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10 ways to destress during the pandemic

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

1) Recognize things you can control! You can only control what you can control. Learn to accept things that you cannot change. Set boundaries and learn to say "no" when necessary. It is totally okay!

2) Take a deep breath. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are very beneficial in regulating the body. Sit comfortably with your back straight and feet on the floor. Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose counting to four. Hold your breath counting to four, then exhale through your nose counting to four. Rest counting to four then repeat. Doing about three repetitions about 3 times a day will help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help your body to feel relaxed. Apps such as Headspace or Calm may be very helpful.

3) Visualize a pleasant scene. Taking the time to relax and visualize something peaceful will help to make the breathing exercises more meaningful. It also helps to disconnect from stressful environments and should be more calming.

4) Reframe situations and think more positively. When possible, try to look at situations in a more positive way. Changing your perspective and narrative often helps to "reframe" situations and you may find that your initial thought was not what it really appears to be. For example, during these unpredictable times of COVID-19, try to reframe your narrative and say " I am safe at home", instead of " I am stuck at home."

5) Take one step at a time. Realize that you may not be able to accomplish everything on your to-do list in one day. Break up your tasks in chunks and be grateful for what you can accomplish. Get a planner and prioritize your time.

6) Exercise. Taking brisk walks for 10 minutes a day may help to ease anxiety and reduce stress. Walking outside and taking in some fresh air is good for relaxation and also providing the body with vitamin D. Try listening to your favorite music while walking. It works wonders!

7) Create time for self-reflection. Journaling can be relaxing and could also help you to realize the sources of your stress. Sitting outside and enjoying the outdoors and nature is good for your peace of mind.

8) Find people who can nurture you. Engage in conversations with positive people and avoid those who add to your stress levels.

9) Aromatherapy. Using essential oils has been researched and found to be beneficial in reducing stress. Find the suitable oil that suits your needs to reduce cortisol levels and increase your peace of mind.

10) Take a break, do something different! Treat yourself to something different! Write, draw, paint, even a game with family could provide you the break that you need to disconnect from stressful situations.

Here's a bonus! UNPLUG from social media! Being saturated with stressful news from social media can increase your anxiety and cause stress. It is okay to unplug and connect with family and friends.

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