Managing Stress and Anxiety
In 2021, when there's an ongoing pandemic, dealing with stress and anxiety is more common than ever. Things went wrong unwarned, and the new reality has brought us many fears, worries, problems, griefs, and changes in our routines. As a result, millions around the globe are now looking for ways to cope with stress and find ways to lower their cortisol levels.
Even before the COVID19 outbreak, stress had been an inevitable part of our existence. It can sometimes be a lifesaver; stress produces the fight-or-flight response, so we can run and escape it when there is a danger. However, it may start happening too often when there is no life-threatening situation or may last too long. Chronic stress can suppress the effectiveness of our immune system and cause numerous health problems.
Modern life makes people feel constantly pressured and busy. Sometimes it's due to digital technology advancements, and sometimes only because we have too much on our plates and are trying to do more than our mental and physical resources allow.
The internet is full of countless tips on how to relieve stress. Still, we have decided to put together ideas on coping with stress that goes beyond taking a deep breath or jogging around the block, although these may work wonders for many people.
While you may not be able to prevent stress-causing events or impact the environment around you, it's essential to find methods that will help you stay relaxed, focused, and maintain your mental health.
Build a Self-Care Routine
Too much stress can feel too overwhelming to think about a self-care routine. However, building one will help you reduce stress and feel more energized and focused. A self-care routine isn't about stocking up on pricey and trendy skin-care products to put on your Instagram story or buying a gym membership but understanding what makes you feel better and doing it regularly.
For some people, it's drinking a glass of water every morning, and for others, it's taking their favorite supplements after breakfast or going for a nice walk in the evening. Do what makes you feel better, healthy, and well. Building a self-care routine will help you achieve your goals, feel better, and have a more predictable day; therefore, you feel less stressed.
Set the Goals You Can Achieve
One of the primary reasons people feel constantly stressed is that they set goals they can't accomplish or take too long to achieve. Although you should dream big and allow yourself to freely think of what you want, setting goals such as having a house villa when you only have a couple of thousand dollars in your bank account is a lifetime goal that may take an entire lifetime to achieve.
Although it's normal and essential to set lifetime goals, you shouldn't forget about short-term goals. Sometimes people don't have the patience and start stressing out about their plans, forgetting about simple goals they can complete daily, such as decorating their own house, cleaning the room, taking out the garbage, or going to the gym.
If you want to own a villa, you probably want to be rich and have an upscale lifestyle. Even though you can't build a mansion now, you can start becoming a person who can own one in the future. If you wake up in the afternoon and start procrastinating, then it's time to change your schedule for good.
Most successful people wake up early, and it's not surprising as it allows you to accomplish more throughout the day, stay organized, and have more energy. It's essential to set the goals you can achieve in short terms, such as changing your schedule, waking up early, or doing simple housework, bringing a sense of accomplishment, and making you feel more optimistic about the future.
One of the primary reasons we feel stressed is due to automatic negative thoughts. Sometimes you may get stuck in negative thinking unintentionally, perhaps because your boss was unfair to you, your friend made fun of your physical appearance, or your girlfriend complained about you being too sensitive.
It's easy to start replaying unpleasant situations in your head, thinking of what you should have said and what would they respond, and get stuck in the negative thought loop.
One of the most fun ways to relieve stress and distract yourself from negative thinking is cooking, which also allows you to enjoy a healthier meal instead of ordering from a fast-food restaurant. When you cook, you don't have so much time to focus on negativity rather than a recipe and the meal's ingredients. It's also a fun way to spend your evening, and once your dish is ready, you have a sense of accomplishment, feel more confident, and probably more optimistic.
Listen to Podcasts
You may feel too irritated to read a book or too busy to sit down to watch a video, so podcasts may provide the most wonderful way to calm down and cope with stress.
One of the primary ways of getting better when feeling stressed is setting an intention to get better.
When you start listening to podcasts to relieve stress, it may start working even before you finish streaming the episode. Besides, podcasts are easy to add to your daily schedule because they are short, and you can listen to them whenever you need them at any place, using your headphones.
There are numerous calming de-stressing podcasts you can start listening to relieve stress and anxiety. Some podcasts offer mindful meditation, and some guide you to a better understanding of your mind and ways to deal with stressful situations.
Cut Back on Social Media to Reduce Stress
Scrolling social media has become our daily habit, especially during the pandemic when the internet has become the primary way to achieve many goals, including learning, working, and shopping.
Spending so much time on the internet has resulted in the increased usage of social media. Although it can help us stay productive and connect with others, many start checking their feeds at work, at meetings, or even on a date that can turn into endless social media scrolling. Oh wait, where did your date go? You don't even know when she left cause you were too busy checking out someone's profile and comparing your life to theirs.
Spending too much time on social media can stress you out and worsen your anxiety for many reasons; first of all, you may see disturbing news on social media that will leave you worried. Secondly, you may unintentionally compare yourself to others; someone has already bought a house villa, and you're already 28 years old and can't even afford the phone you want – what a shame. Or your recent Instagram post isn't getting any likes, while your friend's post is getting hundreds. Isn't that stressful? Oh wait, there's an ad for a house that looks like one of your dreams, but it costs more money than you have ever seen in your bank account.
Cutting back on social media can be beneficial to your mental health, help reduce stress, and stay focused on daily tasks. It doesn't mean you need to remain offline and keep away from your digital devices, but limit the time you spend scrolling and maybe don't do it every couple of minutes if you already feel stressed.
To recap, here're the five tips to reduce stress:
- Build a self-care routine
- Set short-term goals you can achieve
- Start cooking to distract yourself from negative thinking
- Listen to de-stressing podcasts
- Cut back on social media
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