Is your social calendar stacking up now that lockdown 3.0 is over? As al fresco dinner invitations roll in, it’s important to still make some time that’s just for you. Soothing self-care rituals were key to coping when the COVID-19 pandemic first began, and we’re not about to give them up now we know how useful they can be.
So, here they are – 11 self-care ideas to help you ease into post-lockdown life. Turn to these tips whenever you need a little ‘me time’...
1. Give Yourself a Massage
You don’t need to go to a spa for a massage (although that would work wonders for your self-care, too). Instead, work out knots and tension at home, even while sitting at your desk. Read our complete guide on how to give yourself a massage for tips and techniques that soothe shoulders, necks, feet and hands – all enhanced by our CBD Muscle Balm and CBD Skin Cream.
2. Do Exercise You Enjoy
On Instagram, it feels like everyone is throwing themselves back into swimming and PT sessions. But that doesn’t mean you have to follow the same exercise routine – it’s all about personal preference. One person’s soothing barre class might be another’s muscle-twanging nightmare, which is why it’s important to find a workout that challenges your body but calms your mind.
It can take a few tries, but once you’ve got it, you’ll experience that endorphin-releasing high. There’s a host of free exercise classes you can explore on Instagram and YouTube. Use this as a chance to trial a mix – from boxing and dance to pilates and tai chi – and you’ll discover that the most rewarding fitness goal is better mental health.
3. Connect and Communicate
Are you struggling with reentry anxiety? Talking your feelings through can lighten the load and help you see your worries in a new light. If you don’t feel like talking to someone you know, you could look to online support groups, like Turn2Me, which is completely free and run by qualified professionals.
4. Reset Your Sleep
When you’re running on empty, it’s natural for bad sleep habits to form. You get up, go to work, see your friends, travel home, then only have a small window of time to relax and unwind. Cue late nights and poor sleep. As you adjust to a busier social life and, in some cases, a return to work, make sure you still maintain a consistent sleep pattern. Your body will thank you for it.
Work evening catch-ups and your morning routine around an eight-hour sleep window – a time you ‘protect’, no matter how full your post-lockdown diary starts to get. You might struggle to drift off after a busy, buzzy day, so try winding down with a book and a cup of chamomile tea an hour before bed. You could also take a dropper of our peppermint-flavoured Night Time CBD Oil Drops.
5. Do a Digital Detox
It’s not easy to unplug entirely, but allocating time for a digital detox can have a surprising effect on your mood, allowing you to focus on life outside social media. If you find endless scrolling swallows up a lot of time, set aside one day per week where you don’t look at your phone, and concentrate on other activities that bring joy. Alternatively, switch your phone’s settings to add time limits on certain apps, and set a reminder when you’ve spent too long browsing Instagram or responding to out-of-hours Slacks.
6. Use Your Left Brain
Few things calm a busy mind like a dose of creativity, so try exploring new hobbies and crafts that allow you to tap into your left brain. It could be something simple, like gardening or mindful colouring-in, which you can pick up easily whenever you have a few minutes to spare. You could also try learning some new skills, such as pottery, painting or creative writing. Whatever you choose, do it knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be fun.
7. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is the unspoken hero of the wellness world; a feeling and practice that can help ease negative emotions by reminding you of all there is to be thankful for. According to studies, those with a grateful mindset may sleep better or show fewer signs of depression. But how do you encourage gratitude during challenging periods?
One tactic is to start a gratitude journal, which means setting time aside to really think about the best things in your life, before putting them down on paper to read back when you’re feeling low. It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s vital you process your feelings – good and bad – but when you do need a boost, try this simple trick to bring your focus back to the positive.
8. Clear Out Clutter
Whoever coined the term ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ might be onto something. Clearing out your messiest cupboards and drawers feels both rewarding and surprisingly relaxing. There’s that point in the middle where you pull everything out and wonder, ‘was this a good idea?’ But, by the end, you’ll have a cleaner, more organised space that’s easier to navigate.
9. Plant Something
No stylish home is complete without a houseplant (or five) – but did you know that greenery can also offer stress-relieving, mood-enhancing properties? The right plant will neutralise the air around you, while lending a sense of wellbeing. Plant up flowers and leafy greens that are easy to maintain, like soothing peace lilies, freshly-scented eucalyptus and durable snake plants.
10. Hit the ‘Unfollow’ Button
We all have those Instagram accounts we follow for the wrong reasons; the ones that represent a false sense of ‘perfection’, which you then compare to your own completely normal life. Do yourself a favour, and hit ‘unfollow’ on every account that makes you feel negative. If it’s an account run by someone you know, you could also hit ‘mute’ without them knowing you’re no longer seeing their posts.
11. Start a CBD Routine
Sometimes, self-care can be as simple as taking a good-for-you supplement. Consider adding CBD to your daily routine, and discover why wellness experts are hailing its effects. Our Discovery Kit holds two trial-sized CBD Oil Drops that give you a taste of the compound, featuring our citrusy Bright Days blend and pepperminty Night Time tincture. Use one in the AM and one in the PM for round-the-clock dosage.
Dr P Balu
Dr Balu is a Consultant Psychiatrist and scientific advisor to Cannaray specialising in mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, stress and addiction.
Looking for more advice on self-care and mental health? Next, read about the possible impact of CBD for anxiety and stress, featuring tips and advice from private psychiatrist Dr. Balu.