Now, more than ever, we are in a situation where self-care is vital to our mental wellbeing. Whether you are an essential worker, working from home, parenting, schooling children remotely, or doing a mixture of these, by the end of the week we are all in need of a well-deserved break. Here are some ideas to help you move into the weekend with a clear mind and refreshed body.
Use aromatherapy (essential oils)
Essential oils that relieve stress include: lavender, rose, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile and frankincense. Use the oils in a relaxing bath, in a diffuser or make yourself a simple neck rub by adding three drops of lavender to a teaspoon of almond oil. Rub it over your neck or the bottom of your feet before bed.
Switch off the news for the day
How does it make you feel when you watch the news? Fearful? Angry at other people's actions? It is easy to become emotionally involved and overwhelmed by what you see in the media. Switching off can improve your stress levels.
Swap screens for music
“Studies show that the benefits of music include soothing stress and encouraging relaxation”. Find a quiet spot on your own to listen to music or play it throughout the home to evoke a sense of calm for the whole family. Do you have the television on in the background when you sit down for dinner? Try playing music instead and notice how the family might engage with each other more.
The stretching and positions practised in yoga are beneficial for strengthening muscles, aiding digestion, improving circulation and alleviating stress and depression. Many yoga centres have moved their classes online so that you can still practise with a yoga instructor but from the comfort of your own home.
Phone a friend
It is important to maintain some social connection during this time. Whilst you might normally catch up for coffee, you can Skype, Zoom or FaceTime instead, make a regular phone call, send a card or a letter. Talking things out with a good friend can work wonders after a stressful week.
What is your favourite way to unwind on the weekend?