Did you know that August is National Wellness Month?
It is a month that celebrates and highlights the importance of self-care, healthy routines, and stress management.
So many people let self-care and their overall wellbeing take a back seat in their lives, especially when life gets stressful.
Well, I’m sure that most can agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful, to say the least.
The Impact of COVID-19
The advent of COVID-19 brought all sorts of issues with it: a widespread loss of jobs, the rushed transition to remote work and school, reduced social interaction, and even sudden illness and death. It has impacted pretty much every part of American life. No one could have expected this when we were celebrating the start of the new decade just months ago.
So, it’s totally understandable that we are feeling stressed out and tired.
Back in June, a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that more than 8 in 10 Americans felt that the future of our country caused them a lot of stress.
But during these unprecedented times, this just means that it is now even more important than ever to take care of yourself. This new stressful situation that we’ve found ourselves in may be out of our hands, but what is in our hands is how we react.
Why is Wellness Important?
There are a lot of reasons why you should take your wellness seriously. For example, research has shown that self-care promotes happiness and aids in stress management. When you don’t take care of yourself, you may experience burnout, stress, depression, among other issues. This can ultimately impact your personal, educational, and professional life in a negative way.
To help you celebrate Wellness Month this year, we’ve decided to share 3 tips for taking care of yourself during these crazy times.
1. Sleep well
This not only means that you should get more sleep, it also means that you should try to get more restful sleep.
Stress often makes it hard for people to fall asleep and stay asleep as there can be a lot of things running through your mind. This can affect a variety of things, from your concentration and productivity to your energy level and overall functioning. We need sleep in order to recharge our bodies and brains, which is most certainly needed during difficult times.
What you can do to improve your sleep is make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, remove any electronic devices (i.e. computers, smartphones, TVs) that will distract you, go to bed and wake up around consistent times, and reduce your caffeine and food intake before bedtime. Doing any of these small changes will help you feel more well-rested when you get up in the morning.
2. Improve your diet
Good food and water. Sounds simple, right?
When you’re stressed out, it may be easy to just fall back on eating sugary, high calorie foods. They’re easy to find and super cheap, we get it. I have a tub of ice cream in my freezer right now, so this is definitely a judgment-free zone.
But, try to also get proper nutrition and add fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy meals and snacks yield a lot of positive results for the human body, from helping to reduce depression to literally protecting your health. Eating well-balanced meals regularly will do you wonders. The same can be said about drinking more water as well. Water helps with hydration, digestion, body temperature regulation, and more vital bodily functions.
3. Slow down
Okay, this one might sound really, really easy. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
After scrolling through tons and tons of COVID-19 updates and the other pressing issues going on in the world, it would help to give your mind a break. Take a step back from everything that is happening right now and just see how you yourself are doing. You can view this as a mental or emotional check in with yourself where you can think about what’s important or good in your life or even just clear your mind.
If everything is changing too fast and you aren’t sure how to handle it, maybe try to add structure and create stability for yourself. This could come in the form of journaling, making a schedule, or talking things out with your loved ones. Reduce the demands you have placed on yourself and figure out activities that help you feel at peace, such as meditation or swimming outdoors (safely and socially distanced, of course).
Even though Wellness Month is now coming to an end, that doesn’t mean we should stop highlighting wellness.
Honestly, every day should be a day to highlight wellness, but we’ll take a month.
We’re not complaining.
Either way, we at palmpalm would like to challenge you to start new, healthier habits.
Prioritize yourself and your well-being.
And choose wellness.