Over the course of the past two decades, anxiety rates have been steadily increasing, indicating a larger problem with the ways in which Americans cope with stress. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it should come as no surprise that those numbers continue to rise as the economy tanks week after week. Between worrying about your health, family, career, and finances, odds are very likely that you don’t take enough time to destress.
Did you know that prolonged stress can lead to a myriad of health concerns, including depression, and high blood pressure, obesity, and other harrowing consequences? Thankfully, there are several ways you can address your stress to better manage your stressors in the future. Using this guide, we’ll share six of our favorite self-care methods that are sure to deliver the peace of mind you deserve.
1. Get some exercise
Exercise is a great way to stimulate both your physical and mental health. When you get your muscles moving, mood-boosting chemicals in your brain are activated, leaving you with residual feelings of joy and relaxation. Regular exercise is a great way to wind down and open your mind even when life feels most challenging.
If you’re like most people, finding a workout routine that you can commit to on a regular basis is tough. Your days are busy and if you’ve only got a little time to wind down, getting your heart rate up may not seem like the most appealing past time. Fortunately, there are a number of more low-key exercises you can do that are pleasant and easy to commit to including:
- Aerobic Yoga
Not into solo activities? Consider signing up for group exercise classes with Barry’s, Soul Cycle, or ClassPass.
2. Invest in quality bedding
Sleep is an essential piece to well-rounded stress management. If you’re not able to squeeze in a regular 7-8 hours per night, you could be doing yourself more harm than you know. Whether you’re dealing with insomnia or an uncomfortable bed, it’s well worth your while to invest in bettering your sleep schedule and sleep quality.
The easiest place to start is your bedroom. The comfier your bed, the more likely you’ll be able to lay back, relax, and catch some z’s. This may mean upgrading your mattress to a memory foam model or simply adding a weighted blanket from Layla Sleep into the mix. Whatever it is you choose, be sure to put your comfort levels above all else to secure the good night’s sleep you need.
3. Spend time alone
It’s easy to get so caught up in your never-ending to-do lists—so much so that carving out time for yourself becomes a last priority. However, when you forget to care for yourself, your anxiety can quickly creep up on you and leave you feeling emotionally depleted.
Make the effort to spend some quality me-time with yourself to find your center and relax more. This is a great time to help ease your anxiety and connect with God through prayer.
Here are some other creative ways to spend your alone time:
- Cook dinner for yourself
- Do a DIY spa day
- Create happy, positive playlists
- Plan a future vacation
- Take up water coloring
- Go on a long walk
- Read a good book
- Take a bath
4. Start journaling
There’s no denying that coping with stress is a complicated process. Rather than letting your mind race, take to a pen and paper to write down your thoughts, concerns, ideas, and stressors in a journal. Sometimes the most difficult part of dealing with stress is not having an outlet to freely express what’s on your mind. A journal provides that exact venue you may need to put words to those feelings and release them from your brain. This is one of our favorite self-care methods.
People have been meditating for centuries, using this relaxing practice to center themselves and align their thoughts. There are a number of science-based benefits of meditation that may seem too good to be true, but with a little meditation penciled into your schedule, you can experience those benefits first-hand. Not sure what type of meditation works best for you? There’s nothing wrong with trying your hand at several to find your favorite.
Read up on these popular meditation types:
- Unguided meditation
- Zen meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Yoga meditation
- Chakra meditation
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How do you cope with your stressors? Which of these self-care methods are you eager to try? Let us know in the comments below!
“When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19