A total of 70% of adults in the United States feel stress and anxiety on a daily basis. The COVID-19 crisis had increased the level of anxiety and stress among students. The pandemic has left a substantial impact on the lives of all Americans, and it will continue doing so. Especially the devastating loss of human lives have caused immense trauma and stress for friends and families who have died or got infected. The lives of Americans have been thrown into chaos in countless ways like financial distress, losing jobs, change of education system and uncertain futures for themselves and their nation.
Chronic stress and anxiety are quite common among American citizens. They have symptoms like agitation, racing heart, nervousness, agitation and chest pain. It is high time that you focus on self-care during such stressful times. The first step towards feeling better is identifying the cause. But stress is not something to befriend in your life. This blog post will share 10 best self-care tips that can help you fight stress and anxiety.
Do regular exercises
Exercises may not make your stress disappear but will reduce the emotional intensity you are feeling. It will clear out your thoughts and let you deal with your problems calmly. It is one of the best ways to combat stress. Exercises will relieve you from constant mental stress. It will be more impactful when you exercise regularly. Find an exercise you like or activity you enjoy like dancing, rock climbing, walking, or jogging.
Here are some benefits of exercises:
- Exercising will lower stress hormones like cortisol in your body. It also helps to release endorphins, a vital chemical that will improve your mood and also acts as natural painkillers.
- It will improve your sleep quality.
- Regular exercises also make you feel confident and competent in your promotion, thus promoting your mental wellbeing.
Spend quality time with your friends and family
Social support from family and friends is another great way to get through stressful times. When you are a part of a friend network, it gives you a sense of self-worth and belonging, which will help you during your tough times.
Spending time with your near and dear ones helps release oxygen, a natural stress reliever. This effect is particularly called “tend and befriend”. As per a study, people with the fewest social connections are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depressions. Spending quality time with your friends and family will build your confidence and reassure you that you are not living alone.
Listen to soothing music
Listening to music will leave a very relaxing effect on your body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce relaxation by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Some of the most common types of soothing music are classical music, Indian music, Celtic music and native American music. Even nature sounds can also have a calming effect on people. Thus, this type of music is often incorporated as meditation and relaxation music.
Practice deep breathing
Stress hormones are released during a stressful period and experience physical symptoms like quicker breathing, faster heartbeat, and constricted blood vessels. But performing deep breathing exercises will help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response. You can try different types of deep breathing exercises like belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, paced respiration, and abdominal breathing.
Your goal should be to focus your awareness on your heart, thus making it deeper and slower. As you deeply breathe through the nose, your lungs will expand fully, and your belly will rise. This will make your heart rate slower, thus making you feel more peaceful.
Carve out hobby time
You should always find some time for your hobby. It can be reading, playing the guitar, gardening, dancing, painting, or other creative pursuits. Make sure to engage yourself in activities that bring you joy and pleasure. It will reduce your stress level and heart rate too. Spending time doing what you love will break the monotony from your life and make your life more meaningful and valuable.
Make sure to take enough sleep
If you tend to get sleep less than 7-8 hours, your body will not tolerate stress. If stress keeps you up late at night, make sure that you address the cause and include extra meditation in your life. Sleep deprivation can increase your stress level. If you do not get proper sleep, you can fall sick and not handle stress properly.
Take a vacation
Taking a vacation is a great way to reset your stress tolerance. So leave your laptop at home and turn off your phone and enjoy some vacay time. It will make you a happier and productive person upon return. Taking a vacation is necessary to refresh and rejuvenate your mind. Vacation will help you get rid of the stress and enjoy some MERRY time.
Stay away from procrastination.
Another way of controlling your stress properly is staying on top of your priorities and stopping procrastination. It will lead you to act reactively, leaving you to catch up. This will cause unnecessary stress, negatively affecting your sleep quality and health. Create a to-do list habit, and it should be organised based on your priority.
Make sure to give realistic deadlines and then work your way down the list. Staying on top of the to-do list will help you ward off procrastination-related stress. You can also contact writing help experts who suggest some great tips to avoid procrastination.
Discuss your concerns with someone
Don’t just keep everything in yourself or hesitate to confide in a family member or friend you trust. They will probably be able to give you some useful advice. But, even if they don’t, just letting your concerns or sharing them with others will also be enough as it will feel like a weight off your chest.
If you are under tremendous stress or anxiety, make sure to consult a psychologist or attend a counselling session. These professionals can surely prescribe some effective remedies that can help you reduce your anxiety and stress.
Write it down
Writing things down is a great practice to reduce stress and anxiety. Try focusing on what is positive in your life and then jot them down. You can write your thoughts in a journal or a diary. Research suggests that journaling your thoughts helps people cope with anxiety in a better way. A 2016 study suggests that creative writing helps children and teens to manage anxiety in a better way.
Overcoming a difficult situation is not easy or possible every time. Thus, focus on the things over which you have control. But do not let it overwhelm you and take control of your life. Focusing on self-care will definitely help you return to your normal routine. These self-care tips will help you respond to stressful situations and help you cope better in life. However, if the stress in your life goes untreated, it can potentially cause serious physical and mental health problems.
Jason Park has completed his MA in one of the top institutions in the USA. He is also associated with Assignmenthelp.us, where he offers study help services to students.