9 Stress Reduction Techniques During COVID-19
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
This is already a stressful time, there are no two ways around it. School closures, work closures and being at home with the whole family will without a doubt cause some moments of increased tension. And that's in addition to worries we already had about health, family, work and the economy.
We asked the team this weekend to compile our top recommendations for how to relieve stress in your home environment during this time.
If you have a favorite way to reduce stress that’s not on this list - please share! We’ll keep this list updated and growing over the next few weeks.
1. Deep, Mindful Breathing: taking just a few deep breaths is proven to center us, reduce stress and anxiety and even lower our blood pressure. In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations.
2. Get Outside: just a few minutes of nature each day can make us happier people. Make some time to go outside and appreciate the beauty of nature.
3. Laugh: a good laugh will instantly make you feel better, and it’s also great for your health. It relieves your stress response, relaxes tension in your muscles and improves both your immune system and your mood in the long-term. Try watching a funny TV show or hopping on a video chat with a friend who makes you laugh.
4. Take a bath: I know, not many people take baths these days. But it can be a great way to get some alone time, practice your deep breathing and awareness, and the hot water will instantly soothe you and relax your muscles. A hot bath right before bed will also help you sleep better, so this is a great way to end the day.
5. Exercise: even 15 minutes of exercise a day can improve your confidence, reduce your stress hormones, and help you sleep better. This can be simple and can be done anywhere with no equipment: try going for a walk, doing jumping jacks, or trying a free yoga routine.
6. Light a Candle: the essential oils in a candle can help reduce feelings of stress. And if you choose a scent that is especially soothing, several studies show that it can decrease anxiety and improve sleep. Try lavender, rose, orange blossom, cedar, or any scent that brings you relaxation and happiness.
7. Journal: writing your thoughts down can serve as an incredibly powerful tool to get them out of your brain and process them. This doesn’t have to be structured, and you don’t need to have a journal! You can start simple and write down whatever is on your mind. Here are some prompts if you find that helpful, of you can just start by jotting down what you’re grateful for
8. Remember to be grateful: speaking of which, maintaining a grateful mindset is one of the best tools we know about to maintain a happy life. Try starting our ending your day with a list of the things you are grateful. Be a specific as possible when you do this, and try to visualize what the moment, person, or thing you are grateful for in vivid detail.
9. Listen to music: jamming out to your favorite tunes can greatly improve your mood and keep you feeling happy and well. Try making a ‘happy’ playlist that reminds you of good times, people, or places in your life. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, turning that playlist on will help you reset.
We hope these were helpful - if they were please pass them along to your friends. And let us know what else we can add to this article!