With the stresses of lockdown and our normal activities not always so readily available, it can become easy to put self care to the bottom of the list. According to The Health Foundation, 69% of adults in the UK reported feeling worried about the effects of Covid-19, with one of the main causes being a loss of coping mechanisms.
Whether you have suffered a job loss and added financial pressures, changes to your homelife or social isolation, you may have found yourself overwhelmed with the constant anxieties and changes. But mental health organisation Mind claim that implementing a simple self care routine and making time for therapeutic activities can help you to manage your mental health whilst enhancing your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Discover our favourite tips on reducing stress whilst looking after your mind, body, and soul.
3 EASY STEPS TO IMPROVE SELF CARE ON A DAILY BASIS
The brain is made up of around 75% water and, according to Vitality Magazine, even a small dip can lead to a change in mood and increased feelings of anxiety. Also vital in ensuring our organs work effectively, it is the single most important element of any human. Staying hydrated may seem like an obvious action but its importance can quite often be overlooked. Drinking between 6-8 glasses of water a day helps to ensure that your body and mind have a solid, healthy foundation, putting you in the best physical starting state possible with very little effort.
As the body’s largest organ, it is also important to keep your skin hydrated to restore a healthy appearance and ensure your natural moisture barrier is working at its best. This helps to combat the environmental factors and changes to the weather that our skin faces daily. Moisturisers contain natural humectants, ingredients which penetrate the outer layer of skin and boost hyaluronic acid levels which attract water and seal it in place. Not only does this reduce signs of aging and limit the risk of dry patches but it also prevents water loss which helps to keep our body and mind working effectively.
In order to ensure your skin is kept in excellent condition, you can easily lock in moisture and improve overall appearance using a high-quality moisturiser made from 100% natural ingredients. Simply apply a pea-size amount of Malée’s Verdure Conditioning Body Cream and rub into the skin in a sweeping motion twice a day or as often as required for an intense moisture boost which results in healthier, protected skin which will retain water more effectively. Made from plant-based ingredients which include high levels of vitamins A, B, D and E, this will help to ensure that the top two layers of your skin are cared for. A quick and easy self care tip, optimally hydrated skin can help to improve cognitive functionality and result in a calmer mood.
Increased mental and physical stress leads to the increased production of cortisol, a hormone which can lead to high blood pressure, weakened muscles and a low mood. Cortisol can also produce chemicals called cytokines which have been directly related to common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia, as found by the National Institutes of Health. According to Alice G. Walton, the Senior Contributor of Healthcare for Forbes Magazine, one proven way to keep them at bay is through making the dedicated time to meditate, which can lead to a brain cell volume reduction in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for stress, fear and anxiety.
There are many popular meditation apps which you can try at home, one of our favourites being Calm, which includes daily meditation guides as well as programmes for more targeted issues such as anxiety, sleep and stress. Easy to follow and complete in any environment, meditation apps offer a great way to practice self care from the comfort of your own home. To create a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere in which to meditate, you can benefit from gentle, natural fragrances and soft lighting which help to invigorate the senses. Malée’s Peppersage Soybean Candle provides a notably spicy and woody fragrance, which helps to provide a sense of calm through its warm, intense scent. Made from 100% soybean oil and natural fragrance oils, this candle produces a unique scent which is perfect for helping you to unwind.
We know that regular exercise can make vast improvements to our physical health. However, exercise can also produce results that go much further. According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity can help to lower the levels of cortisol in the body, increasing self-esteem whilst reducing stress and anxiety. People who take the time to exercise every day often report feeling more energised and enjoying a better night’s sleep. Even if you can only spare 15 minutes a day, a short walk, run or high intensity workout can induce a sense of achievement and have a positive effect on many mental health conditions, such as stress, anxiety and depression.
However, exercise can also cause water loss through excessive sweat. To ensure that your skin remains at its best, complete an exercise session with a thorough cleansing session. Malée’s Verdure Conditioning Body Scrub contains natural salt which works to gently buff away impurities and restores moisture levels by allowing natural hydroxy acids to penetrate the skin, drawing in moisture, and sealing for healthier, restored skin. Not only is this great for your physical wellbeing, but a natural scent of citrus and mint will leave you feeling refreshed and energised.
Self care doesn’t have to be time consuming and taking care of your body is integral to your mental wellbeing. As around 60% of the human body is made up of water, hydration ensures optimal cognitive performance whilst a reduction of the stress hormone cortisol production can be a result of meditation and exercise, which leaves you feeling calmer and relaxed.