How Americans are Practicing Self-Care in the Age of Quarantine

For the millions of Americans who are quarantining at home, self-care has been pushed to the back burner. But think twice before you decide to neglect your own physical and emotional well-being. During times like these, self-care is a vital necessity (and welcome relief from the problems of the outside world).

Practical Ways to Prioritize Self-Care

It’s easy to become so anxious and fearful about this virus that you let it paralyze you. But wallowing in apprehension will get you nowhere fast. In fact, it actually suppresses your body’s immune system and makes it more difficult for you to fight off infections and diseases.

One of the best ways to side-step anxiety and fear is to apply healthy heapings of self-care. And here are a few recommended ways you can accomplish this in the midst of self-isolation and quarantine:

1. Exercise at Home

While it’s always preferable to exercise outside or in a place where you can socialize with others, you don’t have to leave your home to get some exercise.

There are plenty of easy, yet effective exercises you can perform in the comfort of your own living room. These include bodyweight exercises (like pushups and sit-ups), aerobic exercises (like jumping jacks), and other low-impact exercises.

Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day. This will get your heart rate up and the blood flowing. It’ll also release endorphins into your brain, which trigger positive feelings of happiness.

2. Take Online Yoga Classes

Yoga is one of the best low-impact exercises you can do. It also happens to be one of the easiest to perform at home in a bedroom, living room, or patio.

While there are plenty of ways to perform your own yoga workout session without an instructor, sometimes it’s nice to have a friendly voice leading you through the workout. YouTube is great for this.

There are more than 254 million yoga videos on YouTube, but Well+Good has compiled a list of the eight best instructors for your convenience. This includes people like Adriene Mishler, Jessamyn Stanely, Tara Stiles, and Faith Hunter (who also incorporates a lot of good meditation aspects into her workouts). Find one you like and try doing some daily yoga to stretch your mind and body.

3. Schedule Online Therapy Appointments

The COVID-19 crisis has been stressful for all of us. Whether you’re located in one of the epicenters, or you’re spread out in America’s heartland, we’ve all been affected in one way or another. We either know someone who has been sick, we’ve lost a job, or we’ve had our lifestyle totally flipped on its head – or perhaps all three!

Sometimes you just need to talk to someone about what’s happening in your life so that you can process it in a healthy manner. Thankfully, some mental health professionals are still offering online therapy services. All you need is an internet connection and a private place in your home to participate.

4. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness isn’t something we tend to practice much in our fast-paced American culture, but times are changing. You suddenly have more time on your hands than you ever thought possible. So why not be purposeful with some of this time?

Practicing mindfulness and meditation is an easy way to center yourself, calm your anxious fears, and selectively focus on positive thoughts that edify your being (rather than eviscerate it).

5. Get Plenty of Sleep

Let’s talk shut-eye.

In a world (and country) where sleep is often viewed as a luxury, we’re now beginning to realize just how important and beneficial it is to get eight or more hours of sleep per night. (And we need it more than ever.)

Sleep doesn’t just prevent you from feeling tired the next day – it actually enhances your immune system, increases focus, stabilizes your emotions, and gives you the energy needed to invest in other forms of self-care (like exercise).

Don’t Neglect Your Well-Being

Your emotional well-being and mental health are just as important as your physical health – particularly at a time like this. Be attentive to your needs and don’t let a quarantine prevent you from practicing self-care.

Whether it’s exercising at home, meeting with a therapist virtually, or increasing the amount of quality sleep you get each night, there are countless ways you can care for your mind and body during these challenging times.

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