This is a difficult time for all of us. For the health and safety of others as well as our own, we have been forced to make some big changes to our daily lives. Majority of people are working from home; we have had to self-isolate and maintain a social distance between the people we encounter. We have had to minimize the contact we have with people who we might normally see on a regular basis. These changes can take a toll on one’s mental health and stress levels can rise. Given the situation, we thought we might offer some tips on how to help relieve that stress. These tips come at a tough time in our lives, but you can also use these tips to relieve stress in general.
This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Staying active on a regular basis can affect stress levels by lowering them, as well as helping your sleep quality and your overall confidence. Exercise not only helps us maintain movement and a healthy body, but a healthy mind. The physical stress on the body can relieve the stress on our minds.
Deep breathing allows you to focus on being aware of your own breathing. Breathing in deeply allows for your lungs to expand and your belly to rise, which in turn slows your heart rate thus allowing you to feel more at peace.
Soothing music such as classical or nature sounds can have a relaxing effect on your body and mind. But, if that really isn’t your thing, listening to the music you like can also help relieve stress. So, in short, listen to some good tunes and you will be on your way to relaxation.
Write it Down
Keeping a journal or just writing down your thoughts has become a very popular stress relief method over the past couple of years. You don’t have to start it off with ‘Dear diary…’ (but you can if you want, we won’t judge), you just have to write down what comes to mind. When writing your thoughts, try writing down what it is that’s causing you stress. When seeing on paper what’s causing your stress, it might give you some perspective on how to tackle the issue. Next write down what you’re grateful for. Practising an attitude of gratitude is another way to help relieve stress because it allows you to find the positives in your life. We believe this is something we could all benefit from during this self-isolation.
We know that there are some people who think meditation is a waste of time, but we are not here to judge, only to offer inspiration. A few minutes a day can make the biggest difference to your mental state, especially if done regularly.
Mindfulness and meditation can go hand in hand, but everyone does things differently, so find what works best for you. Mindfulness is the practice that anchors you to the present moment. It allows you to focus on the ‘now’ and really get an understanding of your surroundings. It’s also a good method to combat negative thinking, which is one of the biggest causes of stress.
Spend time with family and friends
We know what you’re thinking, why would we put this here when we know that we must maintain a social distance between everyone we encounter? The answer is because you don’t need to physically be with your family and friends to find comfort and support. Of course, that would be ideal, but we make the best of our situations. Usually, when you’re feeling stressed or just having a bad day, it’s part of our instinct to want to talk to those closest to us. Finding comfort in our loved ones eases that stress, even just a little bit. At the moment, our safest options are to video chat or call our loved ones, but even a phone call or message can help relieve that stress we’re feeling. Thankfully, social support is still something we can count on during this stressful time.
Like keeping a journal, yoga is another popular method that not only helps relieve stress but is also a form of exercise. Two birds, one stone! But seriously, practising yoga has a common goal, which is to join the body and the mind. Your body and mind work together as one to enhance your mood to a more relaxed state. Yoga also lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, which is what your body needs to be rid of stress. You might find it difficult in the beginning, but like most things, if you keep doing it on a regular basis and really put your mind to it, you will reap the benefits.
We’d love to hear what your stress relief methods are or ones you’ve tried, but don’t work. We are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but all our social media accounts are still open and active. We’re here to provide entertainment, help and inspiration in any way we can. Feel free to DM/email us for updates or just to chat. We will keep our Smile Labs Parramatta community updated on any future changes, so in the meantime, stay safe everyone and keep smiling!
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