Stress is a normal part of life; however, the anxiety caused by Coronavirus may be a new level of stress, many of us have never dealt with before. We’re having to navigate life in a way in a completely new way; working from home, schooling from home, and isolating ourselves from one another. All while not knowing what a day, a month, or a year might bring.
Some of us are slowly figuring out the “new normal”, while others seem to be having a harder time figuring out how to adjust. Thankfully, there are some simple strategies you can use at home to relieve stress and help get you through these tough times.
Here are some easy ways you and your family can combat stress & anxiety caused by COVID-19.
Exercise increases your body’s production of endorphins (those feel-good hormones that can improve your mood). Any kind of physical movement will work. Take a short walk, do some chores around the house, or pop on a workout video.
If you are looking for fun exercises for your kids to try, we have a guide here that is full of YouTube channels that will get your child up and moving!
Consume Healthy Foods
It’s no secret that eating well is hard to do when you’re stressed. When we get stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol, which can cause us to crave fats and sugars. Try keeping a variety of fruits, veggies, and nuts at the ready in the event of a snack attack. The more nutritious the food, the more energy your body will receive and the better you will feel.
Take a Bath
Stress can cause tense muscles. A hot bath loosens muscles while also providing a relaxing atmosphere. Light a candle and pour some bubble bath and relax.
If baths aren’t your thing, consider deep stretching or a massage (ask someone you live with to help you with this one).
Stretch Your Funny Bone
Laughter is the best medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing can stimulate your organs, activate your stress relief response, and soothe tension. There is also evidence that laughter can improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction, and improve your mood. So, what are you waiting for? Tell some cheesy jokes, watch a funny movie, have a family game night, or read a fun book.
Put it Down on Paper
Journaling your thoughts is cathartic. Let the juices flow, write whatever you are thinking, no need to worry about grammar or technical errors. When you’re done, you may choose to keep your writing to revisit later or toss it.
Many parents have also encouraged their children to keep daily journals during this time, so they can easily look back when they are older and remember how their day-to-day lives completely changed. When you read over their journal entries you can also get a better sense of how your child is coping.
Create a sense of calm for your body and mind through meditation. There are many forms of mediation, like visualization, deep breathing, and even guided meditation. You can find a variety of free meditation apps, websites, and videos by just simply Googling, “Free Meditation”.
Get Your Beauty Rest
Loss of sleep causes stress on your body. Sleeping recharges your body and your brain. Stick to a consistent bedtime routine that helps you to wind down before slipping under the covers. No devices or caffeine before bed.
While it is important to rest, it is also just as important to not over-rest. To function at your best level, try and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic requiring many cities and states to enact stay-at-home orders, we can still connect with family and friends through technology. Using virtual meeting platforms and video chat apps, we can spend valuable face time with loved ones and friends thanks to technology like WhatsApp, Skype, Houseparty, Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, FaceTime.
Talking on the phone and sending/receiving letters can also fulfill this need for human interaction.
Find a Hobby
Distract yourself with an enjoyable activity. Maybe you pick up a new hobby, or you rediscover a love for a hobby you once adored like, sewing, playing an instrument, jewelry making, painting, DIY projects, baking, making TikTok videos, reading, gardening, working out, or even adopting a shelter pet and training it.
Either way, keeping your mind occupied with something you love can keep the stress at bay. You might even consider sharing your hobby with a friend or loved one.
Seek Professional Help
If you’ve tried coping with stress on your own, but are still having trouble kicking stress to the curb, it might be time to seek the help of a professional.
Mental health professionals can help you determine what triggers your stress. They can also assist you in developing a plan for coping by providing you with tools to fit your needs.
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