Over a year into the
coronavirus pandemic and a sense of calm is in even shorter supply than vaccines are. Our professional, social, sex, and (for some) religious lives have been in an ongoing limbo that keeps us all in a low-grade state of anxiety. It’s near impossible to feel at peace with the world.
But just because we’re mired in challenges doesn’t mean this era will last forever — or that there’s nothing you can do to improve your mental and physical well-being in the meantime. We’ve brainstormed 10 of the best ways to find your Zen amidst the Covid chaos. Start taking steps to find your chill today, and you’ll see results faster than you can say “third wave.”
Cover Photo: Cristalov (Getty Images)
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Chill the Eff Out Caliper
While it seems absurd, drinking more water can actually help reduce anxiety. Water has a calming effect on the body, so aim for 64 ounces of fluid a day (more if you exercise or live in a hot climate).
Sitting still and breathing in and breathing out sounds easy, but it's incredibly hard to do. That's why meditation is called a "practice," because you probably won't reach nirvana anytime soon. Still, the benefits of as little as 10 minutes of meditation a day have been scientifically shown to help reduce stress and blood pressure.
Studies have shown that time spent in nature is good for your mental health. The Japanese have a term called "forest bathing," which perfectly describes the ritual of getting outside on a regular basis to cleanse your mind and spirit.
Yoga used to be a fitness trend only for Karens, but now all you really need to get into this ancient healing art is a mat and an internet connection. There are tons of free, short videos for every skill level that will help you unwind (ironically, by twisting you into pretzel positions).
Soaking in some suds can do wonders for your mood. The heat relaxes your muscles and the water washes your worries away. If you add an adult beverage to your hot bath, all the better.
The key to an anxiety-relieving massage is silence. State your preference for quiet at the beginning of the session, then surrender all your tension to the strong strokes of the masseuse.
Essential oils have been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. You just need to identify the scents that work for you. Find an aromatherapist near you or visit a holistic health center for help getting started.
What you listen to has a profound effect on your well-being. Tune in to anxiety-targeted playlists instead of mindlessly turning on the Top 40 station. You'll feel the difference in your mood immediately.
Adopt a Puppy
Furry friends offer physical and mental health benefits, and there's never been a better time to adopt one than while we're (still) in quarantine. Make sure you research low-maintenance breeds; the last thing you want is to bring home a pup that's more anxious than you are!
CBD (Of Course, CBD!)
You know anecdotally that CBD helps you chill out. Now there’s science to prove it. Caliper CBD and its dissolvable powder format were recently shown to deliver CBD into the bloodstream 142 times more quickly than isolate, and 22 times more quickly than tincture, in the 30 minutes following ingestion. That means faster, more reliable relief from whatever ails you. Stock up on the good stuff