We’re clearly navigating unprecedented times. It feels like every hour there’s a new update from government officials, we’re collectively in a heightened sense of panic, and it feels impossible to tear ourselves away from our devices. While many of us are going to spend much more time at home in the foreseeable future, that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to pure chaos or neglect our mental and physical health in the process. And stepping up your self-care is a great way to stay positive, and busy.
Here’s the thing: practicing self-care isn’t selfish and it can even be quite simple. Try to reframe this newfound downtime as an opportunity to invest in yourself in ways you haven’t been able to before. It’s a chance to better yourself, to foster deep human connection around you, and honestly to just relish in some R&R. Here are a few things you can do at home to keep your spirits up.
1. Start a Virtual Book Club with Friends
Seeing as how happy hour and brunch dates are off limits for a while, why not get your crew together by way of a virtual book club? Take turns choosing the book (we suggest light choices), then set weekly reading goals followed by a virtual chat date to dish on everything. Ordering books online might get tricky, so stick to either audiobook or e-book options. Amazon has a ton of options and so does Audible. Try to make the virtual date feel special – bring a snack or a glass of wine along and dedicate a full 30 minutes to an hour!
2. Binge a New Podcast Series & Organize
It doesn’t matter how niche you go: there’s basically a podcast for every genre out there. Whether you dig true crime stories, deep dive exposes, reality TV rehashing, beauty gossip, science-y spins, or interviews with influential people, you’re covered. We recommend finding a great podcast and binging your way through the whole thing while you organize or deep clean.
Some of our favorites are Crime Junkie (serious crime), Wine & Crime (somehow they make crime funny), The Dropout (a juicy expose on Elizabeth Theranos), Fat Mascara (all beauty talk), Forever35 (beauty and life), Freakonomics (science), and Throwing Shade (political comedy).
Now is also a great time to go through your closet and cupboards and spring clean, and there’s literally only one way to do it. For the most effective organization and decluttering life hack ever, check this out.
3. Consider Learning a New Language
All those times you thought to yourself, “Hmm… wouldn’t it be cool to learn a new language” have all led to here. You can even combine your audible lessons with something else, like an indulgent bubble bath, tending to the backyard, doing the dishes, etc. Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, and Babbel are all top-rated programs with many languages to choose from.
4. Commit to a Daily or Weekly Physical Challenge
There’s joy in sitting around a la fat and sassy lady, but tbh, that can start to get boring after a while. It feels dang good to move your body a bit, so make it a daily/weekly goal to get physical. It can be as simple as doing jumping jacks and crunches in your living room (maybe during commercial breaks?) or some light yoga when you wake up to get the day off to a good start. If you’re feeling unmotivated, let someone else motivate you. We love Cassie Ho of Blogilates and Jessica James of Dance with Jessica – both provide free workouts on YouTube.
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5. Take up a Meditation Practice
We all need a bit more calm in our worlds rn, and meditation is a great place to start. Meditation can be as simple as mindfully breathing for a few minutes, pressing pause on everything else to listen to a song that brings you joy, or sitting outside and listening to the world around you. If you’re seeking guided meditation, try Headspace or Calm. For a free option, try this YouTube video from Calm. Yoga is another amazing way to focus your mind, so find out our guide to finally giving it a go, if you’re still not a yogi.
6. Start a Gratitude Journal
It can be hard to feel grateful for anything when the world feels like it’s collapsing around you, but writing down even the tiniest things that you’re thankful for can boost your morale. It can also make you appreciate all the good that still exists around you. If you have a physical journal that’s great – the art of putting pen to paper can be therapeutic in and of itself – but a virtual log also works! The idea is that you’re taking five minutes every day to mindfully write down your gratitudes.
7. Schedule Virtual Lunch or Dinner Dates
We’re all going to spend more time apart physically, but human connection still matters. Make the most of your lunch break or dinner time by having virtual dates with friends, partners, or family members. Check in to see how they’re doing, what they’ve got going on with work or life, and to simply connect. If you don’t feel like eating while chatting, simply set aside time to connect with the people important to you. The goal is to connect.
8. Catch Up on Your Netflix “Must Watch” List
This one is pure indulgence, and that’s 100% OK. We’re sure you’ve got a list of your own, but in case you need a few suggestions we recommend The Goop Labs (it’s an interesting watch – the choice is yours), Broken (the counterfeit makeup episode will make you gasp), Love is Blind (a crazy dating experiment courtesy of Netflix), Cheer (you’ll be the one cheering for these cheerleaders at the end), Next in Fashion (we love you Tan!), and Miss Americana (even if you’re not a Taylor Swift fan, it’s soo good).
9. Learn a New Recipe
If there’s ever a time to get creative in the kitchen it’s now. You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of new stuff, either. Instead, figure out what you have on hand and make something delicious from there. It also doesn’t have to be super extravagant. Maybe you’ll try your hand at making a loaf of bread, a new dessert, or a tasty sauce for your go-to protein. Documenting the process on your Instagram stories can help you feel more connected to the outside world. Get others to join in the fun!