At ThermaSol we understand these uncertain times can create stress, anxiety and burnout, and we hope to use our decades of wellness experience to help you during this challenging time. In part three of our wellness series, we offer self-care tips to help you unwind, relax and refresh.
TAKE SCREEN BREAKS
Have you ever heard of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)? It is a condition that research shows affects between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen, and includes varying levels of eye strain and discomfort. Screens inhibit blinking and force your eyes to repeatedly move around, focus and refocus, all while sending images to the brain rapidly, causing strain to the eye muscles. CVS can cause blurred vision, double vision, dry and red eyes, eye irritation, headaches and even neck or back pain.
Consider these tips to reduce the risk and symptoms:
- Reduce surrounding glare. Change the light around you, such as by repositioning your screen and where you are seated, or by closing your window blinds or drawing your curtains to reduce any visible glare and any effect it may have on your computer screen.
- Rearrange your work area. The best position for your screen is slightly below eye level without requiring you to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to see your screen. Try to position any additional materials you might read near the screen so you won’t have to look up at your screen and back down while you type.
- Give your eyes a break. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes or so and look at something about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds, making sure to blink often.
- Make adjustments. Consider modifying the screen brightness and contrast, and the font type and size to what suits you best.
TAKE A WALK, EVEN JUST AROUND YOUR HOME
Let’s face it-sitting all day is bad for our health, brain and body. Studies show that for every hour of sitting, it is best to walk around for five minutes to improve energy and boost your mood. This is especially important while you shelter in place and move around less often than normal. Be sure to get up and walk around every hour or so, even if only to walk back and forth or around the perimeter of your room, or just to go the kitchen to get a glass of water. Any movement is better than no movement.
For those who are feeling cooped up and frustrated by not being able to run outside or work out at the gym, there are fortunately plenty of at-home exercises that require no equipment at all.
Consider these techniques for a 15-minute full-body workout at home.
- Running in place (lift those knees!) and alternate with jumping jacks for 2 minutes
- Jump squats/lunges. Keep your toes lined up with your knees as you squat down and jump up, aiming for explosive movement, land, squat, jump and repeat. Aim for 3-5 reps of 10. Or for a lower impact exercise, consider lunges. Move one leg out in front of you, bending your knee to a 90-degree angle and bending the opposite knee down to the ground. Switch legs, repeating on each side. Aim for 3-5 reps of 10.
- Planks. Try holding for 30 seconds-1 minute at a time. Aim for 3-5 reps.
- Leg lifts. Lie down flat, hands at your sides and raise your legs, keeping them together and straight, to a 45-degree angle, bringing your legs down to just above the floor and back up. For a modified version, bend your knees. Aim for 3-5 reps of 10.
- Criss-cross. Lie down flat and bring one bent knee up toward the chest, putting your hands, one on top of the other, behind your head and lifting your head toward your opposite knee, alternating on each side. Aim for 3-5 reps, 10 each side.
- Push ups/modified pushup with knees on the ground. This move is a classic for a reason, as it helps build and maintain upper body strength. Do as many as you can without losing proper form.
- Don’t forget to stretch!
CONSIDER A WARM BATH
ThermaSol of course specializes in restorative steam showers with the ability to help relax nerves, stimulate circulation, alleviate pain and promote overall wellbeing, but we also know the restorative powers of soaking in a warm bath. Consider drawing a bath that is warm, not overly hot, and soak up to the neck for 10-15 minutes max, avoiding getting any water in your eyes. Dry off and apply a moisturizer, perhaps with soothing aloe or lavender.
You can also try a bath with additives such as colloidal oatmeal, a fizzy bath bomb or relaxing essential oils, such as our French Lavender Essential Oil that promotes calm and relaxation.
Meditation is a powerful tool that you can practice anywhere, anytime and offers a variety of potential benefits, from helping to reduce stress and control anxiety to improving your self-awareness and sleep quality.
For a simple meditation session, follow these easy steps:
Try to sit in a relaxed comfortable position on a chair or on a cushion on the floor
- Rest your hands wherever comfortable
- Take slow, deep breaths in and out and focus your attention on your body and your breath
- Notice the feeling of your body where you are seated, the sensation of your hands, the position of your posture, and any surrounding sounds
- Notice your breath and where you feel it in your body. Feel the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen or chest
- If your mind wanders, pay attention to what you are thinking about, the type of feeling it creates, and if helpful, name the feeling and identify it. Thank it for trying to help you, and let it go
- Gently bring your attention to your breath, and continue breathing
- Try to invite self-kindness and self-understanding and try reinforcing positive thoughts, such as “May I be happy and well and at peace. May I be safe and healthy. May we all be happy and peaceful and strong and at ease.”
The bright side of this moment in history is the nearly endless host of available streaming options to help keep you entertained and provide some comic relief and comfort while spending more time indoors.
The old adage “laughter is the best medicine” can in fact hold some scientific merit, as studies have shown the mood-improving effects of laughter on the human brain. Whether it’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Young Frankenstein,” or your favorite “Saturday Night Live” sketch since the show’s inception in 1975, you are sure to find your favorite comedic content right at your fingertips to put a smile on your face and relieve you of life’s whoas, even if only temporarily.
We hope these tips have provided some relief. Let us know which worked and if you have any tips of your own. We hope you are safe and well.