The coronavirus has everyone shook. The world is consumed by anxiety and a lot of us are worrying about the outbreak from the confines our home. Let’s discuss some stress relief tips for at home.
With social distancing, the uncertainty of how long we might need to stay indoors, and concern around community spreading, it is natural for stress to set in.
During stressful times, temporary lapses in behavior are common. You may seek distractions that only burden your mind and escalate your negative feelings. Or you may do nothing to shift your thoughts and energy towards something positive that lightens your mood and eliminates stress.
Based on this premise, we have some effective stress relief tips that you should definitely try.
Limit device time
For those who are able to work from home, devices and extended screen time are an absolute necessity. But it’s important to limit your use when off the clock, particularly when you’re feeling stressed. Every time you check your phone, you’re inviting a bit of stress.
When you hear an alert on your phone or check it, you activate your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for directing the body’s involuntary response to stressful or dangerous situations. Each instance releases adrenaline, one of two hormones the body’s stress system relies on, the other being cortisol.
Adrenaline triggers the release of chemicals that increase heart rate, muscle tension, and pulse rate, pushing energy from the brain to the muscles. It takes you thirty minutes to return to your previous state of relaxation.
While many of us are already in a state of emotional disturbance, constantly heeding to the alerts on your phone won’t make it better.
- Check your phone only a few times per day for a few minutes. Maybe you want to prioritize messages, platforms or specific apps.
- Same goes for social media. When the mind is racing with confusing thoughts, the last thing you want is to scan through your feed and spend brain power into processing all the information.
- If you need to check on medical or government advisory, pick 1-2 sources (say the WHO or CDC) or watch the news channel you’ve come to trust.
Video chat with friends and family
Humans are social animals. Social connections help reduce stress. If you live by yourself, a video chat with friends, co-workers, or family members, is a productive use of your smartphone or tablet. Especially when you need to fill your mind with positivity.
There’s a good chance that those who are feeling under the weather, isolating from a pandemic, or seeking interaction after or before work, will want to chat and cheer up. A video chat with multiple people at once can also be fun and will likely result in lots of laughter and less stress.
Stay active indoors
Doing anything other than worrying doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Like to sing? Belt out a tune or sing along to your favorite song on the radio to release endorphins and oxytocin, enhancing feelings of pleasure and alleviating anxiety.
A study in the Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that forty-five minutes of creativity activity substantially reduces stress in the body. No matter what your artistic talent or experience.
Your art or craft project can be anything really. DIY home décor, an idea for a dress or a fully accessorized look for a future event, acrylic vs watercolor painting, abstract art or cartooning, knitting, and so on.
If you’re feeling up to it, clean out your closet. Maybe separate the clothes and accessories you wish to donate, you could rid your cabinets of old or outdated products, or even rearrange your furniture.
Be useful to others, but only if you have the physical stamina for it. It could be a good time to help out with household chores, which are more or less mindless activities but give you a much-needed break from the current concerns.
Get restful sleep
A lack of sleep can drive up stress levels so follow these stress relief tips. But you may be wondering how you can possibly enjoy restful sleep if you’re up worrying about the future? Certain bedtime rituals can help you relax and drift to sleep a few minutes after your head hits the pillow.
A warm bath is very effective. Hot water has a relaxing effect on the body, increasing the body temperature and relaxing the muscles, essentially preparing you for a nice slumber.
Another sleep-inducing tactic is a totally dark bedroom. Studies have shown that darkened bedrooms can not only improve quality of sleep but also lessen depressive symptoms.
Restful sleep may help reset your brain, which is why you feel better and mentally refreshed after a deep sleep. When problems are weighing heavily on your mind, relaxation and sleep can refresh your focus and help you shift to a positive emotional space.
Be understanding with yourself
Coronavirus is a major concern and needs to be taken seriously. However, our emotional and physical health should not take a back seat.
If you have a family to take care of, think about how they might feel upon noticing your stress symptoms. The time spent recharging your mind and boosting your spirits will help you navigate uncertainty and gloomy circumstances effectively. For you and for them.
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About the writer
Director of Creative Strategy
Greg is Quotacy’s senior content strategist. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.