Want the Funk: How to Prioritize Self-Care and Maximize Its Benefits In Distressing Times
If you feel you’ve been stagnant or struggling lately, you are not alone.
Ever since the pandemic reared its heinous head, anxiety, stress, and depression continue to skyrocket among the global population. Too often, this upsurge in disquiet has been countered with a variety of unhelpful habits, including increased incidents of substance abuse, lethargy, and unhealthy online addictions. Suicide rates have sadly also risen.
To put it plainly, if your day-to-day wasn’t already hectic between work and home life, the concentrated pressures of mixing in a worldwide health scare has made it harder for many of us to face our daily obligations, leading to general despair and feelings of being paralyzed. The New York Times recently labeled this as a feeling of “languishing.”
The good news is that the solution is nothing new and certainly nothing invasive. A proper self-care routine that places the focus on your well-being has the power to restore and maintain your mental health, motivation, and zest for living.
So how do you know when you’re in trouble? And ensure you’re embracing beneficial practices? How do you implement healthy changes that prioritize your sanity and success now and forever?
We’re so glad you asked.
Arc is here to break down how to identify potential problems and how to use self-care to get up and running again.
Level 1: You’ve got the “Blahs.” Nothing’s really wrong on paper, but you’re not quite feeling yourself lately. You’re slower to get into the things you need to accomplish, struggling to dive into work projects and workouts with the same enthusiasm you once felt.
The Self-Care Solution: Although you may know these feelings will pass, it’s hard to remember and see with perspective when you’re in their throes.
Pre-work rituals can have a deep, lasting impact on tackling your obligations. Breathing exercises, whether a simple 4-7-8 or more involved meditation practice, will help to root you in the moment, giving you perspective on the temporary nature of your blues. Mindful breathing will reduce your anxiety and stress, while also strengthening your sense of calm and focus. Our world has become so stressful, that we can actually forget to breathe.
Between your coffee, getting the kids out the door, and beginning work, take 5-10 minutes in the quietest room you can find, with the shades drawn, devices and media off, and your eyes closed. Without expectations, put your attention on your breathing and posture, feeling the air go through your nose deeply into your belly, then slowly letting it out through your mouth.
Even on days where you feel great, sticking to this ritual should prime and improve you for the tasks ahead, invigorating your body and mind with oxygen and reducing your focus on negative thoughts while altering your body’s positioning, which can frequently dictate our moods.
Maintaining a healthy diet is a must as well, adhering to unprocessed whole foods that don’t wreak havoc on your energy levels and mind like the sugar, fat, and chemical-loaded stuff. We drink Arc daily as part of a healthy diet free of added sugar and packed with helpful adaptogens (our founders are dedicated athletes, as well as diligent entrepreneurs). And we think of Arc as a meditation in a can, shown to decrease anxiety and sharpen one’s focus in a state of calm for hours for tackling life’s obligations, while keeping energy levels up without the jitters of a cup of coffee. Or the icky stuff of sodas, juices, and energy drinks.
Level 2: Systems Are Failing. You don’t really want to get out of bed. Then once you do, the couch comes calling. You finally get to work but can’t even begin to focus. Your thoughts are moving onto the tasks you’ll have to handle next. And what you eventually need to make for lunch. And dinner. And whether last week’s project is going to be approved or kicked back to you for another round of insane edits. And how your friends may be enjoying summer on Instagram. You don’t know how to proceed.
The Self-Care Solution: Don’t fall into the nap trap. Giving in to lethargy now will merely delay your progress on that project and lower your energy levels.
Do break up your surroundings and change your posture. No need to run a “Tough Mudder” or anything. But get outside and take a short ten-minute walk, putting your focus on what you see, smell, feel, and hear. Leave your phone behind. This will get you out of your familiar surroundings and out of your head.
The benefits of light exercise will be a clear mind and an invigorated circulatory system that’s invigorated and alive, bringing breath and fresh blood in harmony with your body and brain. Vitamin D from the sun will powerfully boost your mood and drive. It’s just about certain that a change will take place in your attitude and body by the time you’re back and preparing to tackle your work with increased determination and less overthinking. Just doing something different from staying indoors can provide a sense of accomplishment that sees you through a few hours of work.
