Would you believe me if I told you that we’re now on the second summer of the pandemic? How naive of us to have thought that this would all be over in a couple of months. How wrong we were!
The crisis has affected the lives of so many to varying degrees. It would be safe to assume that every one of us needs a little break–if not a physical one, then perhaps an emotional one.
Unfortunately, we can’t all drop everything and whisk ourselves away to another country. For one, not all countries have opened their doors yet. Yes, we can take vacation leaves, but where would we spend them exactly? On our front porch? Camping in our backyards?
It might sound lame, but with the right mindset, a break at home can do wonders for our physical and mental health. As we prepare for another summer at home, let’s make this one about nurturing our own well-being. We deserve it.
So let us claim the summer of 2021 as the season for self-care!
Feed Your Soul
Feeding our minds and bodies starts, of course, with good food. If you’re one of the many lockdown-born chefs, you’ve probably developed or regained a new passion for cooking. Your knife skills have significantly improved, and your repertoire has expanded beyond boxed mac and cheese.
With your new cooking skills comes an expanded menu. This is an opportunity for you to incorporate healthier ingredients and cooking methods. After all, we can’t expect our bodies to perform well if we’re not feeding them well.
Food, however, isn’t just about feeding your body. It can also feed our minds. It’s why a nice cup of tea is sometimes exactly what we need. Or why taking a break from a strict diet to order pizza delivery is sometimes a good idea. The food we eat can feed our souls, too.
So this summer, give yourself the good food that both your body and your mind need.
Move Your Mind
Has the pandemic gotten you feeling stuck? We can’t blame you. Apart from literally being stuck where you are physically, the overall feeling of helplessness and hopelessness can also get you feeling stuck emotionally.
That’s why this summer, get moving–both in terms of your mind and your body. If all you’ve been thinking about is work and avoiding illness, it’s straightforward to fall into a state of despondence. Give yourself a mental break. If you can’t go on a physical vacation, then let your mind go on one.
There are many ways to do this. Practicing meditation is one. There are several kinds of meditation, and it’s a practice because you do need to learn it. The health benefits are numerous, though, so you have to find one that works for you.
Keeping a journal or diary is also a good way of giving your mind a break. It’s a way of unloading your mind of the heavy thoughts that it’s carrying while also helping you process whatever it is that is getting you down.
Interestingly, a physical break can also do wonders for our mental health. From the release of endorphins to the literal timeout that a workout can give you, physical activity can give you a mood boost. We’re not just talking about yoga here. Find any exercise, sport, or physically active hobby that you enjoy.
Seize Your Day
The summer of 2021 may seem just like last summer, but there’s a key difference–the presence of hope. With the continued inoculation of the population, the future is looking brighter than it had been last year. Yes, the fight continues, and we still have a long way to go as a human race, but for the first time in a while, things seem to be looking up.
As you manifest your plans and goals, it would be nice to remember this moment. It’s a difficult time to be alive. It’s put humanity to the test, but years from now, if we win this battle and make it out alive, we can look back on this period in our lives as a source of inspiration.
As we look forward, we also look back with gratitude and humility. When your grandchildren ask you decades from now about what you were doing in the Summer of 2021, you can tell them that you were doing lots of self-care–to heal from a traumatic year and to prepare with hope for the many more to come.