We are living in unprecedented times with a global pandemic forcing most of us to drastically alter our daily lives. Stress is a common theme in our everyday lives and the impact of stress that we feel and react to is determined by a variety of factors including nutrition, overall health and fitness levels, emotional and mental well-being, sleep patterns etc. While we can’t eliminate stress from our lives, we can learn to manage it better, all the more important in the times we are living through.
There are many factors that contribute to stress and tweaking our lives, sometimes in the smallest ways, can help ease the burden of stress and enable us to function as normally as possible. While none of these will eradicate stress completely, trying these out can help you determine what works for you and incorporating that into your everyday life can make all the difference in how you manage stress.
One of the most basic things you can do is determine the causes of stress in your life. If these are things that you can cut out like news, social media, screen time etc then prioritize finding ways to minimize this stress. Simple everyday things can also help you manage stress better like ensuring a good nights rest and therefore going to bed early, eating wholesome and nutritious food instead of calorie-rich junk food, exercising everyday or even just taking a walk or sitting outdoors amid nature instead of scrolling through social media platforms.
Time management is another common cause of stress for many. Organizing your day, your work space, or even your home can ease stress and help you manage your time better. While this may seem overwhelming and time consuming, it really does pay off and you’ll notice it immediately in your stress levels. The lack of support systems or feeling isolated can compound stress in your life so make sure you reach out and stay in touch with family and loved ones. These support systems can go a long way in helping manage stress levels so prioritize finding these networks if you don’t have them already in place.
Another habit that we strongly recommend is engaging in a hobby. This can be anything from artwork, wood working, crocheting, cooking – anything that gives you joy. Having a hobby that you take time for every day has a calming effect and can lower your stress levels. There are also a number of relaxation techniques that can help ground you in periods of immense stress like deep breathing, grounding exercising, visualization, music, aromatherapy and meditation. We will cover these in more detail in our next blog.
As always, if you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, please consider seeking the help of a counsellor or a therapist.