There’s no denying times have changed, and with that change comes new waves of intense feelings and stress. Sometimes our stress response is unavoidable. Last year brought on newfound stressors for the majority of us, and we’re all trying our best to navigate through the situation. Although most things are still out of our control, we do have power over how we handle the pressures we’re faced with – and stress management and prevention is key.
When you become stressed, you may feel overwhelmed, out of control, emotionally and physically tense, and irritable. It’s important to keep these symptoms from compounding as they make it difficult to manage daily life and get through hard times. Additionally, a slew of stress symptoms affects your body – and too much unmanaged stress can lead to you becoming physically ill.
There are several ways you can handle stress and limit its negative impact on your life.
Creating a schedule gives you control over your life. Your health is important, so planning accordingly is critical. Having a plan and schedule for your day – especially during quarantine – helps to decrease unexpected inconveniences. Planning meals is helpful in maintaining a healthy diet. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep allows your body to physically recharge and your mind to rest.
Get up and move your body – and your mind. Not only do we need physical activity, but we require mental exercise as well. Simple things like taking a brisk walk after dinner, engaging in a workout session at the gym, doing a puzzle or playing a game, reading, listening to music, or listening to an engaging podcast can all be huge stress relievers.
Be intentional in the mundane cycle of your everyday life. Writing in a daily journal, making a gratitude list, or simply jotting a few words down on paper releases serotonin in the brain and can provide you with an instant mood boost.
Spending time with family and friends is crucial in reducing stress. However, it may prove to be difficult and unsafe at this time. Although we can’t resume life as we know it, be sure to put effort in setting up Zoom calls with family and friends so we can all continue to be social and feel a sense of community.
Social media is another great tool to stay connected to family and friends, but it can also bring forth negative stressful emotions when the platform is abused. Limit your screen time and filter the content you allow yourself to engage with in order to handle stress in a positive and healthy manner.
Take control of as many things as you can during this challenging time, while letting go of the things you cannot!
Ashly Bloore is a freelance writer, mother of four, and interior design enthusiast