Is anyone else having a hard time? Feeling a lot of anxiety and stress? If you’re feeling this way, you’re certainly not alone. It’s easy to be stressed and overwhelmed with the current state of affairs or what’s going on with our planet.
Here are 5 inexpensive and sustainable ways you can incorporate in your daily routine.
Declutter Your Mind Make Your Bed
There is something about walking into a hotel bedroom, being welcomed by a fresh and clutter-free space. Which poses the question: does the state of a space really have an impact on the way we feel? Is there such a thing as the psychology of cleanliness? The answer is yes, and there are many studies correlating the link between cleanliness and psychological health.
Your home is your haven. If your house is cluttered, your mind feels the same. Ask yourself: would you feel comfortable if guests showed up at your house now? If not, then it shouldn’t be acceptable for you to live in it. You are just as important as anyone else, which is why you should treat yourself to a clean environment.
A study found that people who make their beds every morning are 19% more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep, and the majority of those said it is even better when their sheets are freshly clean as this increased the sleepers’ feelings of comfort. This is probably the easiest habit to incorporate into your routine. Make your bed first thing in the morning and your bedroom will instantly look better, which will have a calming effect on your mind too.
Spend 10-15 minutes simply stretching : engage in long, deep stretches that get your body feeling lose and relaxed, stretch hold, repeat
If you don't have a standing desk to work from, then that means you're sitting for most of the day while you work. Here are some simple stretches to give a break on your body while working from home: 1. Hip Opener: simply sit on the edge of your chair with both feet hip-width apart and directly underneath your knees. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, and then stretch forward, but gently — don't overdo it! 2️. Shoulder release: First, stand next to a wall with one shoulder next to it. Extend that arm straight up, with your palm facing towards the wall. Move that arm down behind you slowly, similar to the motion of a clock going from 12 to six. After you're done with that, just turn and repeat it with your other arm. 3️. Half Downward dog (chair version): Stand facing the back of your favorite chair, and then place your hands on the back of the chair. Take some steps back, as far as you can go (remember, don't overdo it), and try to keep your arms and legs straight while stretching out your spine. 4️. Open Shoulders: To do this one, scoot to the edge of your chair and sit up straight. Drop one arm to your side while sitting straight, and then raise that arm over your head while leaning to the opposite side. Switch sides and repeat the stretch. After that, stretch both arms behind you and hold the outside edges of the seat back while pushing out your chest. Easy peasy! 5️. Wrist Release: extend your arm with the palm facing up, then gently pull your fingers down and back with your other hand. Switch hands and repeat. For the shoulders: stretch both arms straight out in front of you and interlace your fingers, then turn your hands so the palms are facing outward. Raise your arms over your head, gently, and stretch. 6️. Forward Fold: just start by standing with a chair in front of you. Then place your elbows inside your hands, and then rest your arms on either the backside of the chair or on the seat — you can bend your knees if it is necessary. Keep practicing these exercises and you should notice the difference right away.
Visit Mother Nature - Go Forest Bathing
Take a nature walk, go outside for lunch in a park and reconnect with nature after a long day or too much screen time. Go Nature bathing
Previous studies showed that living in greener urban areas is linked to lower incidences of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma, mental distress, mortality rates, combat depression, calm your nerves, reduce anxiety, help you recharge and boost creativity. What is not to like
Go outside and make sure to trigger all your senses to amplify your experience, the scents of grass or flowers, the sounds of birds, insects and rustling leaves, the sight of colors and textures of leaves and trees.
1. 10 minutes - even a brisk ten-minute walk to clear your mind can raise and sustain your energy level and boost a fatigued brain.
2. 30 minutes - wandering for 30 minutes a day has shown to make people happier. The brain starts to release the same chemicals as after a workout like dopamine and serotonin. Enjoy your “runners high.”
3. 90 minutes - studies showed that a 90-minute walk in nature lowers activity in the part of the brain linked to negative rumination.
4. 120 minutes- a study published in Scientific Reports found that spending a minimum of 120 minute a week in nature: parks, forests or beaches... promotes physical and mental health and well-being.
Create a Cosy Corner
We've spent most of 2020 indoors. And now, with colder weather on the horizon and the continued instructions to remain indoors, We've been wondering how to create more balance at home, and even find moments of peace and rest.
A ‘meditation corner’ doesn’t have to be an actual corner, as it’s not so much about the physical space as it is carving out a moment for oneself. We can gather an item or two that we love and that makes us feel grounded. And then we can simply sit with it, intentionally offering ourselves mental space to rest and breathe. This practice is for you and you alone. 1️. Find a Corner in your Home This can be anywhere in your home. It can even be outside if you’re fortunate enough to have a yard or live in a warmer climate. It will preferably be somewhere that you can sneak away to without being disturbed. 2️. Select 5 Objects to Fill the Space Of course, you can select more (or less). We want to be intentional about the items we choose to bring into this sacred space. Think of it as a ‘things I’d bring to a deserted island’ activity; you want to select the objects that calm you and bring you back to yourself. 3️. Visit your Corner Frequently You can use your meditation corner whenever, really. It’s also a nice transition space while working from home. The time spent in your corner each day can look different—you may want to journal or stretch or simply sit—but try to commit to some semblance of a routine. It’s always easier to engage in self-care or spiritual practices when we feel like it, but that’s not always when we need them most.
Prepare for Sleep
1. Establish a sleeping routine: constant time where you do the same automated actions: beauty/hygiene ritual, shower, stretches, reading... It tells your body that sleep time comes and prepares it better.
2. Avoid caffeine: Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime, and earlier if you are more sensitive to it. As a rule of thumb, go for no coffee after lunch.
3. Prioritize: Set an alarm to go to bed, and ensure you are getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
4. Unplug: Avoid screen time close to bedtime. The blue light from your device disrupts your circadian rhythm.
5. Stretch: have a few stretch exercises (15min minimum) to do before hopping into bed will prepare your body and your mind (off the screen) to relax. This will allow you to stay in your deeper sleep phase longer and so recover better.
6. Optimize environment: Do not use your sleep space for games, television or work. Aim for a dark, quiet and cool sleep place.