It’s not easy right now, is it?
The stay-at-home order has just been extended…
…And the airwaves are full of negative news stories.
If you’re worried about your family, your health, your livelihood – it’s only natural.
The patients I see right now are divided between those who are completely fed up, and just can’t wait for life to return to normal…
…And those who are stoically prepared to do whatever it takes to get the situation under control.
I’m so glad that we can do our little bit, here at Honolulu MedSpa, to pamper you and to help you look and feel your best in this difficult time.
But I know that not everyone can come in to see us right now…
…And even if you can, I think we can all use some help getting away from the news and focusing on the positive. I know I certainly can!
That’s why I’ve put together a shortlist of simple activities that you can do to focus on yourself a bit, calm anxiety, and lift your spirits.
I’m trying to do one of these each day, as long as the stay-at-home order is still in place…
…But even if just one of them proves a comfort to you, then that would really make my day.
Find a way to support others.
Yes, I know it’s counter-intuitive – isn’t the point here to focus on yourself, and your own wellbeing?
But I firmly believe that the real secret to happiness is helping others… And science supports me! Studies show that when you do charitable deeds, you experience a kind of euphoria known as “helper’s high”.
And right now is the perfect time to offer someone else a helping hand and build connections and relationships.
It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated (and of course with the stay-at-home order in place, you have to think carefully about what’s possible).
But why not contact local charities to see if they need any help… Find out whether the local food bank needs contributions… Make sure an elderly neighbor is coping… Or support a struggling local business? Even just a kind word to someone can go a long way.
Creating art is another tried-and-tested way of relieving stress.
Maybe it’s because art allows you to express yourself without words… Maybe it’s simply that you’re taking some quiet time.
Either way, there’s something about the process of creating art which relaxes and heals, whether or not you have artistic skill.
So if you’re a dab hand with the paintbrush, or if you love drawing, now’s the time to get creative.
Or buy an adult coloring book online – Yes, not only is that a real thing but in recent years adult coloring has become quite a craze! A few minutes with the crayons can melt your stress away…
Get physical exercise.
Regular exercise is proven to improve people’s mood, relieve stress, help you get better sleep, improve your memory and even fight depression.
Personally, it’s the one thing I carve time out for as often as possible. I do a HIIT training every afternoon, and then take my dog for a nice, relaxing walk.
It can be hard to find the motivation for the HIIT training when I can’t go to the gym, but I always feel better for it!
Of course, HIIT isn’t for everyone. Pick whatever form of exercise you enjoy, even if it’s just to get yourself moving a bit.
Treat yourself to a luxury.
Go on, spoil yourself a bit… We’ve all earned it
That luxury might be as simple as some time soaking in a bubble bath…
Buying something you’ve always wanted for your home or for yourself…
Or even just treating yourself to some take-out if you don’t feel like cooking dinner!
It doesn’t have to be something expensive (although of course it can be!) – just something you really want, and that sparks a bit of joy.
Have a good laugh.
It’s no joke – laughter really is the best medicine!
The simple act of laughing relaxes your body and releases endorphins that make you feel good, boosting your mood and diffusing stress and anger.
In this environment, there might not be much to laugh about – which is why we need to seek the opportunities out. So if you love dramas or documentaries on TV, try watching a comedy instead. Or if reading’s your thing, look for a really light, funny book.
Or look for some silly gags on YouTube… Even a short burst of laughter will work wonders.
Last but not least…
Let me explain…
Something I heard Dr. Yeo once say really stuck with me. He said that “if you can’t frown, you can’t feel sad!”
It turns out that there’s actually scientific backing for this…
…Studies show that when you soften the “grief muscles” in your face which express sadness, you are less likely to feel negative emotions too.
There are even some studies which purport to show that Botox relieves depression. (You can read more about this here and here.)
Now, I’m not really suggesting you get Botox to feel better.
But I do think we should be taking this seriously on a metaphorical level…
…Doing whatever we can to soften our “grief muscles”, and remove unnecessary stresses from our lives. If they’re not there, they can’t upset us!
So maybe you don’t phone the family member who always annoys you, even if you feel obliged…
Or maybe this month you skip the ironing if that’s a job you hate…
Or if you have a particular client who always causes you grief, maybe this is the time to drop them.
Make your life as easy as possible, and be kind to yourself!
What are your best tips to get through this Stay-at-Home order in one piece? Hit ‘reply’ and let me know what you’re doing to lift your spirits… I’d love to hear your ideas!
Director of Nursing