“Self care” has been a pretty big buzz word this year–especially during periods where social distancing measures have been strictly enforced. And now that we’re back to distance learning, on the computer screen all day, and mostly trapped at home with our parents and siblings, it’s important to take time for ourselves.

Here are a few ways that all of us can practice some much-needed self care during these difficult times:

Practice Good Skin Care

Getting healthy skin during this time can really help us stay in good spirits while also improving our self-image.  You could start with an easy daily routine that includes face wash, toner, and moisturizer. If you want to take it a step further and really up your self-care game, treat yourself to a mask once or twice a week.

Since there are so many products on the market, we sent out a survey to AISB students to find out their favorite products. Here they are: 

Cleansers:

Moisturizers or Creams:

Masks:


Connect with Friends

While restrictions have thankfully lifted somewhat since March, getting together with friends has still been complicated. To take care of our mental health, it’s important to keep up with our good friends, whether it’s in-person or online.

If you’re confined to your house, the obvious solution is to connect over social media or Facetime; but remember that there are better options. Plan a Netflix Party so you can watch movies with your friends at the same time, and chat on the side. Or if a game night is more your speed, create a Zoom group and play online games through Jackboxgames. If in-person is an option, make sure to take advantage of the good weather and meet up for a physically-distanced picnic in the park!


Work Out

While working out may sometimes seem like a chore, it’s one of the best ways for us to stay mentally healthy. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins in our brains, which helps reduce stress, manage depression, and decrease stress hormones. There are so many different ways to work out, so if you don’t enjoy doing certain fitness activities, keep trying a variety of options until something clicks.

Workout Options:

Running can be a great option for everyone.  C25K is a running app that’s available on all platforms. It gives you weekly running schedules and tells you when to run or walk during your run. A self-care bonus: Running in the forest!

Biking is also a great option to get out of the house and really work your legs.  You have a lot of freedom with this type of exercise because you can choose different paths and decide how long you want to ride. One of the most popular GPS biking apps is Strava, and the basic membership is free.

Youtube video workouts are a great option. There’s a wide variety of everything from HIIT workouts to yoga, dance, and everything in between. Some of our favorite accounts are MadFit, PopSugar, SELF, and Yoga with Adriene.


Cook and/or Bake

Let’s be honest: when we’re home all day, it’s pretty tempting to eat our feelings. But instead of snacking on empty calories or packaged foods, a much healthier way to celebrate food is by cooking it. Following recipes and immersing yourself in the smells and tastes is great for practicing mindfulness.

Recipes:

Sweet Oatmeal Breakfast is a great option to start the day off on a healthy foot while having something that tastes like a treat.

Banana Oat Pancakes are healthy but feel like a treat.

Fast Buddha Bowl works for any meal and provides a lot of nutrition.

Homemade Biscuits from Scratch can be an amazing option for a special morning or snack. This recipe makes enough for a large family.

Chicken Teriyaki with Egg Fried Rice is a good dinner recipe to master, but you definitely have your work cut out for you. It takes a long time to prepare, so make sure to plan ahead.

Oatmeal Cookies are quick and delicious.  They are really fun to make late at night as well.

Homemade Soft Pretzels are fun to make. You do need yeast though, which has been difficult to find, so plan ahead for this one.


Establish Routines 

Distance learning is an amazing opportunity to improve our everyday lives and try new things.  We have a lot of free time to improve in many areas, but time management can be really difficult, especially for teenagers. 

Related Article: Tips on how to work/study from home while distance learning

Start improving your routine by using Google Calendar. Input all of your classes, then incorporate some fun activities like workouts and hobbies. Plan ahead to take time for yourself and your family, and make sure you have a set time to sleep. You could also practice additional self care by implementing a nourishing sleep routine (e.g. enjoying a hot cup of tea, reading a book, wind-down yoga, a bath, writing a to-do list for the next day, etc.).


These are just some of the many ways you can care for yourself during these stressful times. Regardless of how you practice self-care, it’s important to know that most people are stressed and/or anxious right now. Reach out to family and friends if you need extra support, and counselors are always open to speak with you and help.  

Thank you for reading, and please feel free to comment below with what you’ve been doing to care for yourself the past few months!

Author