In these uncertain times of the pandemic and lockdown, health, wellness, and self-care have gone beyond skin cleansing or other cosmetic treatments. Everyone’s looking for new ways to keep themselves fit, strong, and well, sane. It’s harder to do than you think, but not if you follow some of the newest forms of keeping yourself healthy.
Health trends come and go, with the season, with the changing climate, with the development of new technology, medicine, and anything else that comes to mind. For now, consider the following to keep yourself in shape while this year.
The Importance of Breathing
Breathing isn’t trendy, as it’s something we need regardless of fashion or style. As you probably know, it’s always been an important element in staying alive. Jokes aside, however, there’s a lot more to breathing than you’d initially believe. Sure, the process of breathing comes to us naturally and is not something we actively think about, but in light of the constant lockdowns and the continuous looming threat of illness, many individuals are still spending most of their day indoors.
Even if your home is perfectly ventilated or you keep the windows open, you’re not getting enough oxygen if you stay inside for several days. And while this may not have an immediate impact on your health, it will affect you in the long run. Indoor air has an imbalance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Again, this isn’t dangerous, however, it does mean that you’re not getting enough oxygen.
By taking a short stroll outside, even around your block, you can get your fill of oxygen and clean out your lungs. Obviously, this may not apply to people living in big polluted cities, but even stale city air can give you some extra dosage of oxygen. If you can’t stand the city air, then take a short trip to the countryside over the weekend. Do this once in a while and your lungs should be cleared out and your respiratory system will be at its strongest.
Smell the Good Life
On the topic of breathing and the respiratory system, you may be wondering what’s with all the incense sticks and diffusers people are putting in their homes and businesses? Simply: our sense of smell is far more powerful than you think.
Even the majority of the things we taste are primarily dependent on our sense of smell and not the taste itself. The smell also has a lot of effects on our subconscious and can improve our mood even on the dourest days. This is why it’s so useful to have incense sticks or diffusers around the house to constantly pump those scented smells.
For example, the scent of jasmine has been observed to improve confidence and create a romantic mood. More citrus-infused scents, like lemongrass, are used to improve mental clarity, get rid of emotional fatigue, and are the perfect scent for meditation. The sweet scent of vanilla is known to improve memory and creates a calm, soothing environment within your home. Pick one for yourself that next time you’re working from home, see how much these scents improve your productivity, emotional stability, and help you relax.
Regain Control Over Your Sleeping Schedule
Many somnologists (doctors who specialize in sleep) are saying that due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that happen intermittently, people are sleeping a lot more, but they’re not sleeping well. If you work from home, you may have experience with the feeling of being asleep, but constantly waking up due to the false belief that you’ve overslept and missed a deadline.
While there are many causes to this feeling, one of the biggest ones right now is how we’ve blended our workspaces and sleeping spaces together. Many people are working from their homes or bedrooms, which subconsciously affects how they feel about both. People with a bedroom desk that overlooks the bad are reporting less productivity, as their bed is within their vision and they can’t help but think about sleep.
The way you can fix this is by separating your workspace and sleeping space as much as possible. If you’re relegated to working from your bedroom office, set it up so that the desk is facing a wall or a window. Keep the bed out of your vision. If there is a way you can take your office to an entirely different room, then definitely do so.
As for your sleeping schedule, leave enough room between your work and your sleep time so the two don’t mix. Without the lockdown, there is a clear separation between work and sleep. In the morning we wake up, wash ourselves, have breakfast, then commute to work, which altogether can take around an hour, if not more. On the way back from work, we commute back home, relax for a bit, eat dinner, wash up, or go out somewhere, and go to sleep hours after our work is finished.
At home, with a flexible schedule, many of us wake up and immediately jump to the computer to join the morning virtual meeting or work at our computers to the very last second and then go to sleep immediately after. With little to no time in the middle, working and sleeping hours have blended together.
What you should do is create a strict sleeping schedule. Wake up a few hours before your workday or the first meeting, so you have enough time to have breakfast, relax for a bit, watch TV, or exercise. After you finish work, don’t go immediately to sleep. Obviously, this is hard to do if you work late nights, but try finishing your work early, so you have enough time in the evening to relax and do something else before heading off to sleep.
With these clear borders between your work and sleep time, you can regain control over your sleep and have enough energy to work, study, or handle any of your responsibilities.