With COVID-19 upon us, the world is in shambles. People are forced to limit themselves to the confines of their homes with minimal interaction with their surroundings. Such circumstances prove to be straining for most people, both mentally and emotionally. And not being able to socialize with friends and family or even move about in the neighborhood has been draining people psychologically. Therefore, the need for effective stress management has become a necessity.
How can we identify stress?
The first rule to any management is its timely recognition. The following signs are potent indicators that the person is experiencing stress:
- Persistent anxiety
- Declining self-esteem
- Difficulty in maintaining focus
- Either eating too much or too less than normal
- Decreased sex drive
- Frequent mood shifts
- Disrupted sleep cycle
How to manage stress for personal well-being
Think larger than yourself
1. Give back to society.
When we are stressed, we are more likely to cloud our thoughts with negative self-talk, which further pulls us into this depressive vibe. According to a source, helping those around you can help diminish the stressful effects and proves beneficial for our mental health. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a small gesture of kindness towards a fellow human being can do wonders for our health.
2. Ask for help if necessary.
If you feel overwhelmed with daily mundane tasks, there’s no harm in recruiting some household help. This will give you more time to spend with your kids, significant other, or just yourself. This will instantly uplift your mood and provide you with time to unwind and rejuvenate that lost energy.
3. Execute your Craft
Now, this might sound complex, but it’s not. Do something you thoroughly enjoy, such as painting, writing, crochet, etc. This will relieve your mind of all the underlying anxiety while you create something with your own hands. Seeing a byproduct of your efforts magnifies the release of your feel-good hormones while suppressing the ones causing stress.
Try isolating yourself in a quiet room, preferably with a beautiful view for 10-15 minutes each day. Try and Practice mindful breathing where you focus on every breath and direct all your thoughts and concentration towards that particular instance.
- Sit on a comfortable spot with your feet on the ground and hands placed on your lap, or you can even be in a supine position if you prefer that.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a relaxing place – it could be the beach, mountains, sky-gazing, or anything that brings you comfort.
- Be mindful of your breathing. In and out.
- Continue this for at least 10 minutes.
Yoga is another excellent way to de-stress and let those anxious juices out of your system.
5. Journal your thoughts
Writing is considered the best form of therapy where you can take a ‘brain-dump.’
Sometimes, talking to someone seems overwhelming, so resorting to a suitable journal habit can prove beneficial. Take out 5 minutes at the end of each day to document your feelings for that particular day. Whatever emotions you experienced, pen that to paper, and you will re-wire your brain into thinking differently. Sometimes, people begin to see the silver-lining in unfavorable events. And that’s what makes all the difference.
6.Three steps to relaxation
- Be present at the moment – right here, right now.
- Tame your mind and body to slow down
- Halt any judgments about yourself or your experiences.
7. Rubber band technique
This technique has been widely regarded as a useful stress management tool. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and whenever you feel anxious, snap it lightly. Over time, your brain will link that momentary unease with stress and try to avoid it. So, indirectly that trains your mind to stay stress-free.
Incorporate physical activity
8. Regular exercise
Inculcating a habit of convenient daily work-out sessions is again a great way to relieve that pent up anxiety. This can be low to moderate intensity, depending on your level of activity. Schedule 15-30 minutes of any physical activity at least three to four times a week. This can be jogging, cardio, biking, or floor exercises.
9. Clean Eating
The most common issue people face is eating too much or too little than usual whenever they are faced with turmoil. And mostly the food they eat consists of high carb, unhealthy items that do more harm than good. Try dozing up on some good carbs, fruits, and vegetables whenever you feel the urge to munch. You can find a ton of easy recipes that can ensure a healthy yet tasty snack to satiate those tastebuds.
10. Muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation(PMR) is a technique designed to lower your anxiety. The trick is to first deliberately tense all the muscles in your body and then slowly unwind them into release until they reach a complete and utter relaxation stage.
All the techniques mentioned above are stellar tips to keep your mind and stress in check. Persistence is the only pre-requisite in this scenario as it determines your success in this endeavor.
Try applying these methods in your daily routine and let us know which worked best for you in the comments below!