We’re living in a new reality
It feels like an understatement to say that the world is pretty overwhelming at the moment. COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives and that includes the balance of our hormones.
Social distancing and isolation from the activities which normally bring us joy are having a significant impact on our mood, sex lives and mental wellbeing. Of course, the internet immediately jumped on stories such as a nationwise increase in masterbuation and the post-coronavirus baby boom. But several weeks in, these ideals are becoming harder to imagine.
Without adding to the pessimism out there; the catastrophic job changes, relentless media reporting and loneliness can make the best of us feel down. So think of this as a vibe check (pun intended) on your mental and physical health. Let’s take a moment together to understand how our attitude can help us feel better and release more of that ‘love hormone’ oxytocin for some much needed happy vibes.
Staying happy and healthy during quarantine season
It’s likely we are all suffering from spikes in our stress hormones (such as cortisol) at the moment as we’re apart from our friends and loved ones, further impacting our emotional wellbeing. Stress can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, fertility and weight so it’s vital we understand how we’re feeling.
It is important that you recognize the importance of your wellbeing. To do this, you can try some of our top tips for boosting your happiness:
1. Video time with loved ones
Schedule calls with friends and family as often as you can. The hours you spend talking with people will boost your happy hormones and help lift your morale, adding a rosier tint to everything else you do during the day. Try virtual dinner parties, brunch catch ups, or evening chats. For an extra boost, try playing games together virtually on apps such as HouseParty.
2. Set aside quality time with your partner
Spending every waking moment with the same people can take its toll. Try to keep some level of normalcy by continuing to do your own activities. For example, perhaps you work out separately at different times, read in different rooms for an hour or have phone calls with your different friendship groups. Recreating date nights or special moments together will feel that little bit more exciting if you’ve been on top of each other all day (no pun intended). If you don’t feel in the mood for love-making, even a cuddle will release oxytocin and help you feel that bit more nurtured and content.
3. Camaraderie, community and volunteering
When we help people, we feel better about ourselves. It puts our own plights into perspective and reminds us that we have the ability to help others and make them happy. Community spirit can be seen everywhere around the globe and reading these news stories and being inspired is a heart-warming way to feel fuzzy. If your street doesn’t have a group What’s App, maybe you could be the one to start it? Drop notes in people’s doors and add them to a group message so you can help anyone in the area self-isolating and in need of support. Creating a local trivia night is also a great way to meet your neighbors with less pressure and a bit of healthy competition gets your adrenaline going.
4. Make yourself laugh
Laughing is a great way to get your feel good hormones high and smiling is known to make you feel better even if you start out not really meaning it. There are so many wonderful comedians to watch and listen to, try switching some more serious programs for light-hearted tv (or spend 15 minutes giggling along to Tik Tok).
5. Take the time to care for things
It could be a pet, a plant or your belly! The act of cooking a meal, baking a cake, getting crafty or just looking after your plants is a nurturing act which will stimulate the production of feel-good hormones.
6. Treat your body with extra care
The nutrition that you feed your body with has a huge bearing on how you feel emotionally as well as physically. For example, carb heavy meals will make you feel sluggish - something which doesn’t help when we’re currently limited to the activities we can enjoy. Fuel yourself with lots of healthy snacks, proteins and fresh fruit and vegetables so you feel more energetic and your mind is set up to positively approach each day. If you drink alcohol, try to be mindful of the number of units you’re consuming. It can be a slippery slope when you’re at home with more time than normal, especially if you’re feeling low. If you’re a smoker or vaper, now is the time to try and give up.
7. Practice mindfulness
One huge positive of COVID-19 has been that so many companies have opened up their online programs for free. Set aside at least ten minutes a day for mindfulness. The prolonged stress many of us are feeling can trigger existing anxiety or create a base level of stress. Managing stress is vital for our mental health and the quality of our hair, skin and fertility. Social distancing does not need to mean you can’t socialize and being ‘always on’ at home, doesn’t mean that you can’t also switch off. Phone calls with friends as well as exercise and a digital detox (think books, music, cooking) are the perfect antidote for stress.