Let’s face it, 2020 and much of 2021 was rough. Most of us spent much of two entire years stuck at home.
Without the hustle and bustle, there were fewer distractions that people could turn to escape. Everyone was left with their own thoughts. That can drive some people crazy.
It’s a lot easier to focus on other things like work and your social life rather than your own issues in a fast-paced world. When everything slows down, it’s a different story.
Staying home and staying sane was hard for so many. Mental health problems were on the rise as we all stayed home and tried to stay sane.
The flip flop life is a great philosophy for staying sane. It allows you to take your mind off the bleak reality and hold on to hope of white-sand beaches and better times.
Here are five ways to live the flip flop life and stay sane in 2022.
1. Get your exercise
Sweat. Flip flops should be part of every gym bag. Athletes and gym buffs always need a pair of rubber slides or basic slippers to wear in the locker room or public shower areas.
Exercise is the best way to release stress by lowering cortisol, raising serotonin, and improving immunity. It has countless health benefits that can be done anywhere. Working out and breaking a sweat releases happy hormones. It’s a surefire way for your body and mind to de-stress. Go break a sweat. You’ll thank us later.
2. Go outside
Flip flops remind us to go to the beach, lake, park, or pool as often as possible. Flip flops represent beach life, so it’s perfect to keep your flip flops around year-round as a reminder to go outside more. During a pandemic, people stay indoors most of the time. It’s terrible for your mental health.
We’re meant to go outside, to see the sunshine and play in nature. Exposure to nature makes you feel better emotionally. Doesn’t the sight of lush trees, blooming flowers, or chirping birds just brighten your day? More than that, studies show it also helps reduce blood pressure, lower heart rate, reduce muscle tension and lower stress hormones. When life gets to be too much. Put on your flip flops, go outside and take a breath. Even in the depths of winter when the grass is covered by snow and the trees are leafless, and flowers in bloom are a distant memory, just standing your warm living room, looking out into the winter day while wearing your flip flops, the coming spring and summer are almost in view if you squint a bit and grip your flip flops with your toes. You’re guaranteed to feel much better.
3. Get grounded
If you need to stay sane, ground yourself. When you hear grounding, you might get flashbacks of your angry parents but that’s not what we mean. Grounding is an ancient practice that connects you back to the earth. It involves connecting with the earth through your senses. It’s a reset button that stops negative mental spirals and brings you right back to the present moment. It forces you to focus on what’s right here in front of you instead of whatever it is you might be worried about.
The easiest way to practice grounding is walking outside in your bare feet, lying on the grass or dipping your feet in water. Taking this quick break will definitely help you soothe your mind.
As the lightest and most minimalistic footwear, flip flops make it easy to kick off our shoes and practice grounding. Take your flip flops and step outside for some grounding. You’ll come back with a clearer mind, ready to face anything.
4. Set boundaries on your media consumption
I get it. When you’re stuck at home, it’s really tempting to stay online all day. Netflix and chill can be a tempting option when it comes to how to use your spare time. We’re also all guilty of spending hours mindlessly scrolling through social media with nothing to show for it but hours of wasted time and mountains of anxiety. Unchecked media consumption can take a toll on your mood.
Media has the tendency to exaggerate danger, damage, and disease threats. Keep in mind, the goal of almost all media is to keep your attention and not necessarily to protect, inform, or even care about your well-being. It can trigger fear-based cycles and cause you to spiral downwards into doom and gloom – they’re happy as long you keep clicking, keep looking, and keep sharing. Most creators design their news in a way that you keep coming back for more whether it is healthy for you to do so or not, it’s a cycle of addiction.
Know when it’s time to step back and disconnect. This will protect your peace and enhance your overall mood. Flip flops remind us that there’s no need to be so serious all the time and, despite almost every source of “information” screaming at us, the sky is not falling. All you need to confirm this is to take your eyes off your smart phone or whatever doom device you prefer and look up. Loosen up and take breaks – even from your phone, computer and the news.
5. Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill is one of the best ways to stay sane. It takes our minds away from worry and stress about a future that’s outside our control. It enhances the happy hormones serotonin and dopamine, while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.
When you’re feeling burnt out, try taking up a new hobby. Use up that extra time you have now that you’re reading the news less to focus on something you can actually control. You’ll have fun and as a bonus, you’ll even get perfect at a new skill. Who knows, you might even be inspired to switch careers?
By doing even one of these five practices, your body and mind are bound to thank you. We don’t know what the future holds but we will get through this together. Let’s all stay strong, stay sane and live the flip flop life!
If you need advice picking out the best pair of flip flops, we’ve got you covered with our real, unbiased reviews of the best products in the market.