Ask yourself a question: What’s one thing you really enjoyed while being home that you hope to integrate into your daily routine?
For many of us, the answer is self-care — the daily act of taking time, whether big or small, to focus on ourselves.
Self-care can take many shapes, whether it’s working out, cooking from scratch, facials, puzzles, board games, reading or the famous quarantine daily walks. While our schedules slowly return to normal and life picks up its pace, there are many ways you can continue to squeeze in your favorite self-care rituals.
“It is so important to take care of yourself, mind, body and spirit. When we are home, we are able to practice self-care by doing things on our own or with our families. But what we truly miss the most is connection and care from another individual,” said Kelly Peterson, chief operating officer of Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine.
“I love that people have found ways at home to take care of themselves. I think this pandemic truly opened our eyes to how important our health and well-being is. A part of that journey after the pandemic is allowing others to be a part of your healing journey.”
Continuing self-care by introducing others into your healing journey is a great option when it comes to massage, acupuncture and energy therapy. Regarding energy therapy, Peterson said, “This time has been incredibly difficult for the mind and emotions. I’ve seen an increase in fear, anger, worry, depression, anxiety. Having a safe space to work through these feelings is important. And again, through connection and work with another individual, true healing can occur.”
Massage is a great way to take care of yourself after this intense season of life. A hands-on massage helps with the movement of lymph and toxins throughout the body. Essential oils throughout the massage provide aromatherapy benefits. Not keen on heading in to have this service done yet? Pick up an essential oil blend and have an at-home spa night with your partner. Perhaps pick up a bottle of wine from Martha’s Vineyard in Grand Rapids, while you’re at it?
A balanced body is nothing without a balanced mind. Puzzles and board games help keep your mind sharp by improving short-term memory. Any stimulation for the brain is good news for preventing degenerative disease. Keep that noggin sharp as a tack by stocking up on new puzzles, board games and books.
For games and puzzles, check out Blue Bridge Games or Vault of Midnight in Grand Rapids, Odyssey Games or Fanfare in Kalamazoo, or Grand Traverse Games in Traverse City. If gaming isn’t your thing but you love a bestseller, browse the stacks at Schuler Books or Books & Mortar in Grand Rapids, or at Readers World in Holland.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this time, it’s that we could all slow down.
“We need to unlearn some of our societal patterns, including glorifying busyness, running from place to place, loss of connection, eating on the go, and so on,” Peterson said. “We need to value the downtime. Take care of ourselves and improve our well-being. We can’t forget what we learned during this time.”
Skincare is an easy way to slow the body and mind. Most facials require 15 to 30 minutes of time — and nobody can achieve much with a sheet mask on their face.
Plus, your skin is one of the first signs of overall health. Glowing skin that looks hydrated and radiant shows signs of good health and happiness. At Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine, the KPS seven-piece, at-home facial kit is a great way to experience a spa right inside your own world.
“KPS Essentials is a locally made organic, vegan, food-grade skincare line,” Peterson said. “Not only are the products clean, but they are also effective — and their ingredients are sourced from sustainable, clean, and environmentally conscious suppliers.” The facial kit includes eye serum, cleansing oil, exfoliants, SPF primer and more.
With the mind, skin and energy levels aligned, there’s just one more thing to take care of: your body.
If you took advantage of at-home workouts with local studios during your home time, there’s no reason to stop once we can get back out there. Support your local fitness instructors by signing up for a class pack and experience the energy of a room filled with people sweating together. Whatever workout you choose — whether it’s kickboxing, CrossFit, boot camp or barre — be sure to support a local, independently owned studio.
If this time has shown us anything, it’s to not take our own health for granted.
“This pandemic has taught us that we need to take our health back into our own hands,” Peterson said.
“We need to take care of ourselves. Mental and emotional well-being plays a huge role in physical well-being and to truly be well, one must take care of their mind, body, and spirit.”