BY: Cheryl Conklin | June 21, 2021
The pandemic cruelly impacted physical and mantel health, separating us from family and friends. Now is the time to smile and heal.
It is finally time to safely leave home and resume normal activities with family and friends after being shut down for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps you took time during the lockdown to reflect on your life goals and developed a workable plan to achieve your best possible life. Here are a few things you can do to boost your confidence as you emerge from your pandemic cocoon and set your plan into motion.
Being isolated during COVID-19 made most people miss simple social activities like going to movies, eating in a restaurant and shopping. Weddings, birthday parties, and funerals were postponed or streamed online. The last year was hard on everyone, especially those who lost friends and family members to the virus. Make it a point to always practice kindness towards others, as you never know what emotional pain they hide inside.
"Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels."
Steve Siegle, L.P.C.
Think how you feel when someone smiles at you and make it your mission to flash a friendly smile to others throughout the day. If you’ve never felt confident with your smile, now is a great time to take action. Commit yourself to a daily regimen of flossing and brushing to keep your teeth as clean as possible and apply whitening strips to remove any stains.
"When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant."
If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, a great method to fix your issue is a clear aligner system that lets you gradually straighten your teeth without the visibility or inconvenience of metal braces.
Eat Healthy Foods
A diet of nutrient-rich foods helps your body and mind feel energized throughout the day so you can achieve your goals. Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables triggers the release of positive chemicals in your body that can boost your mood and reduce your chance of suffering from the symptoms of depression. Whenever possible, swap out processed food with whole food, which means you may want to steer clear of boxed products.
Strengthen Your Mental Health
Take steps to support your mental health by actively doing hobbies or activities you love to do and pursue new ones, such as learning a new language or cooking. Deal with daily stress through exercise, meditation, prayer or mindfulness. Now and then, step out of your routine — as well as your comfort zone — and try something different and spontaneous.
Embrace Healthy Relationships
Embrace and nurture healthy relationships in your life by spending time with those people who are fun to be around and supportive, trustworthy, and respectful towards you. Spend less time with any toxic people in your life who put you down and drain your energy.
All of these actions can help increase your confidence so you can leave your pandemic isolation with the physical and mental energy needed to achieve your goals. Follow them regularly to enable you to live your best possible life.
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