Sadly, we still live in very stressful times. It’s actually been a year since the first lockdown in Belgium and even longer in other countries. I like to think that in the past year we have learned how to destress and remain happy and optimistic.
If you are still struggling with stress, here are a few things that could help you:
1. Follow a daily routine
In these times, we want to feel like we still have a bit of control. Having a daily routine will help with that. Come up with a structured plan for each day which should be divided into small activities. Make sure to make time in this plan for you to do things you enjoy.
2. Exercise or meditate
It comes as no surprise that physical activity and meditation can do wonders for one’s mental health. Exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Meditation means quieting the mind which would calm the mind. Try to exercise or meditate for 15 minutes every day.
3. Listen to music
we listen to music all the time. I am listening to music as I am writing this article. But when you are feeling stressed, listening to calming music will help you. Another thing you could do is dance. Dancing will make you feel good, even if you’re someone who doesn’t normally like dancing. Dancing will make you feel good and, as a bonus, it can be your exercise for the day.
4. Stay connected
With the lockdown and having to stay at home and away from the people we love, it is important to stay in contact with them. It is at these times that we learned how important social media is. Pick up your phone and have a video call with your friends. You will end up talking for hours and really catching up. In our normal daily lives, we were too busy to pause and have a very long conversation with someone but now we can even if it’s through a screen.
5. Take a break
When you have tried many things but are still feeling stressed, just take a break. Sometimes a break is all you need. This break could be a long, much-needed nap, a movie with some popcorn, or binge-watching a TV show. It is perfectly okay to take a day off from everything, we all need it at some point. This is probably why the lockdown was exciting at first, it was an excuse to stay at home and take a breather.
The most important thing is that you remember that it is OK to be stressed. We are humans after all. It is not easy to relax and destress, but it is not impossible.