The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in various ways. Many people have gotten sick or lost loved ones, and many have also lost their jobs or been otherwise financially impacted. All of these factors contribute to increased stress and anxiety. Without an end in sight for COVID-19, we all must work on effectively managing our stress throughout this challenging time. Here are some tips that will help.
- Get some exercise
Exercise is a simple but often overlooked way to relieve stress. Even simple movements can reduce cortisol levels in the body while releasing endorphins, which are the body natural “feel good” chemicals. Regular exercise can also contribute to better quality sleep and increased confidence, both of which are beneficial for stress reduction.
- Try journaling
Journaling is another effective way to reduce stress. Writing out what is going on inside your head is freeing and can help you make sense of your thoughts. Another way to use journaling to promote positive feelings is to make a list of what you’re grateful for. Gratitude journaling allows you to shift your focus onto what is going well in your life rather than what is not.
- Practice mindfulness
Another effective way to manage stress is to practice mindfulness in your everyday life. Mindfulness is simply being aware of the present moment, including how you feel. Practicing mindfulness helps you to increase self-awareness, which is essential for combatting stress. One way to practice mindfulness is to pause during the day and ask yourself how you are feeling.
Laughter has also been shown to reduce tension and stress levels in the body. To take advantage of these benefits, try to find ways to laugh throughout each day. You can call your funniest friend or turn on your favorite sitcom to enjoy some laughs. You can also try to find some humor in your everyday life.
- Get outside
Lastly, do your best to get outside whenever you can. Fresh air and sunlight can help you reset your mood by reducing cortisol and increasing endorphins and dopamine production. You can try taking a walk, going for a hike, or sitting outside and reading a good book. No matter what you choose to do, spending some time outdoors will positively impact your overall stress management.
Living through a pandemic is difficult for all of us. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to reduce stress. Following these tips will help you keep your stress levels under control, but you may need to experiment to find what works best for you. The important thing is not to allow your stress to spiral out of control but to work on managing it every day.