If you can’t possibly leave the house, you can still engage your senses quietly in a way that has real benefits. Close your eyes, put some headphones on, and listen to a relaxing or inspiring four-minute song.
Make a healthy fruit-filled breakfast or simply enjoy a bite of something nutritious, while concentrating on its flavors and textures. Experiment with aromatherapy, taking a few minutes to draw in such scents as coffee beans, lavender, or a scented candle to put attention on your awareness. The point is to get out of your head for a minute or two before embracing the present to devote your time to a single task.
Mental clarity is really our thing. Arc is a truly unique, focus-boosting clarity elixir specifically designed by doctors using non-psychoactive CBD to place its devotees in a state of serene concentration that reduces anxiety and enhances your ability to get things done over a sustained period. Without all the mental debris that can impede your performance. A greater ability to focus on tasks without anxiety and a perceptible sense of euphoria is what Arc fans let us know they keep coming back for.
Level 3: Code Red. You can no longer deny you’re in a state of despair. Your health feels compromised, you’re down throughout the day, your ability to hit deadlines may be suffering, you don’t remember when you last bathed, and you’re not sure if you even care.
The Self-Care Solution: It’s common these days to prioritize everybody else in your life while juggling the multiple stresses of your daily duties, global tragedies on the news and global indifference on social media, and a feeling like you’re not where you envisioned yourself in life.
Talk to someone. This is the most important thing you can do. Acknowledge that there may be a serious problem in your life, but don’t keep it bottled up or solely to yourself. Reach out to a friend, family member, or loved one and don’t be afraid to put the focus on yourself. If you don’t have a sympathetic ear with your health in mind, find a professional. If you’re depressed, seek the care you need from someone with the qualifications to help.
Often times, just honestly admitting to your current state can help can offer perspective as much as the supportive words someone may have. You’re likely to find many people share the same feelings and concerns you have during this stressful time in life. It can feel good to know you’re not alone.
While never a replacement for reaching out to a professional who can help, it is also wise to take a mental health day from work and spend a few minutes reminding yourself of your personal and professional accomplishments. It can be a good reminder to find we’re actually in a place we would have given anything to be in a few years ago. This might be the right time to come up with a few good affirmations you can repeat to yourself in times of perceived stagnation or emotional distress.
And of course, everything begins with a shower or bath and the pampering those include, to make yourself feel invigorated, clean, and filled with self-respect. We’ve all gotten used to a more relaxed approach to grooming since March of 2020, but clean skin and clothes can do wonders towards improving your outlook, giving you a healthy starting place for tackling life.
This is also a serious time to review any bad habits and addictions, whether they be to an obsession with negative messaging on social media or more serious dependencies of a chemical nature. Our bad habits have a way of permeating our whole beings, robbing us of sleep, motivation, positivity, and the benefits of great health and a beneficial nutritional regiment.
A diet packed with nutrition that shirks processed and ultra-processed foods is essential to feeling good and maintaining your energy levels. Staying hydrating is just as crucial. Arc is also part of a healthy daily diet, using safe, natural ingredients including green coffee beans, suntheanine L-theanine— which is found in green tea leaves— and hemp-derived CBD to better moods and boost enthusiasm.
Arc is also a great motivator for anybody looking to begin, maintain, or increase a workout routine. Our elixir helps maintain your energy much as it strengthens your brain power, putting you in a relaxed, concentrated state that helps you push yourself securely and devotedly.
Adopting and following the good habits in a steady self-care routine, with help from Arc, can go a long way in guiding you through challenging times. If nothing else, you’ll be able to face stress with greater clarity, relaxation, and single-mindedness than going it alone with the same habits and practices that may have made you feel paralysis in the first place.
Here’s wishing you joy and energy in all the things you do. Remember that acknowledging your feelings to a concerned professional is the most essential step you can take when facing too much pressure or emotional pain. One that is a sign of strength as you address the situations weighing you down in life. It’s only human to feel worry, stress, and concern these days, on top of all the daily requirements we all face. Know that Arc is with you on this journey to caring better for ourselves going forward.