The world is an especially confusing and turbulent world right now, and it is more critical than ever to take care of yourself and your mental well-being. Here are some tips to de-compress and take your mind off things.
Please note that reputable sources for information related to stress reduction have been cited throughout, and are accessible by clicking on text highlighted in green.
Organize a Schedule for Yourself:
Set a schedule. Write it down in a place that is easily visible to you. Having it placed concretely on paper helps to solidify its importance. Don’t stress if you’re unable to complete all your tasks in a day. This schedule is to help give your day some structure and serves as a framework for your tasks. We can lose track of time while staying home, and this is a simple way to help avoid this issue.
Art is a Form of Relief and Release:
Drawing and other forms of artistic expression have been linked to reducing stress, preventing cognitive decline, and improving communication skills. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, try doodling or coloring. Working with clay is another stress reliever.
Art is subjective and your artwork does not have to be perfect. If you do not have art supplies at home, there are free coloring apps that are available to download for your phone or tablet. Here is a link to some free, online, printable coloring pages.
The Necessity of Exercise:
Incorporate exercising regularly into your schedule. Exercise has also been shown to relieve stress, and there is a wide array of free exercise videos from certified trainers on YouTube. Many of these workouts are designed to be conducted at home, with little to no equipment. Even walking, while following the latest safety guidelines from your local health authority, will give you a change of pace while providing your body with the health benefits of exercise. Just remember to be consistent with your exercise, and to consult with your healthcare professional if you feel ill or over-extended.
The Therapeutic Potential of Gardening:
Researchers have found that there is something therapeutic about working with the earth, and basking in the scent of flowers and herbs. So, go start a garden. Even if you live in a city, there are ways to get in touch with nature. You will find links on how to affordably start an indoor garden here. Worried about not being able to procure plants or seeds? You can start a garden from the leftovers on your kitchen table. Learn how to cultivate your own garden from produce like avocados, onions, and celery by clicking here.
Curate a Journal to Unwind:
Practice mindfulness. Start a gratitude journal, or simply a diary to record your thoughts. Let it be a place to safely pour your thoughts and dreams. Journaling has also been identified as a potential source of stress relief for some.
The Power of Meditation:
Meditation has been shown to be an incredible source of stress relief. Set aside a few minutes each day, such as before you go to bed, to focus inward. There are guided meditations available for free on YouTube, or you can browse guided stationary and walking meditations on free apps like Insight Timer Meditation.
The Critical Need for Connection: Remember to Speak (Virtually) With Others:
Social distancing can feel isolating, so be sure to reach out to family and friends regularly. Crisis can either sever or deepen bonds, and it is especially important to acknowledge that we all need each other to get through this. There are many social media platforms to stay connected, and Zoom is a free and particularly powerful mobile and desktop app that allows for video conferencing with hundreds of people, as well as chatting and mobile collaboration.
Being Safely Social While Social Distancing:
Please note that many tips came from the article linked here.