Monday, 1 June 2020

Looking After Yourself Both Physically and Mentally

To say we're currently living through a strange time would be an understatement. If you find yourself saying 'what the f*ck is going on?' to yourself at least three times a day, we're on the same page. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed life as we know it. Today, the new 'normal' includes working from home in your pyjamas and enjoying Friday night drinks with your friends over Facetime. 

During this very strange (and sad) time, it's important to take care of your physical and mental health. While we're being told to stay home by the Government, it's also very important to take the time to care for yourself and give yourself some extra TLC. I'd also like to note that whatever you've done during this period to get through it is fine - whether that's brushing up on your culinary skills, taking up a new hobby or simply lazing about and watching Netflix. 

If you have found yourself feeling a bit down, I've put together a few quick and general tips for looking after your physical and mental health. I'm by no means an expert, but I'm a girl who's also been in lockdown and I know what those down days feel like. 


Get up

No seriously, get up. It's more than fine to have a few lazy mornings in bed, but I promise you you'll feel much better if you just get up and out of bed at a reasonable time. If you have to, find a reason to get out bed - whether it's to sit in your garden with a coffee, do a Youtube workout video, eat a delicious breakfast (if like me, you're obsessed with food, this honestly does work) or even if it's just to feed your cat, get up. Once you're out of bed, you're already having a better day. 

Get out if you can

I understand that this isn't possible for everyone right now, but if you can get out, do it. Stick to the current social distancing guidelines while out, but do make the most of your time spent out of the house. It's amazing what a walk and some fresh air can do - also, it's absolutely essential to get some daily exercise for your mental health. If you have a garden, use it! Do some gardening; lie on a towel; watch the clouds; listen to music; cook a barbeque; call your friend... just try to spend some time outside. 

Get dressed

Personally, I'm a big fan of the whole loungewear/pyjamas situation. I'd live in comfy clothes and pyjamas if I could, but it actually does help to get properly dressed sometimes. Put a pair of jeans on every so often or something that you wouldn't necessarily wear just lounging around the house; not only does it make a change, but it can make you feel good too. 

In fact, get properly dressed up every so often. That dress that you love but haven't been able to wear? Put it on. Your favourite underwear that absolutely no one else is going to see? Yep. Your most precious and expensive piece of jewellery? Why not. Whether it's for a pizza night with your family, a drink with friends over Facetime or simply for yourself, get dressed up every now and then.

Do the little things that make you feel good

I've also found that taking the time to do the things that make you feel good is extremely important. Whether it's painting your nails, putting on a hair mask or dying your eyebrows, do it. One thing I've learned since being in lockdown is that women really do shave their legs for themselves! There's not a man in sight and yet silky smooth legs still make me feel better.

Things that make you feel good may not necessarily include painting your nails. Perhaps watching a good thriller, getting stuck into a good book, watching the sunset or baking cupcakes gives you a boost. Whatever it is, do it. Repeatedly. You deserve to feel good. 

Look after yourself

Most importantly, look after yourself during this trying time. You may not be seeing people regularly, but it's still important to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Get your fruit and veggies in where possible, do your washing, keep your hair shiny and do your squats. Even if you spend most of the day horizontal, set aside some time each day to just look after yourself. I know this is easier said than done, but a hot shower or healthy meal will make you and your insides feel better. 

In fact, there is no better time than now to pay attention to your health as a woman. It's no surprise that this pandemic has got lots of us thinking differently about our health. Take this time at home with yourself to learn more about women's health and your body - and plan some appointments for when you get out. From simple checkups to check your blood pressure to STI checks, there's no better time than now to plan to be the healthiest version of yourself. For my US-based readers, you can get $15 off women's sexual health tests here

Stay positive 

Granted, it's easier said than done, but try to stay positive. This will pass. We will see friends, family and loves again and when we do, it will be beautiful. Don't be hard on yourself during such a challenging time; we're all doing the best we can. 

xx 

*This is a collaborative post. 
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