Image: Pixabay/Raheel Shakeel

It’s OK to Take Care of Yourself Today

Screw 2020, and try one of these simple antidotes

Robert Roy Britt
4 min readSep 19, 2020

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2020 is killing us. Literally and metaphorically. I woke this morning sad, overloaded, discombobulated by everything that’s going on. A wasted day loomed. So I shook things up and went for a walk before coffee. A short one, just a mile or so. It cleared my head a bit, and spurred this thought: It’s OK to take care of yourself today.

Whether 2020 has proven ruinous for you — and for millions of people it truly has — or you’re fortunate like me and it’s just been hard and weird and immensely aggravating and depressing, we can’t escape the existential truth that we’re no good to our loved ones and we can’t fix a thing if we’re a hot mess. So I took a trip through my archives to find useful science-based advice on how to care for the mind and body — to remind myself, and hopefully inspire you. This stuff works, and it’s all easy to do. So screw 2020 and…

Take a Deep Breath

Breath normally and pay attention to how it feels for a moment. Does your chest rise and fall? Yeah, you’re doing it wrong. Fix that, and maybe try some simple breathing exercises, and you can reduce stress, improve focus, and even lower blood pressure. This is science, not New Age mumbo jumbo. I tried it myself and it’s pretty amazing — and it helps me ease into a good afternoon nap.

Stretch Yourself

Few fitness topics offer more conflicting advice than stretching. But the latest research shows it has notable benefits — both physical and mental — whether you’re an elite athlete, a weekend warrior, or a total couch potato. So if you do nothing else today, stretch your mind and learn some of the dos and don’ts of stretching, and then, you know, do it.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

That’s an order! And in this concise article I explain why and how. Just read it. If you sleep better, you’ll have more energy to …

Make Time for a Walk

You don’t have to get fanatical about physical activity to see great benefits. Just take a walk (or work in the garden or dance around the house). Multiple studies show moderate physical activity, including brisk…

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Robert Roy Britt

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB