In these tense times of COVID-19, some simple suggestions to relieve stress are welcome. Here are 10 good tips:
- Let your creativity run wild: if you’ve always wanted to paint, write, or compose, now’s the time.
- Structure and plan your daily life (getting up, taking a shower, having breakfast, starting your work day, going grocery shopping …): a routine keeps you in control of your life. Rituals are strong anchors that limit stress. As trivial as they may seem, habits like preparing a cup of coffee reduce stress levels.
- Incorporate beneficial and recreational activities into your day: listening to your favorite music causes your brain to produce more happiness hormones and fewer stress hormones. Plan an enjoyable moment in each day and enjoy the pleasure it gives you. Watching a good move in the evening, trying a new recipe, taking a relaxing bath or cuddling your partner all help to improve well-being.
- Try not to dwell too much on the crisis: be positive! When bleak thoughts appear, put together a puzzle, call someone or do relaxation exercises like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or meditation. Doing these things just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
- Maintain social contacts by chat, telephone, videoconference and even over your garden fence, respecting physical distancing guidelines and wearing a mask, of course. Do not complain about the crisis. Discuss useful and constructive topics.
- Make plans for after the pandemic that will help you to bounce back. Plan vacations, professional development or volunteer activities, or house/apartment renovations. Advance planning can help to execute new projects, reach goals and fulfill a vision.
- Go out, take a walk, garden, play sports. Activities in nature and exercising outdoors are real stress shields. Daylight activates the psyche and stimulates the production of vitamin D to fight against winter blues and lethargy.
- Don’t be in denial over the crisis, do not suppress its effects. Recognize the difficulties of the situation as they present themselves. That will help you increase your ability to overcome the inevitable hazards and dysfunctions the crisis brings. You will be better armed to adapt to new circumstances.
- Avoid being exposed to the constant flow of information (consuming news once a day should be enough). Consult serious sources that do not disseminate misleading news or persistent doom and gloom content.
- Help others as much as you can to get through this difficult period. You will feel solidarity and gratitude in return. As a result, you will be proud to have made a contribution, however modest, to the fight against the pandemic, which will bring you unexpected joy.
Featured image: Clipart Library