Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit each of us differently. While some stress over making ends meet, essential workers are putting themselves at risk to help others. Parents are now trying to navigate homeschooling, while others are working through loneliness. Regardless of what you are experiencing, the result can lead to large amounts of stress.
So how do we beat this stress? We know the situation is temporary, the situation is changing daily, but what can we do NOW in the present to help keep our mental health strong? We’ve come up with a few ways to get rid of stress and put a bright spin on the day.
6 Easy Ways to Overcome Stress
Exercise is great for so many reasons. You already know it’s good for you, but did you know that it also helps reduce stress? Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, helps clear the mind, and can improve the quality of your sleep.
2. Promote Sleep
Stress can cause you to lose sleep. Lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This cycle causes the body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time. Reduce your afternoon caffeine intake, spend time each day exercising, and try turning the TV off early. Instead of watching the news or binge-watching a new show, read a book.
3. Take Deep Breaths
“Take a deep breath” is not a cliché. For an easy 3-5 minute exercise, sit up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. Deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind, while shallow breathing may cause stress.
4. Face Time or Zoom a Family Member or Friend
Combat stress and/or loneliness by calling a friend or family member to spend time with. Schedule calls or group chats and have them on your calendar as something to look forward to.
5. Eat Right
Eating healthy foods is a great way to get rid of stress. Avoid sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. Fruits and vegetables are always a good option. Fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to reduce the symptoms of stress.
6. Listen to Music
When you feel overwhelmed take a break and listen to relaxing classical music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body. It can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
PTandMe works closely with physical and occupational therapy clinics around the country. If you need help with an exercise program or are experiencing pain, please find the help you need to start feeling better today.