Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

This has been a devastating couple of weeks. More accurately, it’s been a devastating couple of years. We all need a break and we’re ready to travel again. In fact, a whopping 80% of Americans are planning to travel this summer, according to a survey by The Vacationer, with 60% ready to hit the road or the sky for Memorial Day weekend.

Although the desire for a change of scenery is understandable, the reality is that actual travel right now is not as much fun as it used to be and it’s predicted to remain challenging for the rest of the summer. So, instead of running around, putting yourself in more stressful situations, why not consider spending the last few days of Mental Health Awareness Month taking care of yourself at home?

Here are three easy ways to turn a weekend at home into a restorative mental health staycation:

Curl up with a weighted blanket

According to Healthline, weighted blankets can reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The new Bloom Edition Cotton Napper from Bearaby – the brand that made weighted blankets really homey and beautiful – can also transform any space into an inviting cocoon. In soothing coral ombre, the blanket looks like it was lovingly handcrafted just for you. Wrapping yourself under it is like being enveloped in a hug, and you can choose from three different weights, depending on your preference. The blanket also comes with a Quilt app reflection journal so you can cozy up and pour out your feelings. Proceeds from Bloom support The Mental Health Coalition.

Indulge in ice cream

In an article entitled, “Ice Cream: Everyone’s Cure for Stress,” Science Times extols the benefits of ice cream and, personally, I couldn’t be happier to have my feelings validated. Jeni’s – my number one go-to – understands this and has relaunched their classic flavor, Sunshine, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Designed to look nothing like it tastes, this ice cream is “Muted gray as a rain cloud, but tastes like a ray of sunshine.” It’s filled with lemon, passion fruit and tangerine and will make your mouth smile and give you hope that there’s a rainbow waiting at the end of the darkness. Plus, thanks to sales of Sunshine, Jeni’s will donate $25,000 to On Our Sleeves, The Movement for Children’s Mental Health.

Do a puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles became the hobby of the pandemic and, because people found they were such a great way to relax yet actually feel like they were accomplishing something, sales are continuing to soar and new puzzles are being released constantly. Studies show that doing a puzzle helps increase concentration, improve memory and enhance self-esteem. And they’re fun. Personally, I especially love working on the whimsical Janet Hill illustrations and New Yorker magazine covers from New York Puzzle Company, the vividly-colored Wonderful Places series from eeBoo Piece & Love, and almost anything from Galison.

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