COVID has impacted our lives in many ways. During these unprecedented times, it is hard to not get overwhelmed and stressed by all the uncertainty. There are many healthy ways to cope with stress, here are 5 ways to destress during the pandemic:
- Get Outside- Make sure to schedule some time to step away and get some fresh air. Studies have shown that light has a positive effect on people’s mood and typically there is more light outside. Take advantage of nature while following social distancing guidelines.
- Get Active- Studies have shown that regular exercise can help you relax, improve mood, improve sleep, and may lower mild symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise can also increase endorphins, a chemical produced by the body to relieve stress and pain. For example, try to set aside time in your day to go for a walk. Set it up as a simple routine, where it won’t feel like a chore!
- Limit News and Social Media Consumption- With all the uncertainty and “negative” news recently, it is important to unplug by turning off the news and social media when you notice it taking a toll on your mental health. Studies have shown a link between the amounts of time spent on social media to anxiety and stress. Putting your phone away and turning off the television and to immerse yourself in a book or relationship may have a positive impact on your mental health. Here is an article from Penn Medicine on how social media impacts stress levels.
- Explore New Hobbies/ Interests- Use your new found free time as an opportunity to explore new hobbies and interests. Whether that is baking, gardening, knitting, etc. Exploring these new interests with loved one can also help build stronger relationships while being a creative outlet to relieve stress.
- Meditate- There are many benefits to meditation, some of these benefits are it may decrease stress, reduce negative emotions, increase self-awareness and increase creativity. Studies have shown that people who have meditated over the long-term shows changes in their brain that have been associated with stress and anxiety. Adding meditation into your everyday routine can positively impact your mental health. Don’t know where to start? Here is an article on how to meditate to get you started.
It is important to acknowledge when it is time to seek help and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones. Remember, we are all in this together.
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