Stress is a constant obstacle. Stress in uncommon or uncertain times is even more unavoidable. During this unprecedented pandemic our country has been asked to do our part by staying home and away from other people, if able. Many are out of work, away from family and friends, and taking extensive and often uncomfortable measures to avoid contracting COVID-19. All of these things contribute to a time of elevated stress for us all. Now more than ever it’s important to give your mind and body a break from the effects of stress because it doesn’t just affect your mental well-being, it can also affect physical health. Combatting stress can be done in a number of ways. Here are some tips to manage and minimize stress:
Gratitude: Gratitude practices are foundational for both managing stress and psychology. Making a daily list of things you’re grateful for is a great way to start. You can even start a group chat with some friends and make it a daily exercise. It’s an easy but powerful way to put things back into perspective and can help augment your thinking to be grateful for all the good things in your life, even in times of great stress.
Acceptance: One of the hardest principles for many to swallow is acceptance. People love control, and to be in control. Accepting powerlessness over a situation is hard, but it can also cause a bundle of unnecessary stress.
Rest: It’s crucial to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It helps maintain a strong mental state. Lack of sleep can lead to more frustration and a shorter fuse. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and try to make it the same 8 hours every night. Sleep consistency helps keep you on a schedule.
Communication: Staying in touch with people helps you stay busy, connected, and gives you less time to focus on the stresses of the situation at hand. Aim to make a few phone calls each day, send a few text messages, and even call a few people on FaceTime.
Diet: Proper nutrition can help combat stress, and inversely, improper nutrition can contribute to stress. Maintaining regular mealtimes helps curb day-long snacking. Be sure to include a heavy dose of fruits and vegetables and foods with omega-3 fatty acids (these include fish, nuts, and fibers).
Physical Activity: This one can be tricky right now depending on location, however, it’s not impossible. Even in restrictive quarters, simple exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees, can all be enough to break a sweat and require little room to do. For those with a little more room to spread out, try to spend some time outside in the fresh air. Go for a run, or do a full workout outside. Whatever you do, getting moving and elevating your heart rate helps by releasing endorphins that can contribute to improving your mood.
Posted on April 13 2020 in Blog