5 Global Wellness Experts Share Self-Care Tips for Uncertain Times


As the world navigates stay at home orders during the Covid-19 global health pandemic, we asked 5 global wellness experts how they were incorporating self-care into their new home routine. We recognize that during uncertainty, self-care is needed more than ever.

Self-care is an important practice to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. When life causes anxiety, finding ways to take care of yourself allows you to move forward with purpose. Plus, when you spend energy taking care of yourself, you cultivate more energy to take care of others.

Related: Navigating Challenging Times with Kindness

1. Anne Dimon
President/CEO, Wellness Tourism Association, Denver, Colorado

Once stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, borders are reopened, and we have made the decision to leave our homes for leisure excursions, our personal health and safety will be top priorities.

“Beyond the new practices of regular hand washing, not touching our faces, wearing masks in public places, and maintaining some form of social distancing, self-care also includes giving ourselves a leisurely break from the day-to-day stresses of daily life. 

In preparation for the time that we can leave our homes for leisure excursions, we should, first and foremost, keep our immune systems strong so we can be better prepared to ward off any looming threats to our health. In the planning stages, we should look at the various travel components - including travel agents, airlines, tours operators, accommodations and even geographic destinations - with closer scrutiny. Trust, cleanliness, physical safety and the responsibility of companies and individuals to care for the health and wellbeing of clients, guests and customers, will take on new degrees of importance in the new world of travel.

At the Wellness Tourism Association we believe that the new normal will give rise to the  “wellness staycation” – with people taking their vacation/holiday time closer to home, within driving distance or shorter direct flight access. Further fostering a feeling of safety, people will also want to avoid crowded tourist attractions in favor of more remote, nature-embraced regions.”

Wellness Tourism Association Website: wellnesstourismassociation.org
Wellness Tourism Association Instagram: @wellnesstourismassociation
Anne Dimon Instagram: @annedimon

2. Mary Bemis
Editorial Director, Insider's Guide to Spas, Gold Hill, Oregon

I've been at the forefront of the spa movement for the last three decades—and I believe that spa is a cornerstone of personal health and healing. In these challenging times, the best thing you can do is to take good care of yourself—be kind to yourself. And the basic tenets of spa can show you how.

"The fundamental of spa is water, and not just hydration, but connection to fluid therapies. At home, that means time well-spent in your bathtub with Epsom salts or switching from hot to cold water in your shower (called a contrast shower). Or it can mean a bowl of steaming water with an essential oil that you inhale—or even a cup of hot, soothing herbal tea with lemon and honey. I suggest chamomile or peppermint; green tea is always my go-to for immune-boosting.

And then, of course, there's touch, which we think of as massage, and which can be shared with a partner at home, or achieved with a foam roller or even a tennis ball. The pressure of touch, however applied, keeps the essential fluids moving. Try at first with a foot rub, if you're not convinced. Or, spend a few minutes stroking your pet and watching the response.

The third thing is movement. The best way to improve your mood, bar none, says my husband Steve Kiesling, an Olympic athlete and longtime health journalist, is a 10-minute walk. Better still, is doing it with a friend, keeping that safe six-plus feet apart. I'm lucky to also have a complete home gym, but if I had to, I can walk, jump rope, and dance to my favorite music via my iPhone.

The last thing of course, is perhaps the most important and can be the greatest source of real pleasure—food, glorious food! It's learning to appreciate the ritual of cooking and also the art of eating. The ancestral spas all entailed a journey—and the journey was to health. If you think about your meal from safe shopping to preparing to cooking to eating as a journey to health—it will become one. And a good meal will prepare you for a good night's sleep—the ultimate way to start a healthy new day."

Insider's Guide to Spas Website: insidersguidetospas.com
​Insider's Guide to Spas Instagram: @insidersguidetospas

3. Joanna Roche
Executive Director, Green Spa Network, Nantucket, Massachusetts

During these challenging times, it is so very important to practice good self care.  Here are my suggestions for nurturing good health and wellbeing.

"1.  Get a good night's sleep - the body repairs itself overnight and needs that time more than ever during stress cycles. Charge your devices away from the nightstand, develop a sleep ritual that includes an epsom salt bath and aromatherapy, and read or listen to relaxing music to fall asleep. A nice cup of tea can be very soothing too - I like Pukka the Love bend before bed.

