By: Dr. Charmian Lewis, MD, Ob/Gyn
Many of us have been practicing physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable members of society. While you may not be an individual with risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g. age 65 years and older, heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, immunosuppression), your stress levels have likely increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic.
You may be struggling with working remotely while homeschooling your children, locating essential items for yourself and your elderly family members or neighbors, or balancing the budget with reduced income. Stressors such as these release hormones which have no ill effects on the body in short bursts but chronic exposure to stress hormones suppresses your immune system and decreases your ability to fight off diseases like COVID-19. That is why self-care is so important right now.
What exactly is self care you ask? Well, it's really any activity that is important to you, relieves your stress and promotes wellness. Yoga, meditation and journaling are a few of the classics. We've made a list of just a few of the Intimate Wellness Shop favorites.
1. Self pleasure (aka masturbation) - Admittedly, this is one that a lot of people are still uncomfortable talking about. However, there are some real benefits to self pleasure that can aid with stress management. An adult toy is a good way to help out with this. Look through our selection and find the best sex toy for you.
2. Moisturizing - Pick a spot at home to cuddle up and show your skin a little love with a moisture mask. Rael's Hydration Sheet Masks are a great option to infuse the skin with a dewy glow.
3. Reading - This one is also a classic. There is nothing like sitting down and escaping into the world of a book. You can expand your mind, learn something new and improve yourself. If you haven't read it already you've got to check out the New York Times best seller Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, PhD. Based on research in brain science it explores how and why women's sexuality works.
4. Baths - This is my personal favorite. Relaxing in a hot bath with mineral salt followed by a calming intimate oil like Nourish Your V is amazing. A high quality bath salt product like the ones from Maude, infuse the bath water with vitamins and minerals that enhance your skin's natural hydration process. The benefits are twofold: 1) reduces your stress and the level of circulating stress hormones, and 2) improves the health and integrity of your skin. This is particularly important because your skin is more than just a barrier to germs, the skin provides further protection with cells to combat disease.
During this time of physical distancing, continue to connect with family and friends socially using virtual platforms and social networks but don’t neglect yourself. Self-care benefits you and those you love by relieving your stress, restoring your energy and improving your sense of wellbeing. When we feel better we live better.