Few would disagree we are experiencing unprecedented times. Stress levels are high as we adjust to working remotely, disruptions in regular schedules, challenges in securing daily essentials and uncertainty as to what comes next.
Now more than ever, it is important to utilize tools of self-care. You may think this requires a special course of action; while actually going “back to basics” in reducing stress will provide support physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The following daily practices assist in managing stress:
- Eat fruits and vegetables: if fresh is not available, frozen is the next best option.
- Drink plenty of water: if you are not a big fan of water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime.
- Go to bed early: getting 7-9 hours of sleep restores the body and mind.
- Exercise: lowers your body’s stress hormones. Start a home exercise routine or get out and take a walk. If walking outside, be sure to adhere to the recommended 6 feet of physical distance.
- Support your mental health: practice breathing exercises, spend a few minutes meditating, practice yoga.
- Reduce added sugar consumption: eating foods that contain added sugar has been found to increase anxiety levels.
- Laugh: watch a funny movie, TV show, or call that friend who always brings a smile to your face.
- Take a break from social media: while a method to keep us socially connected, studies link social media use to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
While living through a pandemic we may feel like much is out of our control. It is important to remember our daily habits and routines are essential self-care tools that can provide support to each and every one of us. When practiced on a regular basis, the above suggestions provide the body and mind with support in responding to the fluidity of the current times.