Masks are the latest fashion accessory to appear around the world; however, masks have been in vogue for longer than you think.

On Purim, one is instructed to wear costumes to mask their identity from others –– like Esther hiding her religious identity from King Ahasverus.

Unlike the events that unravelled in the Megillah — in which Esther revealed her religion to the King and therefore saved the Jews — we are not allowed to remove our safety masks.

This Purim, vaccines and a hope for normalcy welcome the festive holiday, but the mental health ramifications of this past year are still being felt. That is why, in addition to wearing our masks, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Here are nine (CDC approved) ways of celebrating Purim this year while practicing self-care:

Create DIY Groggers

A fun activity for many ages: Make groggers out of pasta boxes or other noisy items around your house, and use them to create music. Improvisational music playing has the power to heal anxiety and depression (Psychology of Well-Being).

Bake Hamentashens

Baking appeals to all of the five senses and in turn signals your brain to release endorphins, a feel-good hormone. Unfortunately, sugar has been linked to higher levels of anxiety (Healthline). Therefore, it is important to remember to keep a balance between tasty and healthy. Luckily, Purim’s pastry is both easy to bake and healthy. Try to make some yourself with an amazing recipe by clicking here.

Set Boundaries

Take after Mordecai — Megillat Esther’s steadfast hero — and set boundaries with the people in your lives. Setting boundaries stops us from crossing our limits. Learn to say “no” when you need to, and learn how to accept “no” as an answer from others.

To learn more about Mordecai and setting boundaries, check out one of our other Purim resources by clicking here.

Safely Practice Tikkun Olam

The old adage is true: You can help yourself by helping others. Volunteering has been proven to lower depression, and there is a positive correlation between generosity and happiness (Psychology Today). Donate your time or money to those in need.

Wash Your Masks

Our cloth masks collect dirt from the environment and from our faces all day. It might be time to throw your masks in the wash to preserve them and keep your face clean.

Do Meal Prep

Having home-cooked meals ready for each day reduces anxiety and keeps you from eating unhealthy foods (Aetna). However, being too strict on yourself, e.g., not allowing yourself to eat anything other than what you prepped for the week or forcing yourself to prep meals every week, can be more detrimental to your mental health. Prepare healthy meals, but be flexible.

Take Care of Your Skin (And Feelings!)

Apply a facial mask that will quench your skincare needs twice a week. The health of your skin is just as important as your physical and mental health. Plus, the time you spend doing skin care is relaxing, self-care time.

Do a Mindful Meditation

The benefits of meditation are infinite. Taking 10 minutes for yourself every day to reflect, heal and/or write improves anything from your mood to your physical health.

Here is a 10-minute guided meditation video.

Listen to Music

Music therapy has been proven to improve one’s quality of life (Harvard). Whether you listen to vinyl records or Spotify, now is a great time to play your favorite tunes.

Service Section: Holidays