It’s obvious that the stress load from the current world situation is unprecedented. Even strong, stable women are feeling the pressure and finding themselves overwhelmed with all that is on their plate and in their minds. Stress is a sneaky, crafty animal that can sneak up on us and pounce when we least expect it. The detrimental impact on mental and physical well being can also be catastrophic.
Though there are things we can’t control, we can change how we react and use coping strategies to get us through the hard times. I understand that doing simple tasks to beat stress may seem like a waste of time, I’ve been there and am currently dealing with it. However, I try to stay focused on gratitude and the things that I know will help. Here are a few that I find well worth my time.
Find What Comforts You
I don’t know about you, but I find comforting myself an excellent way to get ahead of stress. Of course, the comfort zone will be different for each of us. My go-to places and things are a hot bath, snuggling with my kitty, sitting outside, drinking chai, and talking to a friend.
If you are more of an active outdoors type, head out for a walk. Venturing to your local park to be amongst the trees can lower your blood pressure and ease your tension. The natural light also allows you to absorb more Vitamin D, something we all need more of. The movement helps you to release endorphins that help you to feel better almost instantaneously. Being outdoors a little more each day can also help you fall asleep more easily.
During this lockdown, I have struggled at times to eat the foods I know are good for me. The sweets and junk food have called my name on many occasions. Though I do allow myself to indulge occasionally, for the most part, I eat well.
When you feel stressed it’s natural to want comfort food (Yeah, that “comfort” thing from above). That said, comforting ourselves with food all the time will not play out to your advantage. In fact, it will do much more harm than the temporary good it brings on. The truth is, we need to be strong and healthy right now to resist illness. Food can be medicine or it can be poison.
I recommend using this time to prepare nutritious and exciting meals for yourself and your family. Get out your dusty cookbooks and enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. Cooking itself can be a great form of mindfulness and ease your stress. Think about what types of foods light you up when you go out to dinner. Realize that you can learn how to make them and bring that joy to your life anytime. There are also many herbs and different types of kratom that you can put into your recipes to help you to relax.
Start a Project
Focusing on a project can help to calm you and direct your thoughts away from problems. Think about what you love to do that has been put on the back burner for a while now. Now is a great time to resurrect some of those hobbies or long-lost plans. Perhaps you have always wanted to build a shed in the back garden or redecorate the bedroom.
Being productive and having a focus can help you to feel more impactful and purposeful. I’ve heard from several of my friends that they feel they have lost purpose in all of this chaos. I know I have had days that feel helpless and hopeless with the stress mounting up. My projects are there waiting for me to shift my focus. Once I start, the worry just melts away, at least for a while.