The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone. Whether you’re young or old, healthy or high risk, living in a constant state of flux has been challenging. And it’s been made even more difficult by the fact that we’ve been forced to live in relative isolation for so many months.
While quarantining is never ideal, there’s no reason you have to be miserable. Taking time to pamper yourself will go a long way towards relieving stress and anxiety. It may even help you fight bouts with situational depression.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Quarantine
In a survey taken towards the end of the summer, researchers found that 53 percent of adult Americans self-reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to stress and worry over the COVID-19 crisis. This figure is significantly higher than the 32 percent of adults that reported the same issues in March when the poll was first conducted.
Other interesting outcomes from the survey include:
- 36 percent say they have difficult sleeping
- 32 percent say the stress of the coronavirus has negatively impacted eating patterns
- 12 percent have seen an increase in alcohol consumption and/or substance use
As the pandemic wears on and isolation continues, it’s clear that mental health is declining in many individuals. The crisis is taking a toll on everyone.
“It’s quite understandable the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause significant stress and psychological distress for a large proportion of the population,” says Dr. Maurizio Fava, psychiatrist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. “And we know the rates are progressively increasing.”
According to Dr. Fava, there are a number of elements that contribute to the rise in depression rates during this time, including:
- Trauma from widespread disease
- Grief over loss of life
- Financial concerns
- Fear of getting sick
- Reduced access to caregivers
- Physical distancing
- Loss of community
While many of these issues are complicated and may require help from a psychiatric professional or counselor, there are plenty of small things Americans can do to ease the stress, anxiety, and depression related to physical distancing and loss of community during quarantine.
5 Ways You Can Pamper Yourself
If there were ever a time where it’s okay to pamper yourself and practice a little self-care, it’s now. Here are a few ideas that you can implement from the comforts of your own home:
- Splurge on Small Indulgences
While we all love a good trip to the spa, now’s not the best time. There are, however, plenty of alternatives.
“You may not be able to schedule your favorite med spa procedures or follow your normal beauty routine right now. However, you can still splurge and indulge at home,” Dr. Peter Kay says. “For example, now may be the perfect time to treat yourself to a new skincare routine or high-end cosmetics.”
Assuming you have the financial means, it’s okay to spend some money on quality products right now. Reward yourself!
- Try Music and Wine
Turn off the news, get off social media, and tune out all of the online distractions. Dim the lights, turn on your favorite relaxing music, pour a glass of wine, and just enjoy a peaceful evening. It’s amazing what a quiet session like this can do for the mind.
- Take a Bath
A shower might be your go-to, but slowing down to take the occasional bath can really make you feel pampered and cared for. You can even combine this suggestion with the previous one – turning on some music and pouring a glass of vino.
- Enjoy Your Backyard
There’s something powerful about getting outside and breathing in a little fresh air. If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with a backyard, make it a point to get outside for a couple of hours each day. You’ll feel refreshed and energized.
- Order In
Nothing makes you feel like a king or queen quite like ordering a tasty meal with the click of a button and having it delivered to your doorstep. Takeout can get expensive if you make it a regular occurrence, but treat yourself to having one or two meals delivered each week. It’ll give you a night off from cooking and cleaning dishes.
Adding it All Up
It’s easy to feel guilty for pampering yourself in a time where there’s so much hurt, sickness, and loss of life, but you should fight back against these feelings. Self-care is something that you should practice in good times and bad. It’s integral to your emotional health and should be a priority. Pick an item on this list that resonates with you and give it a try this week.