Many of us have been faced with challenges that we have never encountered before. These new challenges have resulted in extreme distress, and it is important that you know how to manage your stress levels.
Whilst some feelings of stress is normal, persistent and ongoing stress can lead to more serious mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Here are a few stress management strategies to help reduce your stress levels:
Do things you Enjoy
Take your mind off your worries by doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good, such as reading, listening to music, dancing ect. Even starting a new project or a new course to up-skill, can help provide a goal for you to work towards which can result in a sense of fulfilment once the task is achieved.
During lockdown, it is easy to become slack with your pre-covid exercise routine which can result in poor mental and physical health. Completing some sort of physical exercise everyday such as walking, running, bike riding, weight training, dancing or even stretching could help improve your mental health immensely by easing your mind and relieving tension. Whilst exercising our bodies release endorphins which make us feel good as well as act as a distractor from daily stressors.
Have a routine
Making sure you maintain a healthy routine during lockdown such as working out on a daily basis and getting enough sleep is extremely important, as it fuels your mind and your body. It also has a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. Well-nourished bodies are better capable of managing stress, therefore ensuring you maintain a balanced and nutritious diet is extremely important, such as reducing caffeine, fat, alcohol and sugar intake.
Make sure you stay connected with family and friends that you are unable to see or visit during the lockdown. Using social media platforms to message and video chat with loved ones, helps relieve possible feeling of loneliness and sadness. More specifically, connecting via video chat with family and friends who makes you feel safe and understood helps reduce stress, as face-to-face interactions releases hormones which counteracts the body’s natural stress reaction called flight or fight.
Relax and Unwind
Whilst keeping yourself occupied during lockdown is important, it is also important to make sure you take time to yourself to relax by incorporating breathing and muscle relaxation exercises (Yoga and Mindful Meditation) in your daily routine, to help tackle feelings of stress and worry. Reduce stress is by taking a deep breath and using your senses, seeing, hearing, tasting and touching.
Taking time to nurture yourself is a necessity and will allow you to better manage various life stressors.
Avoid unnecessary stress and accept that there will always be things that you can’t change.