2.  Meditation practice - there is no time like the present time to cutivate even a few minutes of intention and focus to start your day. My suggestion - do it before you even get out of bed - give yourself 5-10 minutes of quiet time to set an intention for your day, cultivate gratitude, and send loving kindness to others.

3.  Movement - there is no way around this one - in good times and bad we must move our bodies 30 minutes a day. No excuses. Take a walk everyday - be mindful of your surroundings and focus on your breath - such good exercise for the lungs which we especially need to keep healthy right now.

4.  Nature - this earth is a precious gift and we are the caretakers. Be outside as much as possible, if you can be barefoot on the ground even better. We get tremendous benefit from being grounded by the earth and her negative ions, which reduce anxiety and inflammation - ideally you are barefoot on the earth 20 minutes a day.

5. Water - your body is 70% water and your job is to keep those waters clean and flowing. There are two ways to do that - one is to drink lots of water everyday and the other is to be mindful of what you put in those waters. Toxins pollute the water - too much sugar or processed foods, too much chemical exposure, all pollute our waters. Keep your waters clean and moving.

6.  Connection - we all need to feel valued and we all can offer value. There is a quote that I always remember "to have good friends, be a good friend."  Reach out to others and be kind - not only will kindness be returned to you, it will make your heart feel full."

Green Spa Network Website: greenspanetwork.org
Green Spa Network Instagram: @greenspanetwork
Joanna Roche Instagram: @januaryjo

4. Abbey Stone
Executive Editor, Well+Good, Brooklyn, New York

Despite what the marketing materials for that face mask, CBD oil, or guided meditation might tell you, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for self care.

"To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors, Yoga with Adriene founder Adriene Mishler—the key is finding what feels good for you. (Not your best friend, not your mom, not that wellness-y chick you follow on Instagram—you.)

Figuring out what brings you peace and comfort will probably take a bit of experimenting. But once you identify a handful of practices and products that bring you relief during these trying times, pack them into a metaphorical “self-care box” you can reach for on bad days (or just like, Tuesdays). For me, I find that a bit of movement (a yoga flow or 30 mins on a spin bike) or a good book can ground me when stress threatens to derail my day. If you’re unsure of where to start your own search, I recommend following along with Well+Good’s Mental Wellness Challenge, which begins May 1. For the entire month, we’ll share small, daily exercises that will help you prioritize your mental well-being.”

Well+Good Website: wellandgood.com
Well+Good Instagram: @iamwellandgood
Abbey Stone Instagram: @AbbeyStone

5. Felicia Tomasko
Editor in Chief, LA YOGA Magazine, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Teacher, and Yoga Therapist, Los Angeles, California

One of the things that the current global challenge has inspired me to do is to be more carefully conscientious about food. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean just eating organic, but being more thoughtful and creative.

"I’ve become even more aware of eating and using what I have and what is available. Along these lines, I’ve been researching things like “Are radish leaves edible?” After buying a bunch of radishes with leaves still attached. This led to making a batch of pesto with what I have on hand, including radish leaves, parsley leaves, fresh garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and sunflower seeds. I served it over a pasta dish filled with grilled vegetables and vegan sausage. The freshness and the bit of pungency reminded me of delicious meals in hidden alleyways in Rome where flavors exploded accompanied by garlic and olive oil. Even though I’m staying at home, I’m finding ways to feel connected to our greater world through food and travel.

And since the only traveling I’m doing these days is walking my dog through the neighborhood, I’m taking the time to appreciate all of the lessons I’ve learned from traveling. Such as the fresh flavors from Thailand. A recent bunch of cilantro in my fridge, I remembered that cilantro stems are one of the ingredients in the Thai garlic pepper marinade. So I cleaned off my mortar and pestle, and crushed whole peppercorn, chopped cilantro stems, and garlic cloves. The crushing of the spices and stems releases their delicate flavor and the combination is divine! Mixed with some rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil, it makes an amazing marinade for tempeh or tofu. While these simple things may seem insignificant, the use of whole foods ups the nutrient-density of my diet for physical health, the culinary actions allow me to use more creativity to increase my mental health, and the totality of all of it—ingredients and inspiration—allow me to feel connected to my travels and to people who have inspired these recipes.”

LA YOGA Website: layoga.com
LA YOGA Instagram: @layogamagazine
Felicia Tomasko Instagram:  @feliciatomasko



Bio: Helena Faye Huizenga is a traveling yogi and yoga instructor seeking to inspire slow travel experiences that encourage others to explore destinations with purpose and intention.