The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for you and your loved ones. These tough periods can be overwhelming and can possibly cause strong emotions in adults and children, especially with the full implementation of Work from Home and Home-based learning. We believe that coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
So, here are 5 simple ways to reduce stress!
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean powerlifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the house or standing up to stretch during a break can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. If you have additional free time, you might even want to run or walk around your neighbourhood or nearest public parks. Do head for uncrowded spaces and practice safe distancing when there are more people. Also, you may even try out fitness classes online after your home working hours.
Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously. It will help you relax and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Your heart rate, fast breathing and high blood pressure will then decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. Just focusing on your breath or changing the way you breathe can make a big difference to your overall stress level. We recommend you to try Square Breathing exercise
Square breathing is a great way to refocus your mind if you’ve been having a hectic day. Multitasking and working from home can be demanding on your brain and your body. It’s important to take a brief break and clear your head before diving back into your schedule. Here is the practice:
- Inhale for a count of 4
- Hold for a count of 4
- Exhale for a count of 4
- Hold for a count of 4
Here’s a visual aid for you:
Stress often influences sleep which has a direct impact on how we live our lives. And not getting enough sleep can even make your stress worse.
Make sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress buster on our list.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A poor diet can bring greater reactivity toward stress. Emotional eating and reaching for high-fat, high-sugar foods can provide a temporary sense of relief that adds to your long-term stress. Refined carbs, like cookies and potato chips, can cause a spike in blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, you might experience more stress and anxiety.
Consuming a healthy diet can help you combat stress over the long haul. Foods like eggs, avocado, and walnuts support mood regulation and energy balance.
Avoid coffee and other caffeinated food and drinks. They not only increase levels of certain stress hormones but also mimic their effects in the body (increasing heart rate and fast breathing, for example).
Listen to your favourite music or belt it out!
Take a break and listen to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
Or if that’s not your kind, switch on your favourite playlist and belt it out loud! Singing releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. It also draws more oxygen into the blood and causes better circulation, reducing stress.
We hope these stress relief tips will help you throughout these tough times and we will get through this together!