This article was written by Cheryl Conklin,

guest blogger for Integral Travel and founder of Wellness Central

As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out, the world is starting to consider what the ‘new normal’ will look like after the pandemic. Whether you are eager to resume your daily life while social distancing or are remaining cautious and staying close to home, this is a good time to think about self-care. The coronavirus pandemic has been a significant source of stress. With fears subsiding, you can breathe a sigh of relief — and start taking steps to look and feel your best. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Take a mini-break to clear your head and prepare for what’s ahead.

If you’re in a slump following COVID, you aren’t alone. The Cleveland Clinic confirms that it’s perfectly normal to feel bored, stagnant, or worn out as a result of the seemingly neverending pandemic. This is a good time to hit the reset button. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes it’s best to simply take a break. Taking time to unwind and rest will leave you recharged and ready to move on to the next phase of post-pandemic life. Integral Travel offers education and wellness retreats designed to promote healing and well-being.

Revamp your fitness routine to shed lockdown pounds and minimize anxiety.

Pandemic weight gain is a real thing, according to MU Health Care. Gyms have been closed or have restricted access, and many people have struggled to find the motivation to work out at home. Now is the time to make a change. If you’re ready to interact face-to-face with others, find a friend to work out with. NBC News reports that exercising in a group offers greater motivation. If you’re still isolating, look for innovative and fun workouts you can do safely in the comfort of your own home. Check out Cnet’s list of Zoom workout classes for inspiration. Options range from kickboxing to dancing.

Invest in new clothes as part of a mini makeover.

You might also consider investing in a mini makeover to refresh yourself physically and mentally following lockdown. Depending on vaccination status, you may soon be able to safely get a haircut, for example. Still staying home? Consider investing in some new clothes. You can shop online safely via sites like Kindred Bravely, which feature cozy maternity gowns, athleisure, and more — all goods that are perfect for lounging at home. A silky, slinky nightgown is cozy and pretty, proving that you don’t have to forego style for comfort.

Nurture your body and mind with healthy eating.

If you were cooking at home or ordering in frequently throughout COVID, you may have ended up in a food rut. Shake things up. Healthy eating is essential, not only for physical but also for mental health. As Aetna explains, food impacts gastrointestinal, GI, health. Bacteria in your GI tract bring messages from the gut to the brain, impacting the production of “happy” neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Running out of ideas on what to make? Tasty.co offers a list of 20 easy recipes to inspire you, including pesto chicken bake, black bean-stuffed sweet potatoes, and more.

Prepare to proactively keep anxiety at bay going forwards.

The coronavirus pandemic may have sparked new fears, worries, or anxieties. Don’t expect these to disappear overnight. Give your mind as well as your body time to heal. Further, prepare to face new stress as the pandemic slowly winds down and be proactive about handling it. CNN suggests that people will continue to face hurdles like burnout in the months to come. To keep stress at bay, consider engaging in practices like meditation. Healthy habits like nutritious eating and regular exercise are also helpful.

The world won’t return to the way it was overnight, so be patient. Take this transition period to focus on looking and feeling your best. The above tips can help.

If you want to hit pause and take a breather from life’s everyday stressors, Integral Travel can help. We promote individual and community transformation through our unique wellness adventures. Find out more.

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