Self-Care the Fair- Trade Way in Times of COVID

It is no secret that stress levels are on the rise during the pandemic that is COVID-19.  Across the nation, there are people in different levels of stay-at-home restrictions, working/not working, and varying levels of health. Across the world, we are seeing industries come to a halt, shipping delays, and people not having access to basic needs, let alone being able to work and provide for their families.  May has been Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949, but this year it seems especially important to pause and reflect.  

Stress that occurs over a prolonged period of time is known as chronic stress, and may not always be recognized. However, when one has gone through a lot of adjustments and changes and feels that they do not have any control, chronic stress occurs. This is becoming apparent in many individuals across the United States. Whether you are able to stay at home and work, have filed for unemployment, are an essential worker, or somewhere in between, taking care of yourself and recognizing stress is so important.  There are some ways to take care of yourself at home, and GlobeIn is here to help!

To ease tension and stress, it is first important to stop and reflect. Our bodies, minds, and souls are all connected and if we slow down and take time to feel what is going on inside of us, we can really begin to understand how stress is affecting us. Getting a lot of headaches? Tired all the time? Lack of appetite? Maybe you have sore muscles in your back, frequent digestive issues, feelings of overwhelm or irritability. Maybe you find yourself not doing the things that you once enjoyed, or find your relationships are affected negatively with all the new changes. These, and more, can all be signs of chronic stress. So, what to do?

 

1. Take care of yourself physically

Check-in with your body’s immediate needs. Are you remembering to get up take breaks from being in front of the computer all day? Simple stretches, like in yoga or Pilates, is a great way to get your body moving. If you are in an area that allows for outside exercise, carry your yoga mat in style to a park and get some fresh air (Vitamin D from the sun does wonders for your mental health!). If you are not eating well, or feel too tired to make a meal, add in adaptogenic blends into your coffee or smoothie to help fight stress and fatigue.

Sore muscles? Take a hot bath with salt and oil blends meant to soothe sore muscles, like this sea and tea bath soak. Or, use this massage oil that helps promote muscle relief when taking breaks between Zoom meetings.

Turmeric tea provides anti-inflammatory properties that help your body feel good. Matcha also has a calming effect on the mind and body and provides antioxidants to help your body fight illness.

                         Illustration by Tara Jacoby

 

2. Take care of yourself mentally/emotionally/spiritually

Even if you are not currently working, stress still affects our minds. And when our minds are not healthy, usually our bodies are not either. Establishing good mental health practices can keep you present-focused and calm, which reduces anxiety and depression.  Meditation comes in different forms, from focusing on a saying or mantra, meditating on Scripture or religious texts, and even quietly sitting and focusing on your breathing and what you are grateful for each day. Because smell is the sense most closely related to memories, pick a calming, scented candle or incense helps your mind prepare for meditation. These dual-purpose candles provide an inviting scent AND can be used as a moisturizer as they melt. Some people find sounds, like those created by a meditation bowl, help them stay focused.

Other ways to take care of yourself mentally are really simple. The most important way to combat mental fatigue, besides eating a healthy diet, is to get proper sleep. Setting an alarm to ensure you go to bed at a reasonable time, and trying to get a full 8 hours of sleep each night will help you feel more mentally alert. Use these eye masks to soothe your tired eyes and block out light so that your sleep is more restful. When you begin to feel overwhelmed or irritable, take ten deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Keeping a gratitude journal, and remembering to take breaks throughout the day from work, can also boost your mood. 

                         ILLUSTRATION BY unknown

 

3. You deserve a little pampering

Sometimes the best form of self-care is to take a break. Pre-COVID, people took vacations, days off, and time away from work. Now that many people are working from home, it can feel hard to step away from work. Many salons remain closed too, so it is up to you to give yourself a little pampering. GlobeIn has some great options, such as these heavenly face masks and body butter, and a luxurious, super-bubbly bubble bath. Taking time to do those things which feel normal, like painting your toes in a fun color, can be an instant mood booster. Indulge in a curated spa box or gift one to a friend who could use some pampering of her own.

                         Illustration by Paru Ramesh

 

At GlobeIn, we recognize these times are uncertain and present unique and difficult challenges to our customers, as well as our artisans. As we seek to continue to support our artisans during this time, we hope that the suggestions here will also help you, our customers, to find moments to de-stress and take care of yourself. We encourage you to reach out for support from family, friends, or professionals when you need it and find the ways that work best for you to take care of your whole self. 

One place to find friendly support is inside our Maven’s Facebook group, where you will find encouragement, videos, and a community that comes together with the common goal of supporting fair trade and making this world a better place. Supporting our artisan’s lets you know you are making a difference in the world and in the lives of others. As a bonus, helping others as been known to help combat depression, so you can feel good knowing you are making a difference!

 

Remember, you are worth taking care of, inside and out. Be kind to your body and mind, and remember you are worthy of being loved, starting with how you treat yourself. 

ABOUT GLOBEIN

Every month, the GlobeIn Artisan Box delivers a fresh collection of useful and enthralling items from around the world. As an Artisan Box Subscriber, you learn about the products and the people who made them while discovering simpler ways to live a more fulfilled lifestyle. By subscribing to the GlobeIn Artisan Box, you can feel good about the products you use, the people you support and how your choices contribute to a better world.


 Written by Laura BeilerGlobeIn Maven

Laura Beiler resides in Virginia with her husband and four children. She enjoys writing and is an avid reader, as well as one who tries to raise as much awareness as possible about ethical brands and causes, while building community with those who are of the same mind. She thoroughly believes deep conversations happen around a dining room table, especially when coffee and dessert are involved.