2020 has been … a year, that’s for sure. It’s time to recover and rejuvenate for a better year to come!
By Vicki Allsopp
Editor Note: We understand that true recovery from the pandemic will take much more than a fresh haircut and a new hobby. For those who have lost loved ones, there will never be a return to “normal.” It’s been an unspeakably tragic year and we’ve each internalized it in our own unique way.
We also feel the pain of those suffering business losses, and we encourage you to take advantage of the safe opportunities available to patronize our local small businesses. (These opportunities are always evolving in response to the current safety measures in place, so be sure to check ahead before visiting.)
It’s truly the small business owners and entrepreneurs who keep our economy afloat. Please support them any way you can during these difficult times. And, one final thought: Please take care of yourself—mind, body and spirit. These are some thoughts on how you can help save small businesses, treat yourself and launch into 2021 with renewed vigor.
Although it won’t be entirely back to the “normal” of pre-pandemic life, we must start the new year as positively as possible. And that begins with you. Whether you’re ready to splurge or you just need a little something to break through that pandemic fog, we’ve curated this list of self-care activities to help you start 2021 off right.
The fatigue brought on by stress and anxiety (plus sleepless nights, overeating and isolation) not only manifests itself physically, but takes a toll on us mentally, too. Take some time this new year for some mental self-care.
Isolation, whether you’ve been in lockdown with the family or all on your own, is taxing on the mind, body and soul. Connect with people outside your social-distanced circle through virtual social meditation classes.
Get Better Sleep
Lack of quality sleep has been shown to decrease your quality of life, contribute to relationship stress and affect your ability to think clearly. In addition, sleep deprivation is linked to long-term health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
To ensure you get the best Zzzzs—you’ve heard this before, but now it’s time to do it—turn on your phone’s setting that blocks blue light in the evening, or download and app to do it. Pay attention to how caffeine affects you, and don’t consume it after noon if it keeps you up late. Invest in a really good set of light-blocking curtains for your bedroom.
It’s not uncommon in times such as these to need a little extra help getting through—even if you’ve never sought mental health counseling in the past. Don’t wait. Get the help you need now. If you have health insurance, your provider most likely has an online list of local therapists covered in your network. (Most all therapy sessions are conducted by phone or on Zoom right now.) If not, you can find someone through findatherapist.com or goodtherapy.org. Not a fan of talking on the phone? Try Talkspace. They connect you with a licensed therapist whom you can text at any time. And, if you’re in immediate need of emergency mental health care, please call Mental Health Partners’ 24/7 crisis line at 1-844-493-TALK (8255).
When it comes to self-care, looking great on the outside can help you feel great on the inside. Here are a few ideas to boost your confidence (even if your dog is the only one to see your new look).
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of revitalized or reinvented hair. And all it takes is a touch of color, a treatment or a fun new cut.
- Twilighting: A combo of balayage and babylights that adds distinct dimensions to your hair.
- 50 shades of … silver: Whether highlights, a few bold pieces or an all-over color, shades of silver are stunning, bright and totally “in.”
- The Pixie Cut: With the latest version, the shorter, the better!
- Curtain bangs: A throwback to the ’70s, these parted-down-the-middle, longer bangs are all the rage today.
- Scalp facial: Yes, it’s a massage, but your scalp is skin too! If you’ve been losing more hair due to coronavirus angst, this not only relaxes your soul, but also stimulates hair growth.
Skin and Face Care
- Hydrafacial: The gentler cousin of dermabrasion, the “vortex technology” cleans pores and exfoliates while simultaneously infusing pores with serums that moisturize and firm skin.
- Cosmetic acupuncture: Acupuncture of the face is surprisingly relaxing and a great way to rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles and diminish age spots. (For best results, practitioners recommend at least 10 sessions.)
- Frotox: Cryotherapy for the face. It’s like Botox, but really, really cold. (According to our sources, J-Lo has a machine in her house.)
- Lash extensions: Silk is in, and so is volume and curl.
If the “corona five” turned into 10 (maybe one too many “quarantinis”?), try these alternative body-sculpting treatments:
- SculpSure: The hotter cousin of cool-sculpting, it’s the same idea but uses a heat-directing laser, heating fat cells to a high temperature (around 107-degrees) breaks them apart.
- Emsculpting: Electromagnetic pulses stimulate muscle contractions. The noninvasive procedure both reduces fat and builds muscle. Currently, FDA approved for ab, booty, thigh, calf and arm treatments.
- Vanquish: No pain, no gain, right? Wrong. Vanquish is a painless body-sculpting procedure, using a device that emits RF (radio frequency) energy, burning adipose fat without touching the skin.
- IV Therapy: Delivers vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—via diluted saline—directly into the bloodstream, allowing for 100-percent absorption. Used for accelerating muscle recovery, battling fatigue and overall health and wellness, IV therapy also has anti-aging benefits and is an effective immune-system booster.
“Vitamin C, vitamin D and Zinc are vital nutrients in immune function, stimulating the production and function of white blood cells,” says Lula, a registered nurse at Hydrate IV Bar, located in Boulder’s Folsom Village. “These white blood cells are your body’s defense against illness. IV therapy can be an effective tool to support your immune system.”
It might be more difficult to determine what will nurture your spirit. And, some of these will benefit your mind and body as well—a little cross-over nurturing is wonderful. Embrace it.
Make Time for a Hobby
Even if you don’t call it a “hobby,” per se. Do what you love. We know how upside-down life can be right now—and certainly was throughout 2020—so make it a priority and schedule it. Yes, in your calendar. Reading, journaling, knitting, tinkering in the garage, painting, taking photos … you do you, and do it often.
Even if you still can’t do it in person, you can volunteer and help those in need. Check out our article, “Close to Home: Keeping Busy This Winter” for a list of organizations that need your help.
Like Tai Chi, Qi Gong combines meditation with gentle, intentional movements designed to harness the energy around you, soothing and energizing both mind and body.
Get relief from pain and anxiety or achieve overall wellness with therapeutic touch. A variation on traditional massage, this evidence-based therapy harnesses the intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and well-being.