7 Ways to De-Stress During a Pandemic
In the midst of a global pandemic, many have been feeling the weight of stress and anxiety pressing down on them. In fact, with coronavirus cases only going up, it can seem like there’s no hope. It isn’t surprising that coping with stress has become a high priority. Even at the best of times, trying to unwind and destress is incredibly difficult. However, it is crucial to understand how to relax, unwind, and destress, so here are 7 ways to de-stress during a pandemic.
Turn Off the News
Our best advice is to cut your anxiety off at the source. During this unprecedented time, it may feel like keeping up with current events is the best thing to do. While it’s important to stay informed, the news can become overwhelming if constantly consumed. It’s important to put your mental health first. Take breaks during the day from news and social media. Refrain from bringing your phone into the bedroom at night, as you may be tempted to spend more time online. These breaks will give your mind the rest it needs.
Connect With Loved Ones
Now more than ever you may be feeling the weight of loneliness. With travel restrictions in place and limitations on interaction, some haven’t seen loved ones in-person for months. While we don’t recommend taking the chance by visiting, technology has created numerous ways to connect with family and friends. Starting a group chat, having a game night over Zoom, or having an old fashioned phone call are all options at your disposal. Though we recognize this isn’t the same, surrounding yourself with support is a great way to feel a little less stressed.
Choose a Hobby You Enjoy
Whether new or old, picking up a hobby can be an incredible source of stress relief. A distraction from the world around you, painting, crafting, gardening, playing music, and more are important tools.
Don’t have a hobby? No problem! Follow these simple steps to find your new favorite activity:
- Take it back - Think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. Were you fond of art? Try an adult coloring book or paint-by-numbers. Did you love playing with a dollhouse? Try building a dollhouse. Make your inner child happy!
- Choose something with less stress - The purpose of your hobby is to distract and de-stress. The last thing you want is to get more upset, so pick something you will actually enjoy doing.
- Try, try, try - There is no limit on the number of hobbies you can try. Trial and error is part of learning, so don’t be afraid to fail and try something new.
Control What You Can
Fear of the unknown can be a huge source of stress and anxiety. The world is fighting an enemy it can’t see - the coronavirus. It’s perfectly natural to feel out of control. Therefore, you must take control of what you can. Clean surfaces, wear a mask when around others, stay home and wash your hands frequently. While you can’t control the world, you can control yourself.
Do Some Exercise
Now, before you roll your eyes and exit this page, hear us out. Exercise, no matter how small, is proven to be a stress-reliever. When you exercise, the brain produces natural pain-killers called endorphins. These endorphins provide stress relief, better sleep, energy, and happiness. No need to try cross-fit or intense weight lifting. Getting some fresh air with a simple walk around the block will have the same effect.
Try a Weighted Blanket
Have you ever heard of a weighted blanket? Chances are this product is a bit foreign. Weighted blankets have been around since 1999, but weren’t nearly as popular until more recent years. Appearing to the eye as a normal blanket, a weighted blanket is filled with pockets of small beads that add to its weight. Science has shown that laying under such blankets reduces anxiety and promotes calm energy with the feeling of being held. You can get your own weighted blanket here.
Seek Professional Help
When all else fails, it’s important to seek the advice of a professional. You might bristle at the idea of therapy. After all, it can be a source of pride to “take care of yourself” with no help. We can tell you that there is absolutely no shame in seeking guidance. If you feel depressed, anxious, or stressed and can’t seem to find a way out, we highly recommend getting in touch with your doctor or therapist.
While the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, it’s important to remember this: Your mental health is vital to your physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s crucial that you find tools that make you feel comfortable and seek professional help when needed.
What are your favorite de-stressing tools? Let us know!
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