With the entire world on stand-by and people spending more time at home than ever, stress, anxiety, and fear for the future is inevitable. Your work routine, family dynamics, social life, and free time are all changing and you’re forced to adapt no matter what.
You can also look at the situation another way: if you work from home, you now have extra time in the morning to sleep longer, prepare breakfast without rushing, or do some exercises. After finishing work, instead of being stuck in traffic, you can take a long shower, take a nap, or do something that helps you relax.
We’re in the same shoes and we want to help, so here are 11 simple ways for stress relief in lockdown that’ll help you find your calm, improve your sleep, and be a little happier every day.
1. Eat a Healthy, Fresh, Balanced Diet
What you eat can have a profound impact on your mental health and stress levels. Fresh, unprocessed food rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will give you energy, brain power, and focus without leaving you craving for more.
Start implementing superfoods into your diet, try new recipes, and be conscious about the times you reach for a snack. When grocery shopping, always carry a list with you and stick to it so you don’t buy junk food just because they’re on discount.
Finally, drink a lot of water, tea, and fresh juices instead of sodas, shakes, or sugar-loaded beverages.
2. Avoid Constantly Reading or Watching the News
Being informed about what’s happening in the world is one thing, but watching the news constantly and panicking about things you can’t control can be detrimental for your health. There’s information coming at you from all sides and if you’re not selective with what you consume, your stress levels will go through the roof.
Instead, limit your news intake to one news segment per day and more importantly, do not believe everything you read or see on the internet and social media. Use screen time more productively - watch a funny movie or TV show, take an online course, play music or meditation videos, and give your mind a break from information overload.
3. Do Something You Truly Enjoy
Before lockdown, you probably used the “I don’t have time, I’m too busy” excuse whenever it came to doing the things you love, but you now realize time was never the issue. This is why now is the best time to start a new hobby, develop your talents, and do things that make you happy.
Whether it’s reading a good book, doing crafts, learning new skills, or writing your next bestselling novel, your heart and mind will thank you for it.
4. Do Daily Exercises
Staying active even when you’re spending the entire day at home is essential for your physical and mental health. Even light stretches in the morning will do wonders for your energy and productivity, especially if you work from home.
You’ll find thousands of free videos online for yoga, Pilates, weight lifting, and exercises for beginners. You can also run up and down the stairs of your home or around your backyard for a light cardio.
5. Declutter Your Home
There’s something very soothing and satisfying about cleaning and decluttering your home. If you were strapped for time before lockdown, now you can tackle one room at a time.
Get rid of old stuff you haven’t used in a while, deep-clean the fridge, or start a gardening project. You can also make cleaning a family activity where everyone will have a chore and get a special reward once the house is spotless.
6. Commit to Practicing Yoga
You don’t have to be a yogi master to start doing yoga or special props. All you need is a yoga mat, comfy loungewear, and commitment. Practicing every day for at least 30 minutes will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Yoga can help with posture, pain relief, increased blood flow, immunity boost, mental clarity and focus, and improved sleep. Here are a few easy yoga poses to help you wake up and start the day full of energy and vitality.
7. Learn Deep Breathing
One of the simplest, most effective ways to instantly calm down and balance out your nervous system is deep breathing. Start by taking a deep breath counting to 4, then hold your breath counting to 4, and release your breath counting to 4. Keep breathing like this for at least 5 minutes (or more if you can).
You can do deep breathing in a lotus pose, on a chair, lying down, or standing up. As long as you feel your body and mind relaxing, you’re doing it right.
8. Have a Pampering Spa Day
When all days start to look the same, you can assign one day of the week to take a break, enjoy some time alone, and pamper yourself. You can have a spa day with scented candles, fizzy bath bombs, DIY face and hair masks, a glass of wine (or coffee), aromatherapy, or anything that would make you feel good.
Self-care can have a different meaning for you than spa days and pampering. The important thing is to be gentle with yourself, take each day as it comes, and remember to put yourself first.
9. Try Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation is one of the oldest spiritual practices that’s becoming a modern-day synonym for stress relief, coping with life problems, and finding peace. In fact, just 20 minutes of daily meditation, whether it’s guided or silent, can change your entire perspective on life and offer over 70 health and wellness benefits.
10. Stay Connected to Family and Friends
Social distancing and being in lockdown means so many people are away from their family, friends, and loved ones.
You can do FaceTime, conference calls, group activities online, watch movies together at the same time, or text each other daily. This will bring you a sense of normalcy in your day and you’ll maintain strong relationships that’ll last long after lockdown.
11. Start Planning Your Life After Lockdown
Just like you make New Year’s resolutions and set new goals for the months to come, you can do the same for your life after lockdown.
There’s something very soothing in imagining your ideal life, accomplishing your goals, and starting over, so make use of this time to put your plans on paper. You can view this as a new beginning and start adopting new habits, new mindset, and a new outlook on life.
Now It’s Your Turn: Use These Tips To Relax Your Mind and Body and Relieve Stress During Lockdown
On a collective level, we’re dealing with unexpected changes in our daily routines and a new way of life. Though being in lockdown and practicing social distancing are much-needed precaution measures, they’re taking a toll on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
While staying at home, take some time to find activities that help you relax, reduce your stress levels, and keep your head above the water.
Frosina A. Ivanovic is a content marketing specialist and writer. She’s passionate about quality coffee, travel, wellness, and digital marketing. You can connect with Frosina on LinkedIn or her website, Zhillmatic.