I try to keep things as light-hearted as possible on here, but it’s pretty impossible to ignore what’s going on in the U.S. right now. No matter who you voted for, this was an incredibly emotionally-charged election, and emotions are still running high, especially on Facebook.
There’s plenty of ways you can have a voice and help the greater good — but whether your resources are time or money, give what you can to what you believe in.
But since this is is a health/fitness/wellness/whatever blog, I wanted to share some self-care ideas that I’ve found valuable for any situation.
1. Unplug, unplug, unplug. I temporarily deleted the Facebook app from my phone today, and I realized how much time I lose by idly scrolling through the app on my phone. I think we can all agree that social media has both its benefits and disadvantages, but being so chronically plugged in takes us away from really connecting offline.
2. Connect Offline. Which leads me to my next point — I’ve had and have some really amazing relationships with friends online and connecting with people through this blog, but nothing compares to that face-to-face contact. It can be really scary to be vulnerable, but I’ve found it’s often rewarded. Last week, I was really worried about something in my personal life, and I let my friends know. Although their support over texting was amazing (never discount the power of a funny meme), just sitting and chatting with them in person and sharing my worries was so cathartic. I can definitely tend to withdraw in hard times, but I need to remember the opposite is what helps.
3. Follow a routine. Even if you don’t feel like going to work, or going to the gym or eating healthy, I’ve found that trying to stick to a routine helps pass the time if I’m upset about something. Plus, you know, endorphins help everything.
4. Take a walk. Heading out with no clear route or destination feels so freeing sometimes, feeling the cool air on my face. It feels meditative, as I listen to my own footfalls (or the Hamilton soundtrack) and either get completely lost in my own head or really tune into what’s going on around me.
5. Take a bath. You say soaking in your own filth, I say nothing but utter relaxation. A tip from my therapist: find a bubble bath that smells really good and just sit there and take in its scent.
6. Read! (Also, in the bathtub.) Read something that’s a total escape, read something that enriches your life — just, again, unplug. (I still count reading on a Kindle/iPad unplugging — so long as you turn off the wifi!)
7. Treat yo’self. This can be any of the above. It can be getting some frou frou coffee drink instead of your typical coffee. It can be a mani/pedi or a bigass cookie — just something you don’t do every day that you know gives you a lift.
8. Say NO. I was supposed to have drinks with a friend last night, and I was exhausted from two nights of poor sleep prior, and so I opted out. I contemplated making up an excuse, but why? “Look, I’d love to see you, but I am EXHAUSTED” is the truth and something completely understandable. Going out for drinks was something I knew required more energy than I had and so I selfishly opted out for my own peace of mind.
9. PUPPIES! Or kittens, or gerbils, or whatever furry thing makes you happy. (Alpacas?!) If you own ’em, hold ’em a little closer. If not, visit a shelter or walk past a doggie day care window — or even find some silly video online. It has been scientifically proven to work 60% of the time all of the time.
10. Go on a good Pinterest binge. I know I said to unplug, but something about Pinterest is still so relaxing to me. It feels like a beautiful escape and a weird world of possibility where I can craft or cook anything. (I cannot, and I cannot, but it makes me feel like that and that’s good enough.)
What do you do to take care of yourself?