The leaves are changing and the cold is returning, signaling the end of a truly historic year. As concerns about a third wave of COVID-19 sweep the nation, it’s never been more important to focus on health and well-being. Of course, we know that health goes beyond the immune system and must extend into self-care and mental health. Stress and tensions from today’s sociopolitical climate bring their own challenges, urging us all to press the ‘reset’ button as much and as often as we need to.
How to double down? Well, we’ve learned plenty about ourselves this year – what works, and what doesn’t work, for our own health and well-being. This means something different for everyone. Some may feel revitalized after getting some fresh air and a workout, while others may enjoy quiet moments alone in a bathtub or with a good book. Take extra careful note of what actions, foods, supplements, and moments of rest have a clear ROI in your life, then do more of that.
Here are some tips to help you double down on effective self-care.
1. Get moving in a way that feels good to you.
Of course, self care entails rest. But, it’s equally important to make sure that you’re getting moving as often as you can. Exercise has endless benefits for your health and the way that you feel. In fact, a 2013 study found that working out has the same level of effectiveness on mood as taking an antidepressant does. And, since we’re all tired of sitting on our computers for remote meetings all day, it’s important to know that exercise can give your brain a much-needed creative boost. BDNF, a protein found in the brain, can help with higher levels of quick thinking and creativity. Workouts may increase the levels of these proteins in the brain.
2. Restrict phone / technology time.
At times when our phones and computers surmise some of our only connections to the outer world, it’s crucial to set boundaries. Only you know when you need to restrict yourself. A little bit of content consumption or online chatting is always fine, but when you find yourself mindlessly scrolling for hours, it can be detrimental to your mental health. Psychology professors at the University of Pennsylvania have found that restricting social media use can seriously decrease feelings of loneliness or sadness. It can also help sleep effectiveness to limit yourself, as staring into your computer or phone’s blue light constantly knocks your body’s inner circadian rhythm off track.
3. Make sure your immune system is boosted.
Our annual flu season in tandem with the increased threat of COVID-19 means that immunity should be a number one concern when doubling down on health. Many take vitamins to boost their immunity: specifically, Vitamin C and Vitamin D can superpower the body and fend off any illnesses. But, make sure you aren’t just taking store-bought, standard vitamins. Recent research has found that these vitamins aren’t as effective as they were initially believed to be because of how the body absorbs (or, in this case, doesn’t absorb) them.
By contrast, Manna Vitamins have liposomal delivery, which means that the nutrients are encased in liposomes. This ensures that the nutrients actually make it into your body’s bloodstream. Water-soluble vitamins tend to be swept up in the digestive system, meaning the vitamins never actually make it to where they need to be: your bloodstream. Manna Vitamins are exponentially more effective than standard vitamins. Double down on your health by doubling down on the efficacy of what you’re taking to boost your health.
4. Find your favorite warm beverage.
The temperature outside is only getting colder, and it may be beneficial for your self-care regimen to settle on a warm beverage that you love. Grab it from a coffee shop or make it in your home for quiet nights or afternoons with a good book. Even just holding a warm beverage in your hands can do wonders for your sense of happiness, comfort, and well-being. Studies have found that holding something warm increases your perception that people or things around you are warm and friendly. And, we all know how restorative it can be to sip a truly delightful latte or hot cider in this weather.
5. Look for opportunities to connect with others.
Finally, connection has never been more important. Integrate human connection in your life beyond the mindless scrolling on social media. This could be arranging weekly dinner plans with friends, or even being more intentional when interacting with the clerk at the grocery store or the barista at your favorite coffee shop. As humans, we are biologically rigged to crave and delight from human connection. Boost your happiness levels by seeking to connect with others, even though holiday parties may look a bit different this year.
It’s never been more important to ensure the efficiency of everything you’re doing to help your overall health and happiness – this year especially, and in all the rest too.