Beauties, things have definitely changed since this time last year when we were all in lockdown tiers, but even as we have this behind us, I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking ahead to the uncertainty of winter, along with other things that may be causing stress these days.
But here’s the thing; hopefully just hopefully we have all developed some coping mechanisms over the last few months that will support us in stressful situations. This week is stress awareness week, so we thought we’d share some advice on how you can help take care of your mental health during this stressful time in case you are in need of a little help, as well as sharing how people have been finding ways and tools to help support and guide them during this time.
“Stress affects people physically just as much as mentally.” – Mind.org.uk
In the words of Audre Lorde, selfcare is “an act of political warfare”. Caring for yourself is an act of self-preservation and is something that is vitally important, particularly now. Many of us are feeling particularly vulnerable, drained, anxious and a lot more. So for those of you who are feeling overwhelmed, here are some self-care tips. It is your duty to yourself to take care of you and you deserve it.
Have you found that you’ve been struggling with fluctuating emotions during this time? We reached out to life coach Lisa Cybaniak to share her advice about how to look at your emotions in a different way and gain a sense of empowerment from them, you can read it here.
Look after your Body
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes).
In the words of, femprenuer, brand creator and natural health expert Sara Palmer Hussey… “In the throes of a worldwide pandemic, we are suddenly thinking more about our immune system. The immune system is the body’s defence against the risk of infections, disease and potentially deadly pathogens. What we all want to know right now is how to strengthen it so that we can decrease the risk of infection and, if we do get infected, decrease the severity of any virus.
So, how can we support this system so that it is as strong as possible? Here are the golden rules for a strong immune system:
- Get the right nutrients
- Respect your circadian rhythm
- Balance your stress levels
- Be moderate – in alcohol consumption, weight and exercise
You can find out more about taking care of your immune system here.
“Magnesium is a key mineral in our bodies, used for over 300 enzyme functions. Primarily, it’s necessary for muscle and nerve function, can relax muscles and calm the nervous system. When we have enough of it, it can be great for stress relief and reduction of anxiety. Magnesium insufficiency on the other hand, can be highly disruptive to sleep.” – Frankie Brogan in our ‘Get some sleep’ post.
Here’s some self-care rituals and habits that other people have found effective:
“Lockdown made me reassess my definition of “essential” vs “luxury” – especially helping me realise that many of the things I did and thought were luxuries actually played a much more important role in my emotional happiness. This has removed some of the guilt attached with more indulgent forms of self-care.” – Nnenna Onuba
“I had to prioritise sleep. I remember there was a period during lockdown. I wanted to be uber-productive and do this and do that followed by X, Y and Z. However, my body disagreed, and I realised that I just needed to stop and sleep, and I had to listen to what my body wanted, so I called a timeout and slept. I turned off the news turned off everything and just, listened to my body and took the time to nourish my body and mind, my body wanted to sleep, so I had to give my body the rest she needed. My mind did not want any more scary news, so I switched off.” Lillian Ogbogoh
“I think, like many, I was forced to slow down and take a step back at the life I had been living prior to Covid. I realised how easy it is to run off adrenaline and not prioritise your own needs sometimes. In place of commuting for an hour to work, I would use this time to practice my ‘slow morning’ ritual: lemon water, meditate, watering my plants & vegetables, journaling whilst listening to some calming music.” Tanya Mya Shah
“I think that having plants is an important part of my self-care ritual, seeing life and growth through plants serves as a reminder of how magical our existence is.” Ronke Lawal
“I love to do yoga, meditation, take salt baths, I live for reading a good book and always have a weekly facial. However, during this time, I also realised that I was not prioritising my selfcare. So more than often my self-care routine was being restricted to a small section in the morning and again at night. I am now very conscious to practice self-care throughout my day, little and often.” Shiona Redmond
We also delved into the selfcare habits of our lovely brands and contributors during this pandemic in our post here.