There’s no doubt that the pandemic has been rough on our collective state of mind.
Although up to 64 million U.S. employees already had jobs that were compatible with telework in some capacity, that doesn’t mean that making the adjustment to working from home has been an easy one.
With fewer options for safely interacting with friends or taking part in some of life’s greatest pleasures, it’s important that we make self-care a bigger priority than before.
To that end, here are three simple ways you can pamper yourself during the pandemic.
Buy Yourself an Impractical Gift
While it’s important to keep your budget in mind during these uncertain times, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a present right now.
We have so many other disappointments to deal with, so enjoying a little rush of adrenaline upon receiving a package in the mail can’t hurt.
Make sure that whatever gift you buy yourself isn’t something you need; it should be something that makes you smile just because.
For instance, you might order a new perfume, a fun decor piece, or a new York Times best-seller.
You may even want to consider buying yourself a fresh bouquet.
After all, 86% of people say receiving flowers makes them feel special — and even if you’re both the giver and the recipient, there’s nothing quite like some beautiful blooms to brighten up your day.
While you might dismiss this idea as a waste of money at first, keep in mind that there’s no price tag on your happiness — and investing in your well-being can help you in other areas of your life.
Set Up a Relaxation Space
Most of us could use a way to relax. But with spas remaining closed or following strict guidelines, you might be better off staying home.
Why not set up a space that will specifically help you relax after the end of a long day?
You could create a meditation corner, set up a reading nook, or turn your bathroom into a private oasis.
Whether you enjoy taking a long bubble bath or want to keep your bedroom free of electronic distractions, you need an area where you can light some candles, enjoy a favorite beverage, or simply let your troubles melt away for a little while.
Having a specific space for this purpose can help you compartmentalize and practice mindfulness, rather than being fixated on all the tasks you have yet to check off on your to-do list.
Carve Out Time For What Makes You Happy
As Americans, we often belittle the activities that don’t seem to be productive.
But not everything has to produce a measurable outcome in order to be valuable.
Don’t trick yourself into believing that what you do at work is more important than what you do at home.
If you don’t make time for the things that bring you joy, you’ll be poised for major burnout and depression.
So if you love reading for pleasure, listening to music, walking in nature, painting your nails, or playing Minecraft (a game that’s sold over 200 million copies as of May 2020), make time for those activities!
Try not to judge life’s pleasures through the lens of productivity; rather, assign them value based on how they make you feel.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
During this scary period in our lives, it’s easy to feel bogged down with worry.
But while those feelings of anxiety are valid, you don’t have to permanently live in that place.
By taking the initiative to pamper and care for yourself, you’ll be better equipped to face an uncertain tomorrow with as positive an attitude as anyone can muster.