By Kim Thomas
Living in a pandemic has made each day feel monotonous and underwhelming in the past years. But as restrictions around the world ease up, more folks are getting confident in going out and about. That means more in-person interactions and fewer excuses to forgo your regular healthy habits.
And as we slowly but surely transition to normal days, constantly seeking out how we feel about these changes is essential. If the shift is somewhat making you feel off, there are a few things that you can actively do to curb away from a gloomy state of mind. To help you feel better, here are a few suggestions to try—whether you’re sticking close to home or heading out into the world.
Adopt Healthier Eating Habits
Thanks to the pandemic baking boom and fast food delivery trends, many people feel sluggish and unhealthy these days. So this time, instead of ordering out, opt to stay in.
But you can start feeling more energized by incorporating more nutritious foods to create healthier recipes for your entire household. You may already have ingredients in your cabinet to make a healthy and filling meal—like empty-the-pantry stew or veggie skillet rice. Keep an eye on nutrition content to tick all the boxes on vitamins and other nutrients like protein and minerals.
Skipping snacking when you feel emotional can also reduce your empty calorie consumption. Replacing autopilot snacking with wellness-oriented habits like sipping water, taking a walk, or finding a non-food distraction can help you avoid temptation.
Just Add Movement
Exercise is a foolproof way to boost your mental health, and it’s easy to add some movement to your routine. Simple swaps like adding a standing desk to your home office area or taking a walk around the block at lunchtime can improve your outlook and end midday energy crashes.
If you find that the effects of exercise aren’t enough motivation, think about wearing a smartwatch to track your movement and calories burned. A fitness tracker can monitor your activity levels, and some models have extra features like phone call function and music playing capabilities. Whatever tracker you choose, setting goals can help you maintain healthy activity levels and stick to a routine.
Try More (Smart) Tech
Binge-watching another series from the couch is considered tech, but it may not be the best application. Think about the technology that supports your mental health and encourages you to be mindful, rather than entertainment that encourages you to zone out.
For example, plenty of app options support wellness and can help keep you grounded throughout the day. White noise apps can also help create soothing background ambiance while working, relaxing, or sleeping.
Create a Haven at Home
Many people have turned to freelance career opportunities in the wake of COVID-19, which means even more time spent at home in the home office. Being out of the traditional workforce, the temptation to forgo health insurance is real, but it’s not a good option. Instead, look into getting health insurance by joining your spouse’s plan, becoming a member of a freelancer’s union, or enrolling in a “marketplace plan” through the ACA (Obamacare). Whatever your choice, health insurance is as important as ever, even though you’re at home most of the time.
If your home is messy and disorganized, it may lead to negativity, and your family may be complaining excessively and overly critical. So take the time to organize your home by cleaning up messes and getting rid of clutter (items you no longer need or use). Open your blinds to let in more natural light, and when weather permits, keep your windows open so fresh air can enter your home.
Further Your Education
With the business world getting more and more competitive all the time, now might be the perfect time to give yourself an edge by pursuing an online degree! The flexibility of an online program allows you to continue working while you learn at your own pace, and the cost of classes is reasonable—not to mention a great investment in your future.
Change Your Look
Though you and your favorite casual clothes (or pajamas) may have bonded during the quarantine, now might be the perfect time to expand your wardrobe. Not only does your clothing speak volumes about who you are—and impact the image you present—but it also influences your mindset when it comes to interacting with others or succeeding at work.
Even the colors you choose for your wardrobe can say a lot about where you’re headed in life. Wear yellow to show optimism, blue for tranquility, purple for spirituality—or whatever color elicits the feeling you want to master for the day. Pair your new outfits with some lip gloss, and you’ll look and feel great when you get back outside!
Although you may not be able to control what’s happening outside your front door, the power rests in your hands when it comes to how you look and even how you feel. You can prep for re-entering society with a clearer mind and plenty of confidence by tackling each of the items above.
Photo by Meghan Holmes via Unsplash