It has been a challenging spring to be sure. While many of us (in the northern hemisphere) expected to fling open our doors and run out into the freshness and excitement of spring, the challenge of this global pandemic has been to stay inside, stay home, and flatten the curve. While it’s the right thing to do, and while we can see these measures absolutely helping tamp down the spread of the virus, it’s not without effects on our mental health.
At KIM+ONO, we look at self care as an all-encompassing pursuit. It’s not just about feeling physically well, but also mentally well and spiritually well. It’s about taking care of ourselves from the inside out so that as we sway through our day, our inner and outer worlds are aligned. It’s about caring for our community just as much as we care for our families and ourselves. So when this unprecedented time surprised all of us, we naturally started thinking about how this would affect our collective well-being.
If you are feeling any sort of anxiety or depression during this time, you are absolutely not alone. Whether or not you’ve experienced these feelings before, this time can bring up a lot of emotions, triggers, and feelings of anxiety. Even if you don’t know anyone who’s sick and even if you’re naturally a homebody, staying at home and isolating from others can take its toll. So today in the journal, we wanted to list out some helpful self care practices and tips for managing stress and anxiety from both the CDC and the Mayo Clinic. We hope every kimono style you own helps you to feel good of course, but wellness truly starts by finding an inner sense of well-being, and according to the experts, these tips can help.
Whether it’s to deal with anxiety, or just to boost your mood in general, the basics are essential helpers in feeling more like yourself. While we do believe that self care is foundational and happens from the inside out, sometimes there are outer level things you can do to give yourself a head start. The Mayo Clinic recommends the basics: eat plenty of healthy food to energize and nourish you, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated (especially during this challenging time), get enough sleep (seven to eight hours each night), and exercise when you can. These simple steps may not “cure” your anxiety, but they are curative in their own way. They’ll help you to reset your body to help reset your mind. And if you’re not sure how to create the best environment for a good night of rest, read up on our journal post here, slip into your favorite pink kimono, and get ready to hit the sheets.
While most cities are sheltering in place, it’s still essential to get outside as best you can. A connection to nature (even if that’s just a walk on your city street, looking up at the sky) can be incredibly helpful in lowering anxieties and allowing your mind to decompress. Our suggestion is to give yourself the most beautiful sensory experience by slipping into a silky soft kimono style jacket, your favorite pair of jeans, and take a walk around the block. Make sure to stay at least six feet away from other people and wear a mask. Even with these limitations, the Mayo Clinic says that spending time outside can help you ease your anxieties, at least for a little while.
When you have something to look forward to, which is difficult to have when you can’t go out and do the things you love to do, it can brighten your day. So, in lieu of scheduling a date night with your best girlfriends, schedule a Zoom date night and make it recurring. Decide that every Thursday night after the kids go to bed, each of you will meet up online and connect. Want to make it even more special? Do a spa night together, wear your favorite kimono style, do a face mask, paint your nails, and get creative! Having a regularly scheduled check in can make you feel more connected and remind you that even though we’re all apart, we’re not alone.
During a challenging time like this, one of the biggest anxieties comes from not being able to control the circumstances. There’s not much you can do to help flatten the curve except for staying home. So, to help control your anxieties, focus on that. Focus on staying home, washing your hands, and donating to causes that you believe in. Another focus, suggested by the Mayo Clinic, is gratitude. While anxiety and depression is real, gratitude can still exist without counting that out. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for each day: the way the light comes in the window, the way your kimono style jacket feels on your skin, the smell of home cooking, the smile of your child, the beauty in a song. Check in with your senses and focus on delightful small moments to help you feel a little more connected to the here and now.
As Mr. Rogers once told us, whenever something scary was happening in the world, his mother told him to always look for the helpers. At KIM+ONO, that’s what we’ve done. We’ve looked for the small businesses in our community who have been reinventing themselves during this challenging time to give back to our frontline workers and community at large. That’s why we’ve partnered up with Andytown, a local coffee shop, to send coffee and homemade treats to frontline workers in the SF community. A portion of all of our sales is going to helping these groups and that means that every time you make a purchase, whether you’re looking to gift your mother a beautiful women’s bathrobe, or find your own kimono style as you work from home, you’re giving back, too.
We know these are challenging times for everyone, and if you’re feeling extra anxious, we totally understand. Check in with your loved ones, stay connected, and use some of these tips for managing stress and anxiety from the Mayo Clinic to help. And remember, when we stand together (while staying apart), we will get through this. Stay safe and be well, lovely.