How are you doing these days?
That used to be a benign question that most Canadians would answer with a chipper, “Great!” Now, with all of the news continually giving us grim outlooks, we are more likely to answer that question with a sigh.
The pandemic has thrown all of our lives out of order, and it looks like things won’t be back to ‘normal’ for quite some time. Many people have lost their jobs or received pay cutbacks that threaten their ability to pay the bills and feed their families.
The unknown future can weigh heavily, but the residual stress will only hurt our health and peace of mind. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and these destressing techniques can help us reach it in good spirits.
Prepare & Yield Instead of Panic
Discovering what is causing your stress is the first step to remedying it. For some, it may be easy to identify, like loss of employment, but for others, the source may be less conspicuous. It could be the change in your routine, a new sense of isolation because of social distancing, difficulty concentrating on your work while at home, or a lack of sleep.
It could be all of these things!
These stress factors may have even caused you to cope in unhealthy ways like eating more junk food, increasing your alcohol or caffeine consumption, or turning to distractions like social media. Once you identify the cause of your stress, you can take baby steps to improve the situation at hand.
Sips for Serenity
The ritual of sipping on a steamy hot cup of tea can make you slow down and enjoy the little things. This is not to say that tea will cure all that ails you, but certain types of teas can help lighten your mood and promote calm feelings. Every person is different, so finding the right teas that work best to relieve your stress can take some trial and error. Some of the more traditional teas that have been used to destress include:
- Lemon Balm
These teas are all caffeine-free, so they won’t make you extra alert, jittery, or anxious. (No one needs that right now!) Many are made from all-natural ingredients, and you can sip on them all day long to help you relax. Even just breathing in the aroma from your hot tea can be soothing.
Deep breaths all around.
Take Time to Step Away Throughout Each Day
During these times, it can be easy to stay glued to the news on your phone or on television or news outlets. Every media station is covering the coronavirus with live and constant updates. If you now have to work from home, it is necessary to take breaks from it all and focus on your mental health and that of your family.
Spring is here, which means you can turn your outdoor space into a relaxing garden, a play yard for your kids, or an outdoor kitchen for your inner grill master. Even just planning these things for the future can put a smile on your face. Or, you can take outings to parks and walks down the street, respecting the social distancing guidelines.
Turn Your Passions or Creative Work into a Meditation & Mindfulness Practice
Now is the time to really delve into your hobbies that can be done at home. Creative projects are a great way to kill some boredom and focus your attention on something other than stressing the F out. You can get extra motivated by thinking of a project that you can give to a loved one or make a treasured keepsake.
Painting, drawing, pottery, sewing, woodworking, and other crafts are excellent examples of some fun activities you can do alone or with your family. Get inspired by searching the web for craft project ideas.
Can we take a moment to thank the worldwide web? Okay, moving on.
During this time of relaxation, try incorporating some breathing therapy to destress even more.
Give Different Online Movement Classes a Try Until You Find One You LOVE
Since gyms are closed, it may be harder for you to find the motivation to workout without equipment. It’s just so much easier to become best friends with your couch.
When your butt and couch have become BFFs, it might be time to do a little online search for dance routines, yoga stretches and exercises that you can do right in your own home. You can find the right workout for your interests, your level of fitness, and even those to get your whole family involved. Don’t give up until you find something that you love!
Refresh Your Space for a Healthy Home
Remember that wallpaper you wanted to take down, that shelf you tried to install, and the family pictures that need hung up? Giving your house a fresh look and a new sense of hominess can make it more relaxing and comforting.
Don’t forget to open the curtains and let in some pleasant sunshine, too! Springtime during a pandemic is also the perfect time to deep clean and make your home shine.
Develop a New Routine for Your Home Schedule
Everyone’s regular routine has been disrupted, so it’s the perfect time to start a new on. Take this opportunity to make positive changes to your daily activities. If you want to wake up earlier to get things done, add more exercises to your day, or keep a neater house, then do it.
However, you decide to destress during this trying time, remember there’s a silver lining to every cloud, and the sun will shine again.
It’s one day at a time, dear friends.