In an unknown world, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the events of the day. Getting sucked into all the negativity, misinformation and fighting can take its toll on your physical and mental health. Now, more than ever, you must take care of yourself. How can you do that amid a global crisis? Take this time to focus on self-care and make these five small changes that may lead to permanent improvements.

1. Spend More Time Outdoors

Spending months indoors has undoubtedly taken its toll on your mental health. It may be getting easier to stay in your pajamas, in your bed, in the dark for the better part of the day. Tomorrow, start the day with some time outside. Take your morning coffee on the porch rather than in your bed. Throw on a pair of old shorts and go for a short walk around your yard. Time outside will work wonders on lifting your spirits. The natural Vitamin D from the sun permeates the skin and starts working to alter your brain chemically. If you do venture out, don’t forget the sunblock!

2. Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep

Is your brain continually spinning, especially when you are trying to rest? Getting too little sleep has a profound impact on the way your brain and body function. Without sleep, your brain cannot regenerate itself and the parts of the body that need it. This leaves you feeling foggy, lethargic and dull. You may start to get aches and pains without explanation, and your memory will begin to falter. The recommended amount of sleep an adult should get is between seven and nine hours nightly. If you have a difficult time falling asleep, you may want to try some tricks to relax, such as turning off all screens well in advance of bedtime, trying CBD gummies for natural relaxation or listening to white noise. The restorative powers of sleep will boost your body and mind.

3. Find a Way To Manage Stress

Everyone feels some measure of stress at one point or another. These days, it seems like the strain and anxiety of the world don’t ease up. How can you possibly control stress at a time like this? First, it helps to understand what is causing the stress. If things outside your control are pressing down on you, perhaps the best way to reduce it is by unplugging. Stop reading or watching the news, and don’t scroll through social media. After a few days, see if you feel less stress just by taking these measures. Next, find ways to help offset the strain. Some suggestions include:

  • Follow a guided meditation online
  • Listen to an uplifting podcast
  • Get through your reading list
  • Go for a walk in a new place
  • Call a friend to catch up

Stress management comes in many different forms. Finding what works for you will be life-changing.

4. Keep Regular Doctor Checkups

Going to the doctor for preventative, well-care visits is crucial. At these appointments, you can speak to your doctor about how you have been feeling, any new symptoms, and what you have tried that doesn’t work. The doctor can order bloodwork and tests to see if there is something internal that is adding to whatever is ailing you. Caring for yourself means ensuring that you are medically well.

5. Eat a Cleaner Diet

You’ve seen the ads and heard the hype: eating better leads to a fuller life. During quarantine, you may have gained a few pounds from stress or boredom. Now is the time to start taking control of your lifestyle and your diet should be the first thing you modify. Try and get rid of one or two bad foods a week. Cook dinner rather than ordering takeout or delivery. Incorporate more fresh foods into your meals. Making small changes over time will make the diet more sustainable and have a significant impact on your health.

While it won’t necessarily be easy to stick to these modifications, their positive impact on your life should spur you onward. Remember to take it easy, don’t do too much at once and give yourself some grace.