suggests that the number of Americans who meet the criteria for a depression diagnosis has tripled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps these findings should not come as a shock, considering the fact that millions of us have been spending more time at home and less time socializing in the world.
Nonetheless, if you feel like you have been battling general unhappiness as of late, you don’t have to accept it without doing anything about it. By taking care of your body and mind, you can put yourself on track to look and feel better than ever before, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Courtesy of Contemporary Fashion Education, here are six ways that you can improve your physical and mental health right now.
1. Research programs and products
These days, there are many programs, resources, and self-care products that can help reduce stress and fight depression, such as massage, nutritional, and acupuncture services. Self-care products to consider include essential oil diffusers, Himalayan salt lamps, adult coloring books, and so forth.
2. Handle your hygiene
It may sound simplistic, but a lot of people compromise their personal hygiene, particularly when they are dealing with mental health issues. Brushing your teeth, taking regular baths/showers, and washing your hair can do wonders for helping you look and feel your best.
3. Up your nutrition
Eating nutritious foods and drinking lots of water play a major role in our physical health. But they’re also key to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
In fact, there are even foods that can specifically help you fight depression, including chicken, fatty fish, carrots, and dark berries. Try to add more nutritious foods to your diet, and see if you can’t tell a big difference in your overall health and well-being.
4. Boost those endorphins
Exercise is one of the most essential elements of a healthy life. There are significant physical benefits that come from regular exercise, such as an improved cardiovascular system, better immune system, stronger muscles and bones, and reduced risk of chronic disease.
There are plenty of mental health benefits as well. When you exercise, endorphins are released in your brain, which produces a rewarding sensation. Moreover, exercise can lead to long-term mental health benefits like improved self-confidence, reduced anxiety, lower stress levels, and alleviated depression symptoms.
There are all kinds of ways to work out. You can head outdoors for a run, purchase a gym membership, or exercise from home. If working out from home is your preferred option, you may be surprised that there are a variety of video games that can help you sweat, such as Just Dance and Shape Up. Just make sure you have a fast and smooth internet connection so you can play these games without lag and interruption.
5. Rest your mind and body
Along with nutrition and exercise, be sure to get your mind and body the rest they need. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night is recommended for adults; if you want to function at full capacity, you need this much rest. It’s also important to find relaxing activities that you can do each day, whether it’s meditating, doing yoga, reading a book, taking a long bath, or doing anything else that helps you to calm down and be present in the moment. Keeping a clean home can also promote relaxation. This may not sound like a relaxing activity, but the outcome can mean more positive energy in the home.
Don’t overlook picking up a new skill or furthering your education. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, there are many great apps available that can help you do just that. Or, if you’ve always wanted to head back to school to earn your MBA, for instance, there are many online universities that offer the flexibility to tackle your courses based around your schedule. The point is to find something that you enjoy and pursue it.
6. Experience nature
Finally, spend time outdoors. Sunlight yields many benefits in terms of physical and mental health. It can boost your mood, improve your skin, and even help with food portion control. For added emotional health benefits, engage in outdoor activities with family members or friends, whether it’s hiking, camping, or playing games in the backyard.
Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic steal any more of your health and happiness. Look for quality self-care products, take care of your personal hygiene, and make sure your diet includes plenty of nutrition. Also, come up with a regular exercise routine, get plenty of rest, and spend more time outdoors.
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