Feeling ragged? Need a break? Read on for Fun Tips to Stay in the Groove
When the term self-care comes to mind, it encompasses many different definitions — depending on who you ask. During these unprecedented times, it’s essential to take time out for yourself. Cleaning the house is not self-care, despite what your partner may tell you. Don’t pretend to spend an hour at the coffee shop while you’re actually planning activities for your kids. Real self-care means taking care of you – and only you.
With this in mind, read on for some fun and interesting ideas to take you through the colder months. Whether you’re living alone or with other people – there are ways to manage your day, your week and the months ahead while staying healthy and sane.
A nature walk can be a great way to keep your spirits up and get in your required daily exercise. Winter brings less light and fewer opportunities to breath in the warm air and to feel the soil beneath your feet, but the brisk sunny air in the winter can still do wonders for your mood. Take up cross-country skiing or winter hiking for a cheap and reasonably easy exercise habit. It will keep the whole family energized. Skating is another fun solo or family activity that gets the blood flowing. To check out some fun winter activities for people of all ages, check out this link.
Eat Your Veggies
I don’t want to sound like your Mom or Dad, but…eating loads of fruits and vegetables will help your body feel good. If you’re partial to drinking your greens, a smoothie will work wonders for your skin and energy levels. There are a ton of smoothie recipes online for every taste bud. Here is a link to a fun take on smoothies. Remember, you can also make a warm smoothie to warm your body on a cold morning. It will give you longer-lasting energy that your daily java. Click here for amazing recipes in any season.
Get some “Me Time”
In these stressful times, it’s crucial to get in some “me time,” especially if you’re working and living with kids, a spouse, or roommates. Often household members are living (and now working) on top of each other with zero personal space. This one is especially key for introverts – yet everyone needs time alone once in a while, so take note of how you feel after a few days with no space to yourself. Go for a drive or a long walk, if heading to a crowded spot is not in the cards for you.
Connect with Loved Ones — Online or Send a Card
It’s getting tough to be away from family and friends with COVID-19 sticking around. To push through the holiday season and the winter months ahead, it’s always a good idea to have a plan. We all know it — COVID-19 is here to stay, so the rest of 2020 may be quite different. It can help to keep in touch regularly with friends and family.
Start an online activity with friends or family members: a podcast, exercise challenge, a monthly virtual book club, a happy hour every Friday, plan a vacation together in 2021/2022. The options are endless. Be creative and most importantly, stay in touch with people who care about you. Don’t grin and bear it. People need other people to survive. Our primitive brains require interaction.
Reach out to others during this tumultuous time and tell people how you feel. It will help to get a load off your mind and get some perspective about your situation. If you want to cheer someone else up, send a personalized letter or card with a gift card or an encouraging message. Small, thoughtful gifts go a long way.
Here are a few links to help you stay connected, safe, and happy.
Remote tips – stay in touch with co-workers
Tips for Students to connect with friends
Exercise – Just Do It!
Last but not least, exercise. Whether you love working out to a hip hop class at home or prefer to run outside. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a habit. Pick a minimum baseline for the activity. Many people set a high goal of exercising three to five times a week and if they don’t reach that goal, guilt and shame may surface.
Instead, pick your minimum exercise goal – whether that’s exercising once or twice a week, or 30 minutes a week. Whatever you know, you can do— set your baseline there. If you do more than your baseline, you’re winning. (cue in the chocolate unwrapping & wine glass “clink”).
And if you need motivation, learn this: exercise does wonders for your brain as well as your body. Studies show daily exercise increases activity in the brain; you feel more alert and ready to deal with whatever kind of day is in store for you.
Reach Out for Help
If you or a loved one is having difficulty with their mental health, please call the Alberta Mental Health Hotline.
Stay safe and warm,
The Sharp Team