During a pandemic, stress can rear its head in many forms. It can manifest in fear about the health of oneself and one’s loved ones, worry about financial situations and jobs, and stress over losing support services. Stress can make itself evident in changes of patterns in eating or sleeping, in difficulty with focusing or getting rest, in chronic health and mental health conditions worsening, and in the increased use of substances such as alcohol and tobacco. To combat stress, try these five activities.
1. Get Out and Exercise
Getting outside is good for people, and so is getting active. Combining this pair of positive sources of de-stressing is a one-two punch that works great against fear and anxiety. Challenging the body under the sky and among plants serves as a natural antidepressant that provides mental relief. We do recommend wearing a mask outside when you are around others.
2. Indulge in Pampering
While the pandemic may have temporarily shut down the local beauty parlor, it does not mean that beneficial pampering is not an option. Bubble baths and home manicures and pedicures are not canceled. Put a fluffy towel in the dryer so that it’s warm for the end of bath time, or have a comfy robe at the ready, light candles, put on soothing music, and apply favored shades of nail polish after a soak.
3. Set Up Scheduled Games
Games exercise the mind in various ways and serve as excellent sources of distraction. Enjoying a scheduled game night gives structure, which helps combat stress. It offers something to anticipate during days between events. Game nights, whether in person or over the internet, are healthy in their social and mental aspects. If you do plan to have a fun in-person game night, we do recommend wearing a mask if you have friends coming into your home.
4. Express Creativity
Another good mental exercise is to express creativity by some means. This could be performing, singing along with, or dancing to music. Getting creative could also mean drawing or painting or writing creatively. Decorating the house, getting inventive with recipes, or learning a form of crafting are all interesting ways to expand one’s creative horizons while spending time purposefully.
5. Encourage Laughter
Find a favored stand-up comedian on a streaming platform, pop in a favorite comedy DVD, or go around a social circle telling favorite funny memories. Any way that is chosen, encourage a good bout of laughter or many gales of giggles. Laughter is great for mental health.
If you’re struggling with feeling stressed, know that help is available. Visit our website to find out more about improving your mental health during the pandemic.