Tips to Manage Stress and Anxiety during COVID-19

Our emotions are intrinsically linked to our health and well being, and managing negative emotions is all about being kinder to yourself and focusing on self-care. Responding to your needs allow you to communicate into your subconscious that you’re a valuable person, keeping your energy levels higher and avoiding episodes of stress and anxiety.  

The more you take time to look after yourself, the more you become resilient to cope when times are tougher.   

 

Write in a journal

You need to first recognize that it's normal to have these feelings; you shouldn't brush off these emotions and simply hope that it'll get away or get better in time, even without confronting it. Take a look inside and ask yourself why you're stressed out and anxious. Ask yourself some hard questions and be specific about your answers. Most of the time, people are able to sort out the wave of their emotions by writing about it all in a journal. Feel free to express yourself through writing--you can doodle or draw a picture of things that concern you, write inspiring quotes from movies, books, songs or people you know; paste pictures of happy memories and people; create lists of things you want to do when the situation gets better. Consider this journal your creative outlet. If you're comfortable with it, you can even share some parts of it with someone you trust so you can discuss it together! 

 

Eat a balanced diet 

It turns out, your diet and lifestyle could play a big role in why you feel stressed out and anxious. It may feel like reaching for delicious yet high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium foods can provide a sense of relief (they call it emotional eating) but these foods can only give you a temporary high and can even add to your long-term stress. And science backs this up: refined carbs, like cookies and potato chips, can cause a spike in blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, you might experience more stress and anxiety. On the other hand, consuming a healthy diet can help you combat stress over the long haul. Foods like eggs, avocado, and walnuts support mood regulation and energy. 

 

Exercising to relax 

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Notice how you get a "feel good” sensation immediately after an intense workout. That's because exercise produces endorphins or chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. While we're all practicing proper social distancing at the moment, you can do alternative activities like having a video call with a personal trainer, following cardio videos online, doing yoga right inside your bedroom. We can all look forward to a time when it's safe to freely exercise outdoors again, but for the moment, these stay-at-home physical activities will do. As physical activity becomes a regular part of your life, you'll see an improvement in your overall well-being!  

 

Make time for leisure activities 

Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, back then, before the time we are in at the moment, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for some extra fun. Now that you have more time in your hands, you can take it as a chance to discover new hobbies. Building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you'll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient. Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.

 

Enjoy aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has real benefits for stress relief—it can help you to feel energized, more relaxed, or more present in the moment. Emerging research suggests certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body. So whether you enjoy candles, diffusers, or body products, consider incorporating some aromatherapy into your day.

 

Turn your skincare routine into a self-care ritual 

An effective and efficient skincare routine is a therapeutic process that will help you feel your best. It helps you take the time to focus on yourself and reap mind, body, and beauty benefits. For instance, not only does a fantastic face mask give your skin packed benefits, the time it sits on your face when you can do nothing but pause and allow the ingredients to soak in also gives you a moment to just relax and get your focus back. How about cleansing? It means detoxifying impurities that build up on your skin. You can take it as a figurative way of getting rid of the so-called toxins in your life, too! For the full experience, choose natural and organic skincare products. You're trying to get rid of all the toxins on your skin (and, well, the other negativities in your life), so it's not exactly the wisest move to expose your skin to harsh chemicals found in common skincare products.  

 

Let go

We know that it's easier said than done, but when you put your mind to it, you CAN let go of your stress and anxieties. It helps to focus your mind and emotions on something else, reminding yourself of the solutions you have worked on and trying some stress management strategies that can help you feel more centered and at peace. Also, getting rid of the things that are adding to your stress is very important during this time. Watching bad news and being constantly connected to your digital devices are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better!