The COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that has followed it have led to increased mental health and body image issues. The amount of time we spend on social media and video conferencing calls gives us more opportunities to examine ourselves. And we don’t always like what we see. Experts have observed an increase in the demand for cosmetic procedures such as rhinoplasties (nose jobs) and abdominoplasties (tummy tucks).
Getting such procedures done is nothing to be ashamed of, and they’re also more common than people think. Unfortunately, not everyone has the resources to have these procedures done. Regardless, it’s important to take care of ourselves and make ourselves feel good. Here’s a list of tips to stay fit and feel good in your skin while in isolation.
Don’t let this pressure you to do something you might not feel comfortable with. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of lifting weights, that’s okay. Exercise comes in many forms, and you’re sure to find at least one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. It’s also best to consult your physician first, especially if you have any health conditions that could restrict you from doing certain exercise regimens.
Dancing is an enjoyable form of exercise because it always involves music. It’s also a great way to keep your brain engaged and healthy. If your home requires good decluttering, doing chores is also a way to get moving. Seeing the neater space afterward also rewards your mental health.
If you love the outdoors, you can go for a walk with your pet or go cycling. You can also tend to your garden. Proximity to plants and nature is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and depression and focus more.
Practice good sleep hygiene
It’s normal to have experienced trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during isolation. Lack of sleep is also associated with weight gain. Being quarantined has messed with our circadian rhythms. It helps to follow a daily routine, especially one that involves getting at least a few minutes of sunlight each day.
If you’re constantly stressed, try mediation. The Healthy Minds Program is a free mobile app. It contains a range of different seated and active meditations along with a series of lessons about neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections during practice. The program helps you to change the way you perceive and respond to stress.
Make sure that your bedroom is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Invest in a weighted blanket. Its weight uses deep pressure stimulation to make you feel as though you’re being hugged. This will help to boost your mood and relieve anxiety.
If you’re one of the many people working from home, set aside an area for doing work. Don’t do your tasks in bed or on your couch, which will affect your sleep and productivity. The more you work in bed, the more your brain will associate it with working, effectively impairing your ability to fall asleep on it. Do your work at a desk or, better yet, in a different room.
Using warmer tones of lighting in your bedroom is also proven to be conducive to sleep. Blue light is an obstacle to melatonin production in your body, the hormone that makes us sleepy. This is why using your phone before bed can affect your sleep – our phones radiate blue light. Use app blockers such as BlockSite and Freedom to help you manage your screen use.
One of the hardest parts about starting a healthier lifestyle is giving up or cutting back on things that give you pleasure. As much as we love sugar and dairy, they’re not very good for us. What’s more, too much sugar might be contributing to your lack of sleep. Lessening your sugar intake will also benefit your skin, heart, and teeth. Dairy contains hormones that cause acne, and it aggravates gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Change the way you use colors at home
The colors you’re exposed to at home could play a part in your daily mood and productivity. Perhaps too many greys and whites are the reason you feel uninspired. In which case, color your walls and surroundings with something vibrant, like yellow. Paint your bedroom walls a relaxing blue or green to calm you. The colors in your home might also be affecting your appetite. Purple, gray, and brown are seldom used in marketing materials for food chains because they curb your appetite. Minimize colors in your kitchen and dining area that stimulate hunger, such as red and yellow.
Many of us have struggled with our wellbeing and self-image during isolation. Taking the time to take care of ourselves by following any of our tips above will help you feel better. Above all, be patient and be kind to yourself.