It is no secret that the global world is presently a big ball of chaos, panic, scarcity, and death; all because of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The average stress levels are high! This can be most stressful and scary for even for the most cool-headed individual. It doesn’t help matters that the country is in a national lockdown, so you can’t even partake in your most usual stress-escape activities.
It doesn’t help that the kids seem intent on frustrating you by running helter-skelter all over the house and playing silly pranks on you; or that you are living alone in a distant country several thousand miles away from all your loved ones and family and practically going mad with worry over them; or that you are being quarantined with strangers that you’ve never met before because you appear to have made contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
Whatever your story is, we understand that you are going through stress and may not be coping so well with it. And so, we have listed 5 sure-fire ways you can manage your stress levels during this pandemic. Practice these steps religiously and we bet you’d come out of this phase of life smiling!
ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXTENT OF YOUR MORTAL POWER
Too many times, we dwell and worry so much over events that we have no control over, thereby skyrocketing our stress levels. In order to manage your stress levels, it is important to figure out the cause of your stress and acknowledge the extent of power you have over the causative factor. Do you truly have the power to change things? Or are you at the mercy of others/God where it concerns the causative factor? If the latter, accept that you have no control over the situation and rather than focusing so much on your powerlessness or the causative factor, channel your energy towards being positive.
The pandemic is life-threatening, scary and totally wreaking havoc on every aspect of your life, right? Yes, we know this! But what if you focused on the possible positive sides of this pandemic rather than dwelling so much on negativity? Wouldn’t you rather view this national lockdown as an opportunity to bond with your family and friends? Isn’t this the right moment to have a non-expensive family reunion that you have been planning so long for, since every member of the family is around? Previously before the pandemic, life was too fast-paced that you were almost keeling over and really wanted a vacating. Well, take this golden opportunity as a much-needed vacation or an adventure of some sort. When last did you truly study yourself, your lifestyle and your goals? It’s been ages, right? This is the right moment to embark on a journey of self-discovery. The pandemic is not all bad. There are positive sides to it as well. All you just need to do is sit down and see it!
PRACTICE SOME RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
It is a known fact that the muscles of the body tense up whenever an individual is undergoing so much stress. The good news is that there are a couple of relaxation techniques that can help loosen those same muscles, so you can be more relaxed. One such technique is the technique of deep breathing. It is really simple. Take a short break when you feel your stress level skyrocketing and take quick deep breaths of 5-10 minutes within intervals. Alternatively, you can take a walk and communicate with nature. Nothing is more relaxing than coming in close contact with nature. You can also go for jogging or practice yoga.
INCORPORATE HEALTHY FOODS TO YOUR DIET
According to research, healthy foods can improve your mood tremendously. They do this by generally increasing the levels of serotonin, which is a hormone that boosts mood and reduces stress. Nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts have high content of B-vitamins which helps the body to manage stress excellently. Other healthy foods like dark chocolate, milk, citrus fruits, avocado, and fatty fish (for instance, tuna, salmon and sardines) have also been indicated as able to lower stress hormones. Are you more stressed out than usual? Then, consider eating any of the listed foods. You will not only be fighting off stress, but you also get to live longer and healthier.
DO FUN THINGS
Most times, stress can be caused by our own lofty expectations of ourselves. There is no doubt that it is good to have goals and visions for yourself, set deadlines and meet them. But too much of them over an extended period can cause your body more harm than good. When was the last time you had fun? When was the last time you made out time to unwind from all the pressures you put on yourself? There can not be a better time than now to have fun indoors. A couple of things you could consider includes;
- Pamper yourself with a bubble bath.
- Go on an indoor treasure hunt with your kids.
- Get to baking those cookies or making those dishes.
- Have a movie night with all the works(home-made popcorn, a glass of wine or milk, chocolate etcetara).
- Cuddle up with a pile of amazing books.
- Tackle a puzzle with your family.
- Draw and paint a picture, if you can lay your hands on sketchbooks and drawing ink.
- Play cards and board games.
- Start Knitting.
- Work on little “Thank You” notes or letters that you can send to family and friends.
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