Iso has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Put yourself into a better mood and indulge in daily #selfcare rituals with this simple weekly do-list. Little changes, BIG results.
Feeling a bit blue? Want to practice positivity each day? Our seven-day guide will help you ward off negativity all week, to transform your mindset and boost your mood.
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Take a trip down memory lane
Nostalgia isn’t just fun, it’s actually good for your mental health. A study from the University of Southampton revealed nostalgia is an effective tool to boost your mood, counteract boredom, anxiety and isolation — what more could you ask for right now? So tackle that box of old family photos today — there’s never been a better excuse to take a trip down memory lane.
Bond with your brood on TikTok
Imagine if social media was a form of bonding rather than a source of tension in your household. Families around the world are proving it is possible by getting on TikTok, together. The social-media app of the moment is all about making short-form videos — the goofier the better. More and more parents (including celebs like Courtney Cox, Mariah Carey and Jessica Alba) are getting involved, creating fun videos with their kids dancing, lip syncing or playing practical jokes.
Start a gratitude journal
Feeling flat? A gratitude practice can help reduce pain, sadness and even improve your sleep. “Simply identify three to five things you are grateful for right now — family, friends and other things that truly matter to you,” says Dr Suzy Green, founder of The Positivity Institute and author of The Positivity Prescription ($39, The Positivity Institute). Write them in a journal at the start or end of your day or share them with your family. “Practise gratitude at the family dinner table. It’s a great way to introduce gratitude to kids,” says Dr Green.
Make yourself feel better all that screen time
With digital devices now a precious lifeline to friends and family, more screen time is unavoidable in isolation. The bad news is blue light from screens has been linked to everything from insomnia to diabetes. Researchers at Harvard recommend the use of blue-light-blocking glasses to minimise the impact on your wellbeing.
Aussie brand BLUBlox is leading the fight against blue light with its specs designed to block it out while you FaceTime and Zoom. It also works with RestoringVision.org to give a pair of reading glasses to someone in need with every pair sold. From $129.95, at BLUBlox.
Hug your iso roomies
Make sure you take the opportunity to cuddle the people you can right now.“Never underestimate the power of a hug. When we hug, the brain releases chemicals that cause a drop in your heart rate so you feel relaxed and a drop in the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine,” says LoveHoney sexologist Chantelle Otten. “When you hug and kiss someone, the brain releases oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which can make you feel happy and euphoric, as well as encourage feelings of affection and bonding with the person. Oxytocin, in particular, has positive benefits for women, reducing blood pressure and decreasing anxiety.”
Start a movie club
Need a laugh? Research shows watching films or TV in a group heightens your emotional experience. Yep, there’s a reason comedies seem funnier at the flicks! Harness the good vibes of a group screening in isolation by starting an online movie club. Choose a movie (start here), start a group chat or video call and make sure you all press ‘play’ at the same time. Have a laugh together in real time and if you’re feeling inspired, stay on a video call to discuss the movie afterwards.
Do a wine workout
Within days of lockdown, workout equipment sold out from online stores across Australia. So when the going gets tough, the tough get creative, just ask Jessica Arrowsmith. The Sydney-based PT went viral with her wine bottle workout on Instagram, featuring plank rosés, bottle squats and sip-ups. Novelty aside, it’s a great all-over body workout AND the perfect excuse to open a bottle.