9 Easy, Affordable Wellness Practices For Social Distancing

9 Easy, Affordable Wellness Practices For Social Distancing

As the world has been put on hold and people practice social distancing, mental health and wellness are being tested more than ever. Even before the coronavirus, the fast pace of our daily lives called out for a cultural awakening to the practice of slowing down for self-care.

Physical, spiritual, and mental wellness are important for humans. When our bodies, minds, and souls are supported, we are able to make better decisions for ourselves, lead with compassion, and contribute to positive change in the world. When we forget to make time for taking care of ourselves, it can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and a variety of health issues.

What Is Self-Care?

On PsychCentral, a psychologist describes self-care as an “activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health...[it is] something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”

Rather than selling you self-care as a packaged product, we want to define self-care as a practice. It is the practice of taking care of yourself; physically, spiritually, and mentally. Slowing down long enough to do things that are good for you is not something that our modern world necessarily encourages, so we must cultivate a practice of doing this for ourselves.

We know it can be difficult to find self-care activities that refuel you (as opposed to making you feel like it’s something you have to do) and that fit into your budget and routine. If you’re wondering how to practice affordable and easy self-care while social distancing, we’re diving into some of our favorite methods below!

Slow Down…

1. Meditation. A practice as old as Buddhism, meditation is proven to lower heart rate, reduce stress, and help people work through conflicts. The best part? It’s free and super simple to start. Just find a space to sit in (we love these Gaiam cushions for making your meditation zone a bit more comfy), attempt to clear your mind, and breathe.

Meditating can feel difficult at first if you aren’t used to sitting still and doing nothing, but if you think of it as a type of mental exercise, it can help you ease right in. Our go-to app for guided meditation is Headspace, and there are a bunch more options out there! If you like.

2. Use skincare as self-care. Self-care is much more than skin-deep, but adopting a regular skincare routine can actually help you get in touch with your body’s natural cycles as our skin changes depending on diet, exercise, stress, etc. Rather than thinking of skincare as something you do to “keep yourself looking young” or to appeal to society’s beauty standards, think of skincare as a chance to pamper and love up on your body.

A simple and easy place to start is by adopting a daily moisturizing routine. After showering or cleansing your face, rub your skin down with lush plant oils (we really like this skin cream by Meow Meow Tweet) to help replenish the skin barrier and repair damages.

3. Masturbate. Yes, masturbation is a powerful form of self-care! Sex and solo sex are both good for your mood because it triggers oxytocin and other endorphins in our bodies that release stress and elevate our mood. A scientist and certified sex therapist told Oprah Magazine that “masturbation can be a form of stress relief or self-intimacy—an escape from the mundane, or a form of self-soothing...[it gives you] an opportunity to take a break from the pressures of life to reconnect with yourself—to chill, and relax.”

If you are nervous about trying masturbation as an intentional wellness practice, we get it. Sex carries a stigma of shame in our society, but self-care is partially about telling that shame to be quiet and to allow ourselves to enjoy pleasure without judgement. These guides by Teen Vogue are a great place to start if you’re not sure what kind of touch you like: How To Masturbate If You Have A Vagina, and How To Masturbate If You Have A Penis.

Treat Your Body With Love And Respect

4. Drink water. Have you ever noticed that not drinking enough water easily leads to a headache or bad mood? Keeping hydrated is one of the most basic, and yet important, things we can do to care for our bodies and our energy.

It can be hard to carve out time to consume eight glasses of water every day, but taking this simple step is an important act of love for ourselves. Bring a colorful reusable water bottle with you whenever you leave home to remind yourself to hydrate, or keep a large glass by your desk at all times. We also like to keep a carafe of DIY spa water in the refrigerator so we always have something cool, crisp, and refreshing to sip on.

5. Exercise. It’s long been proven that working out is good for your body, but what about your mind? When we exercise, our bodies produce endorphins that elevate our mood and make us feel good. Plus, it helps reduce the risk of chronic illness and can boost your energy levels - in short, it’s the perfect cure for a bad day.

If you already have a regular workout routine, that’s great! For those who are just getting started, we recommend trying something that is easy to do at home or in your neighborhood as those are the most accessible during social distancing. If running isn’t your thing, you can try online yoga classes through Sky Ting Yoga. Prefer something a bit more active, take a Rumble Boxing class with Julia Stern to get your heart pumping!

6. Enjoy eating healthy food. Fresh fruits and veggies contain essential vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need in order to operate at optimum health and happiness. The more colorful produce you can get on your plate, the better.

Wu Haus and  Healthyish are our go-to resources for yummy, healthy recipes and wellness inspiration, but just remember that you don’t need to make anything fancy in order for it to be healthy! A simple salad, roasted vegetables, or a smoothie will do. The key is to enjoy what you’re eating rather than to force yourself.

Get In Touch With The Natural World

7. Sit and observe your habitat. Similar to meditation, finding a “sit spot” where you can relax and observe nature on a regular basis is a great way to clear your mind, reduce stress, and connect with yourself. Carving out time to be with your thoughts, practicing sitting still, and getting to know the rhythms of the natural world around you can offer perspective on day-to-day conflicts and if your observation spot is outdoors, it could even provide some powerful health benefits.

8. Plant something. Did you know that gardening is a form of meditation? The act of planting something and taking care of it helps you form a direct connection with nature. By tending to the needs of a plant (even if they are as simple as water and sunlight), you are building compassion for yourself and for all living beings. If what you’re growing happens to be outdoors and edible, then you’re getting the added benefits of fresh air and healthy food as well!

A great place to start growing something is with a windowsill herb garden. We love this kit from Gardeners Supply and are also into these easy-to-use organic microgreen growing kits from Hamama.

9. Get acquainted with herbal remedies. Herbalism is the practice of studying botany and the use of medicinal plants, and it’s been around since the beginning of humanity itself. Herbalism is a useful and surprisingly meditative skill that can help you naturally support your body’s health and immunity. Taking the time to research and get to know different herbs to support your body is a practice in understanding both your own body and the natural world around you.

Try one of our HOLISTIK Stir STIKs with CBD Wellness for easily portioned and targeted herbal support, or check out any one of these cool concoctions by Moon Juice. CBD is one herbal remedy that can help with a number of different ailments. We also love the Anima Mundi and Mountain Rose Herbs blogs for all things herbs and remedies.

In Conclusion...

Whether you are dealing with heightened stress or just looking for ways to reconnect with yourself and practice living a little bit slower, we welcome you to join in the wellness movement with these simple and affordable self-care practices.

This post was written by Faye Lessler, a California-based freelance writer working towards environmental justice. She writes best while sipping black tea in a beam of sunshine.

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