By Michael Chi
We’re not going to deny that for most of us, our mental health has taken somewhat of a toll in the last two years. Between quarantines, being stuck at home and the inability to take a tropical vacation whenever your heart desires, our modes of escape can occasionally, get a little unhealthy.
At Sugarmat, while we’re all for indulgences and perfecting the art of hedonism, we love the idea of balance. Most of us balance multiple responsibilities, some of us, multiple jobs — so there’s nothing quite like taking a vacation.
In celebration of the state of escape, here are some things you can do to set your mind free and be in a celebratory vacation mood, even if it’s just in the sweet comforts of your own home.
Take Time… For Meditation
We know, we know. It’s cliched, it’s can be hard if you’re out of practice, but did you know that with regular practice, meditation can help lower cortisol levels? Research shows that mindfulness meditation lowers levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes stress. Reducing cortisol can decrease general stress, anxiety and depression. You can try a guided meditation on your Apple Watch’s Mindfulness app, or find a guided meditation playlist quite easily on Spotify!
Take Time… To Make A Meal
Whether it’s feeding the people you love, or nourishing yourself with a home cooked meal gives you the feel goods. Besides the incredibly cathartic experience of making food from scratch, for many, food carries an emotional connection; as cooking engages all senses, it has the ability to ignite memories. Allowing yourself to be immersed in these memories as you cook is a therapeutic way to relieve stress and boost your mood.
Take Time… To Read
There’s truly nothing in the world like learning how to escape through the pages of a book. If you’ve never been a reader before, pick something from a current bestseller list so you know it’s going to be something engaging. And if you’ve always been a reader, maybe it’s time to venture a little outside your comfort zone and try a new genre.
Take Time… To Journal
Journalling is an often studied, evidence-based strategy for reducing the effects of anxiety from difficult emotions, whether they stem from stress-inducing times like a global pandemic or simply everyday life. If you don’t know how to journal, or where to start, purchase a guided journal - like the Five Minute Journal to help you get started.
Take Time… To Indulge In Yourself
Whether it’s taking time to learn gua sha facial techniques, or actually doing every single step of your skincare, taking a break from the humdrum of life and focus — really focus — and indulge on whatever you’re doing right now helps that little bit of mental escape.