Welcome back, everyone – we hope this weekend brought you the opportunity to unplug, spend time with friends and family, and recenter yourself after an unimaginably tough week for the world. There’s no doubt that there is stress felt everywhere right now as we navigate uncertainty and fear, but it is crucial to take each day one at a time. In doing so, we thought it an appropriate and valuable time to refresh ourselves, and each of you, on key stress relief strategies for you to use as soon as today. Keep reading below to ground yourself and relieve feelings of stress.
- Crafts: Let’s start with arts and crafts. We’ve encouraged you many times in the past but are here to nail this idea into your minds one more time… crafting is a key to relaxation! This may look like coloring, hands-on pottery, drawing, sketching, or even digital/online graphic design… it’s a personal and creative outlet that looks different for every participant. No matter how this manifests for you, we encourage you to explore this unique activity to trigger an often unused area of your brain. Even more so, engaging in physical activity forces you to unplug from your phone and doom scroll for hours on end. It’s super important to stay informed about world events but also to create boundaries for yourself to ensure you’re sustaining a healthy mind and separation from being glued to your phone the entire day.
- Artistic Outlets: On that same note, engaging in artistic or musically-focused activities is a wonderful way to explore new hobbies and develop previously “unexercised” skills. This may mean music (like drumming, playing piano, or attempting guitar lessons), singing, acting, or engaging in performing arts. However, pushing yourself into new environments and out of your comfort zone is a great way to create a sense of ‘new’ in your life, in addition to distracting yourself in the form of a new hobby.
- Get Outside: If you can take just a moment to watch the sunrise, step out for a cup of coffee, follow the sunset, or take a breath of fresh air, the scientific benefits of activating Vitamin D are unmatched! This does not have to look like a full-blown activity and may just be opening a window, but we are confident that it will be worthwhile no matter your geographical location. Always remember to take a deep breath throughout the day and look up from your screen. Fresh air is super beneficial to our mental health and a significant outlet for stress relief.
- Exercise: Finally, we will continue to point out the positive effects of walking that have been proven to decrease stress and increase one’s ability to manage emotions. So, clear your mind, throw on your favorite podcast or music, and get moving! Even better, exercising through a walk (indoor or outdoor) is also a great way to incorporate some casual socialization into your day. Grab a friend, a partner, a colleague, or even a family member, and spend some time walking together, you’ll be amazed at the quality time you’ll achieve.
- Check-in on Sleep Habits: It might sound obvious, but it is crucial to your stress levels that you maintain enough sleep each night. If you’re struggling to fall or stay asleep, try turning off screens earlier in your day, create a setting that allows for relaxation (think lighting, sounds, and scents!), and unplug from your daily responsibilities to ensure you’re allowing wind-down time before simply expecting to fall right asleep. Reading before bedtime is a phenomenal way to wind down and focus on something outside of your day-to-day tasks, thoughts, or feelings.
- Journal, Gratitude, Meditation, and Mindfulness: One of our favorite ways to stay grounded is by practicing any of these strategies to engage with a form of mindfulness and gratitude. Dedicating just a few minutes a day to journaling, saying things in your head or out loud that you’re grateful for, or researching meditation/mindfulness exercises is an amazing way to bring yourself back to key priorities and the aspects of your life that mean the most to you.
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