Everyone experiences stress but stress can either be constructive or destructive. Stress, when effectively managed and handled, can result in an increase in productivity and getting work done. However, if constantly placed under stress coupled with the inability to manage it, this can result in many undesirable or even harmful outcomes.
In view of the current COVID working from home arrangements, many researches have shown that working remotely can cause the feeling of isolation and frequent burnouts, thus taking a toll on one’s mental health.
This makes it even more crucial to be equipped with the knowledge and power to properly handle stress.
Hence, here are a few ways to cope with stress!
1 Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system. It increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. This is extremely important in our current COVID context and the working from home arrangements. Especially since we tend to be glued to our workstations. Research has shown that even a daily 20-minute walk can make a difference.
Also, strength-training has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety for individuals with and without an anxiety disorder. Weightlifting using exercise equipment or household items (textbooks, canned goods, paint cans) may help us to reduce the negative effects of stress and anxiety too.
More details on why exercising is so important (especially during this pandemic) can be found here.
2 Connect with People
If you don’t talk about your challenges, you may find your pent-up tensions or feelings burst out in a way that is embarrassing or inappropriate. You might also start to find things getting worse if you do not try to get on top of them straight away. While these emotions continue to bubble subconsciously, it will become more difficult to manage them in the long run.
Talking with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Volunteering is actually one of the best and most meaningful ways to connect with people. Check out our post on volunteering opportunities here!
3 Practice Meditation and Stress Reduction
The only person who can manage and keep stress levels in check would be yourself, making self regulation is must to have. Meditation is the best tool to do so and can be practised anytime and anywhere.
Relaxation techniques activate a state of restfulness that counterbalances your body’s adrenaline (hormones that prepare the body for the fight-or-flight response). If you are more advanced into this personal practice, you might want to consider taking a mindfulness-based stress reduction course to learn effective, lasting tools.
Being mindful is one way to focus your thoughts and consider the big picture. Is your stressful situation worth getting stressed about? Will it matter in the long run?
Here is a simple and easy-to-follow guide to meditation for beginners.
4 Carve out Hobby Time
Expressing your creativity through the means of dance or making music/playing musical instruments can be a great way to keep your stress levels in check. These hobbies can be a great outlet for you to express your emotions freely without judgment. Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy; research has shown that they reduce stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate too.
Here is a small test from Buzzfeed that can help you in finding which hobby you should try next!
During this COVID period with companies adopting working from home arrangements, it is crucial that everyone should be responsible for their own mental wellbeing. Do not be afraid to voice out your concerns or any stress that you might be facing to people around you. We hope that the few solutions that we have suggested will be able to help you cope with your stress!