Stress can cause you to feel frustrated and irritable and not addressing it can cause deterioration in your mental health. Especially now, it’s important to practice stress-relieving relaxation techniques that keep you grounded. Here are some tips for keeping your stress levels at bay:
- Exercise. There’s a reason exercise is consistently listed as a solution to common health problems—because it works. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.” The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week, as well as at least two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise routines.
- Get some fresh air. Especially now when we’re all doing our part to social distance and reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to take intermittent breaks and get outside. A quick walk at a local park or a stroll around your neighborhood is enough to improve your mood and help you relax.
- Practice mindfulness. Right now, it’s easy to get sucked into questions of “what if”. Take the time to combat the negativity and anchor yourself in the present moment using journaling, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or anything else that helps ground you when your brain feels chaotic.
- Connect with others. With social distancing, it is important to connect with your family and friends on a regular basis. According to Mayo Clinic, “Social contact is a good stress reliever because it can offer distraction, provide support, and help you tolerate life’s up and downs.” In today’s world, there are a number of options to reconnect with your loved ones digitally. Some common resources include Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime.