It’s hard to reduce stress when every television channel and social media outlet is reporting news on the COVID-19 epidemic we are facing here in America. Today, the Trump Administration has recommended social distancing across the United States. You are ordered to stay home from work if you are sick. Gathering in groups of 10 have been discouraged and as a result restaurants, clubs, and gyms are closing their doors.
My anxiety and stress has been high as a result of the ongoing changes regarding the rapid community spread of COVID-19. While, at home I have found 3 simple ways that has helped me cope with reducing stress while social distancing.
1. Exercise at Home
Going to the gym is no longer a option. With the gym closing their doors, we must seek alternatives to still incorporating exercise into our lifestyle. Do not allow social distancing hinder your activity level, by becoming a couch potato.
Exercise is known to combat stress. The more physical stress on your body, relieves the mental stress and anxiety you may be feeling. The greatest benefits of exervise is achieved when you exercise daily. Those who fail to exercise daily are at an increased risk of feeling more stressed than those who exercise daily (Jennings, 2018).
Benefits of Exercise
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones — such as cortisol — in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers (Jennings, 2018).
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety (Jennings, 2018).
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing (Jennings, 2018).
I have used this time at home to reincorporate yoga back into my daily schedule. My favorite Yogi/Youtuber, Adriene of Yoga With Adriene brings the yoga studio right to your home with her youtube series and yoga practice. I have really been enjoying her session, Yoga for Anxiety and Stress.
Benefits of Yoga
- Improved posture
- Improved flexibility
- Increasing muscle strength and tone
- Improve overall health
- Increase energy levels
If you are seeking ways to remain active I would highly encourage you to implement a simple yoga practice into your daily schedule. If there was ever a good time to start a yoga practice, the time is NOW.
2. Read a Book
Take charge over your health. Pick up that book that has been sitting on your night stand or bookshelf. This is the perfect time to get some reading in while you are at home.
I am currently reading two books and since I have been at home I have had so much time to read. Reading is a excellent stress reducer. I often read right before bed because I love the sense of calmness that reading brings over me.
Benefits of Reading
- Mental stimulation
- Stress reduction
- Memory improvement
- Improved focus and concentration
Allow reading to clear your mind. Read to escape. I am currently reading, The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme. I am mentally on vacation in OBX thanks to this book. The magic about reading that I enjoy is the ability reading has to take you to different places and times. A good book will pull you in to that world and that is amazing to me. I have always enjoyed reading and find that is is my safe haven when I am stressed.
3. Relax and Take a Moment to Your Self
The best thing for you to do if you are self quarantining or simply practicing social distancing, is to simply relax and take a moment to your self. With school being out and the kids at home my days has consisted of a well developed schedule beginning with breakfast, school work, lunch, school work, dinner, and then bedtime. It’s busier staying at home than actually leaving out of the house.
I have been taking advantage of my ME time after the kids go to sleep at night. My nights have looked a little like this…
Curled up on the couch with hubby, watching a good movie — Contagion (2011 Film), and eating a yummy snack (fruit). Tonight, I enjoyed some sliced kiwi with blueberries. I absolutely love fresh fruit and it is my late night indulgence. What are your favorite fruits? And what are you doing to relax and take a moment to yourself?
Jennings, K.-A. (2018, August 28). Retrieved March 16, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety