It’s World Health Day and Stress Awareness Month and with everything that’s currently going on in the world, there has never been a better time to focus inwards and start looking after your mental health and wellbeing. In times of high stress, self care is vital.
A few weeks ago, working from home was a luxury. Now that sense of calm has been replaced by chaos for many of us who have to share our space with others. Having lost the structure of a typical day at the office, we have to find ways to embrace the new normal and create a #quarantineroutine that’s going to see us through these difficult and uncertain times.
Whether that means losing yourself in a story or having "just one more" of your favourite feel-good treat, make sure you take the time to prioritise you with CBII.
Day 1 –
Meditate through the madness
Sometimes the unexpected events of life can be stressful and all-consuming. With our minds a muddle of work, home life and everything in-between, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Meditation is a great way to unpick and rationalise these thoughts, unravelling the spaghetti of stress in our brains.
According to a study done by the University of Wisconsin, meditation has some real physiological effects on our brains. The study showed that the amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates stress and anxiety, actually shrinks in size when you meditate regularly. You’re essentially training your brain to stay calm – even in the most stressful times.
What's more, meditation can help make you feel happier because it enhances the flow of positive, constructive and problem-solving thoughts and emotions, making it easier to think clearly, feel calmer and fall asleep faster. What’s not to love?
Day 2 –
Boost your brain
During lockdown, the hours in the day can feel endless, particularly when you don’t have the luxury of a full-time job. It’s very easy to get lost in a Netflix haze and before you know it, it’s dinnertime. While we’re big advocates of self-care in any form that works for you, eventually vegging out in front of the TV is going to lose its appeal.
Instead, take this time to really work on yourself. Practise patience and problem-solving with a puzzle. Learn something new. Finish that crossword. Or stimulate your brain with our CBII CBD sudoku!
Day 3 – Break
We’re spending hours of our lives cooped up in our homes. And because it’s our safe space, it’s easy to forget to move around like we would during a normal day at the office. Some of us may have great home office set ups. But there are many of us who, with this lockdown forced on us pretty quickly, don’t actually have a comfortable spot to work. Some may even be working from bed.
Sitting at a desk and staring at a screen for hours on end poses some serious health risks – back and shoulder pain, eye fatigue and carpal tunnel are just a few of the downsides of working at a desk or from bed all day.
Exercise is one of the simplest ways to de-stress. So make sure you’re taking regular breaks – five to 10 minutes every hour – to get up, stretch your legs and get a change of scenery. You’ll be surprised how much this helps with stress and your mental health, not to mention physical.
Here are 5 simple stretches you can do in your lunch hour to help you break the ache of WFH.
Day 4 - Switching
Digital detoxes are a great opportunity to reduce stress. But they’re not always possible when you’re working or trying to keep in touch with loved ones. When working from home, it’s easy for the boundaries between work and home life to blur, especially if your home office is also your bedroom. If you find yourself anxiously checking your emails in the middle of dinner, perhaps it’s time for you to switch off – whatever that means for you.
If possible, try not to work from bed – having a desk or a workspace in another room helps to make your bedroom a safe space that’s associated with relaxing rather than the stress associated with work. Taking time for you is so important.
Here are a few ways to help you switch off at the end of the day:
Compartmentalise work and home spaces. Set up a workspace away from your bed, ideally in another room
Put your laptop and work things away at the end of the day
Write a to-do list for all the things you need to do tomorrow so you can get them off your mind
Turn your phone on silent (or, if possible, off completely)
Take a long hot bubble bath
Read a book – see our recommendations below
Download a mindfulness and stress-relieving app like Headspace or Calm
Day 5 - Escape
through a story
According to a study by cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, reading for just six minutes a day has been proven to reduce stress by 68%. That’s pretty impressive. However, reading requires you to switch off which is something a lot of us struggle to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, it means it’s more important than ever.
There are many benefits to reading. Not only is it a great stress-reliever but it’s also great for improving the vocabulary. Read for just 20 minutes a day and you’ll get through 1,800,000 words a year. Reading also contributes to normal cognitive development and helps to prevent cognitive decline. Interestingly, as reading involves imagining ourselves in the narrator’s shoes, it builds our emotional intelligence and makes us more empathetic.
Don’t have time to read? Audio books and podcasts are a great way to include stories as part of your everyday routine – while you’re working on admin or cleaning the house. If you haven’t used it before, now is a great time to tap into Audible's 30-day free trial that includes two free audio books and access to thousands of podcasts.
It’s also a great way to keep the kids occupied and off the screens so you get some free time - Audible is offering free access to kids’ stories during the school shutdown.
Day 6 - Music
Music is a powerful stress reliever, providing a calming and soothing effect on our minds and bodies. The best music for relaxing is usually slow, quiet or classical music which is believed to positively influence our thoughts, improve our mood and overall wellbeing. Studies show that music can slow our heart rate, lower blood pressure and even decrease the levels of stress hormones at play in our bodies at the end of a busy day of work.
On the other hand, music can also be a great way to wake up in the morning and get you ready to face the day. The best wake-up songs are usually up-tempo and upbeat. Here are the top five songs on our CBII wake-up playlist:
Colouring has long been linked with stress and anxiety relief ever since adult colouring books hit the scene several years ago. And for good reason.
According to scientists, colouring has the ability to relax the amygdala, the fear centre of your brain. It works similarly to meditation by getting you to focus and reduce the stress spaghetti of endless intertwining thoughts.
So, stress less and get colouring. Share them with us on Instagram to unlock an exclusive discount!
Day 8 - Food therapy: The CBII Recipe Book
There’s no denying that for many, the key to happiness lies in a full stomach. So, we’ve put together some mouth-watering recipes that you can have alongside, or combine with, CBII CBD oil for lunch or a post workout snack as part of your daily quarantine routine.
Disclaimer: CBII has a natural herby taste and is best absorbed when incorporated with fats and protein. CBD oil should never be heated or cooked. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Not suitable for under 18.
It’s easy to feel stressed when we spend the day cooped up inside, breathing in the same musty air day in, day out. Fresh air is important for both our physical and mental health. It helps us wake up in the mornings, makes us more alert and helps us to think more clearly.
So, when working from home, open your windows and doors to let in some fresh air and take regular breaks outside - at a safe distance from other people. If you can, set up your home office in your garden or in your sunroom with a door or window open to let in the breeze.
Getting outside during your lunch hour helps to refresh and reset, making you much more productive in the afternoon. So, make the effort to walk your dog, do some gardening or just go for a stroll during your afternoon break.
10 - Staying social from a distance
Just because we’re all stuck in our homes doesn’t mean we have to be antisocial. In fact, there are so many apps available now that we can be more social than ever before. Here are some ways you can stay social from a distance:
1. HOUSEPARTY APP
Social distancing isn't so bad when you can have face-to-face video calls with up to eight friends at once from your different homes. You can even play in-app games while you’re at it! You’ll be notified when friends go online so you know who’s available for a chat.
2. PHONE A FRIEND
Whether you use Whatsapp voice or video, Vyber, Facetime, Zoom or Skype, there are many ways you can keep in touch with your loved ones. And you don’t have to put any pressure on it – while we’re living apart, we miss company more than conversation. Sometimes it’s nice just to be connected via Zoom while you both go about your daily routine.
3. ONLINE GAMES
Go back to basics with an online card game like Uno or Cards Against Humanity. Simply create a room and invite your friends using your unique invite code.
4. VIRTUAL MOVIE NIGHT
Download the Netflix Party browser extension and invite friends and family to watch a movie with you. You’ll be able to communicate via a chat box.