 minutes to half an hour periods of self-care spread throughout each day.
Stick to Your Basics
Depressed and anxious people often let themselves go, disregarding their looks, including basic hygiene. Even when you are feeling low, you must not allow yourself to slide into this neglect.
Start with making sure that you have your basic daily self-maintenance routine down pat. Take a daily bath, wash your hair, brush your teeth and floss, cut your nails. Change into clean clothes every day even if you are not leaving the house.
Do your laundry regularly, which includes not just your clothes but also your bedding and towels. Always envelop yourself in freshness.
Your hair must be long by now, and if it is looking unkempt, you can cut it yourself. Check out the various online videos on cutting your own hair, and you will find that it is not difficult to do. Choose the simplest method if you do not feel confident. There are different types of hair-cutting shears you can order online.
Part of basic self-care is good nutrition and having enough physical activity. Stress leads to poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle, and these, in turn, lead to dangerous weight gain.
Be mindful and opt for healthy food choices. Do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes spread throughout the week, and two days of muscle-strengthening exercises each week. This can be as easy as walking for half an hour on weekdays and doing squats, push-ups, or planks two days a week.
Indulge in Extras
Apart from the basics, now is the time to go further and indulge in little luxuries you can afford to pamper yourself with.
Replace your usual bath soap with organic handmade soaps that will make each bath feel like a spa experience. Follow this with a skincare routine that is a step up from what you were doing before.
Make your skin feel smoother and smell great with a new lotion. Order a facial mask appropriate for your skin type and let your face soak in all that goodness while you lie back and relax.
If you were not giving yourself a manicure or pedicure before, try doing this now. Even a single layer of clear polish will make your nails shine.
You can try a new hair color using a DIY box dye. Choose a reliable brand and make sure you do a skin patch test beforehand.
Choose a day when you will dress up even if you have nowhere to go. Choose your favorite outfit or try a combination you did not try before and accessorize. Play with your makeup. Take selfies with your outfit of the day and pose like a professional model.
Prepare a gourmet meal that you have not tried before from an online recipe or cook up your favorite comfort food but make sure it is healthy. Add a wonderful fresh salad and a nice bottle of wine. You can start the meal with a cheese and fruit board.
Having a good night’s sleep is vital to maintaining the proper function of your immune system. Help yourself achieve this through soothing music and an aromatherapy diffuser with drops of lavender oil.
You Deserve a Better Lifestyle
Self-care amid COVID-19 is not an extravagance but a need. Do not allow the stress from the pandemic to push you into a downward spiral. It is not difficult to find activities you enjoy while tending to your physical, emotional, and mental health. Take control of your lifestyle and make it the best it can be under the circumstances because you deserve it.