It has been an incredibly difficult year. From COVID-19 turning our worlds upside down to the recession that followed, our lives have been upended in devastating ways. Almost everyone has lost something to this pandemic. Some have lost loved ones, streams of income, or their sense of peace and safety.
It’s understandable if you’ve been having a hard time taking care of yourself this year. Some may feel like any form of self-care feels selfish when so many in the world are suffering. But if we want to be the kind of person who cares for others, we need to make sure we are healthy, too.
Now that we’re at the tail end of 2020, we need to be in touch with our body, mind, and spirit’s needs. Here is a guide to checking and taking care of your health from head to toe.
Check your hair. When was the last time you took your hair to the salon for a trim? Is a serious case of split ends rearing its ugly head? Observe your hair and see what its needs are. A basic haircare routine is as follows:
- Wash your hair regularly—every other day if it’s oily, two times a week if it’s dry.
- Use a conditioner that addresses your hair’s specific needs (weak strands, dandruff, split ends, and others).
- Dry your hair naturally if you don’t need to style it.
- Use natural oils like coconut oil and castor oil to prepare your hair for shampooing.
- Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to combat split ends.
Take time out of your day to check on your mental health. Have you been feeling detached? Anxious? Lonely? Depressed? Have you been toying with harmful thoughts? Being proactive about your mental health can help prevent minor issues from becoming big ones. Strategic prevention is better than cure, even in mental health. Don’t hesitate to consult with your healthcare provider about the possibility of seeking professional help if you need it.
Facial and skincare
No one can deny that it’s been a stressful year, and one of the biggest saboteurs to our skin is stress. In 2020, another dermatological phenomenon arose: “maskne.” Now more than ever, you need to pay attention to your skin and how you can protect it from new kinds of stressors.
If you already have a skincare routine that works for you, keep doing it. If your skin is acting up, whether through pimples, acne, or other problems, don’t hesitate to explore what’s causing it. Visit your dermatological care clinic for a consultation. Let the experts assess your skin and provide you with a routine that can help.
An often neglected aspect of our overall health is oral care. If the intermittent lockdowns have prevented you from visiting your dentist, now is the time to do so. Go for a cleaning and an overall checkup. And make sure you practice good basic dental care: brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using floss and mouthwash regularly, and drinking plenty of water.
Our body needs just as much tender loving care as our skin. Do a routine checkup of your body: Do you have bumps anywhere? How about warts or some skin tags? These issues may seem small at first, but they can pose bigger health problems later on. Have your dermatologist check these issues and see if they can be taken care of now, or if there are products you can use for your body’s specific problems and needs.
Full body and health checkup
Even if you may not be feeling any discomfort or pain in your body, you still need to consider going for a full body and health checkup at least every year. Here are some benefits of going to an annual physical:
- You gain knowledge of what is happening with your health and body. You’ll see which parts need improvement and what lifestyle adjustments you can make to avoid illnesses.
- Some diseases don’t come with symptoms. Getting an annual physical can help you catch early whatever disease or irregularity may be lurking in your body.
- A full body checkup will establish a baseline of your health, which can help your doctor detect unhealthy but reversible trends so that they can be addressed before they become risk factors.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s been a challenging year, but you don’t need to make it harder for your body and health. Do what you can to be the healthiest version of yourself now, so you can be prepared for whatever else the future may bring.