I know with the current climate, with everything that's been going on with COVID19 - most people aren't living their normal lives. Most aren't in a position to achieve the goals they had set themselves for 2020. A lot of things are 'on hold' or cancelled. On top of that, as humans, we are still going through the day to day highs and lows. Things go wrong, we make the wrong decision, we have a bad day/bad week/bad month etc. Depending on your mental health, ability to cope with change, current mood, current season in life etc - this has the potential to affect us in a huge way.
During this time, I think we need to be taking care of ourselves even more. I am a big believer in self care. If you know me, you'd know I'll happily be the first to leave an event to go home and sleep. If everyone else is drinking, you bet i'll have a water in hand because I want to feel 100% the next day. I'll say 'no' frequently and without apology because I have made a commitment to myself to always do what's right by me - because feeling good in all aspects is one of my greatest priorities. This is an attitude i try to pass onto those closest to me.
In saying that, there are some things we can do now to help us feel better, do better and become better. It's the 1% that makes all the difference. The tiniest changes in habits have enormous compounding effects over time. This is referred to as "The Aggregation of Marginal Gains" - and if you'd like more information on how this works, i suggest reading this article (https://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains) which is an excerpt from Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Sunlight: I know i spoke about this previously, but sunlight scientifically has proven to have a positive affect on your mood. When you are exposed to sunlight, your body produces a chemical called serotonin which is the 'feel good' neurotransmitter. 20 minutes of sunlight per day will do wonders for you. And while you're outside - take off your shoes and socks to experience the benefits of 'grounding'.
Practice Gratitude: Practising gratitude is something that is very underrated. And i don't just mean being thankful when things are going well, but also being thankful for your struggles. Practising gratitude is a skill that you can develop. You can literally rewire your brain. The more you practice gratitude, the more sensitive you will be to positive thinking. This means that over time, your brain will automatically default to positivity rather than negativity. This is something that takes time and effort - but you can and should start now. Practising gratitude also activates your parasympathetic nervous system and puts you into a state of calmness. How can you be angry if your thankful? If you'd like more information on the significance of this, i suggest Game Changers by Dave Asprey.
Exercise: My all time favourite of this list. Getting a good sweat on does a lot more for you than just physically. There's a reason the term 'runners high' exists. Exercise and moving your body releases endorphins. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. The link between exercising and positive brain function is strong, and exercise has also been linked the lessening the effects of depression and anxiety (https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-59322005000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en)
Ultimately, what is going to make you feel best is very personal. However, these 3 options are scientifically proven to have many benefits - physically, emotionally and mentally. They are also free and accessible to anyone. If you aren't consistently taking time out to do things for yourself - there is no better time to start than now. The power of tiny gains is huge.