Having stable mental health and good physical health should be our top priority, especially now we are still living in a pandemic. News reports and recent scientific research shows that the rate of depression and other mental health issues increased at the start of the pandemic. According to a research conducted in the United States last June 2020, about 40% of adults reported that they’re struggling with depression and other issues as well as substance abuse. In this regard, we want to remind everyone that relieving stress is one of the most important priorities that should be on your routine on a daily basis. So, we want to discuss all about self-care and its benefits, as well as some of the different self-care activities that you can indulge into.
Stress and anxiety is a part of our everyday life. We can’t avoid it so the best we can do is to have ways that can reduce its effects on our well-being. Learning how to manage these two effectively will diminish the side effects that you can encounter from stress. These side effects can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. Hence, being able to cooldown, pause, and reflect even for just 15 to 30 minutes a day can help in balancing your well-being. Each one of us has different mechanisms in relieving stress because we tend to enjoy different things. There are things that others find enjoyable that we find boring and there are things that we find enjoyable, yet they are boring for others. However, there are general hobbies that everyone can agree on and there are activities that psychologists recommend because they are proven to be good for our mental health.
Learn Why Self-care is Important
Being able to love yourself and manifesting it through different self-care activities is one of the ways to keep you healthy, both inside and out. Because of the societal conditions that we are presently living in, where it’s full of demands from our career as we need to pay the bills, we tend to forget the importance of taking a break for the sake of our sanity and physical health. Many people often think that taking a break is a waste of time or it’s counterproductive to their productive daily routine. However, self-care isn’t just about going to salons or facial spas, or watching movies, it can be simple activities that you can enjoy such as hobbies. There are many hobbies that you can immerse yourself into without disrupting your productive routine. Thus, they can even teach you new skills that are practical for daily life.
Self-care is important because it diminishes the possibilities of having a burnout. Thus, they can significantly improve your mood, especially if you're feeling low. Studies have also discovered that incorporating a self-care routine in your schedule can improve concentration, and brain function. It can also help in alleviating negative emotions such as anger and sadness. Most importantly, it helps in lowering the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A List of Activities that Can Help in Relieving Stress
Walking to the park:
A simple walk or jog to your local park can help in increasing your serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for improving our mood, stabilizing our feelings, and increasing the sense of happiness. Incorporating this to your daily routine, even just for a minimum of 10 minutes can reduce stress, especially when you take your pet with you.
This may seem uncanny but exercise is a very powerful tool to combat stress. Studies have found that people who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t. Thus, exercise can help in reducing stress hormones, increasing confidence, and improving mood stability.
Start a hobby:
It doesn’t matter what type of hobby you’ll pursue. Whether it’s painting, dancing, photography, solving puzzles, jewelry-making, pottery, and so much more, all these types of hobbies can help in reducing stress and they’re enjoyable to make.
Writing your feelings in a notebook allows you to express your feelings and emotions without giving you the frustration that you might get judged because of what you feel. This is a very simple activity yet it has drastic impacts on your well-being. If you feel like writing is not your thing, consider doing an art journal. Just like a regular journal, an art journal allows you to express your thoughts but with the incorporation of visual arts and creativity. Moreover, journaling is a good way to record the things you’re grateful for, track self-improvement, and so forth.
A short activity that allows you to reflect and be serene with your surroundings helps you to focus and concentrate on the moment which relieves your anxiety by helping you stop thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Meditation helps you to think things thoroughly and have peace with yourself.
Tips in Relieving Stress
Eat more healthy food:
Having a balanced diet and eating right is a long-term solution in combating stress and anxiety. Nutritional food that provides different vitamins and minerals. The healthier you eat, the better you can handle stress which helps you avoid stress eating.
Setting a daily schedule that has a realistic time frame for your body to sleep and recuperate its energy back can also help in relieving stress. It calms you, it restores your body’s vigor, it regulates your mood, and it helps in improving focus and concentration to help you in your activities for the next day.
Mindfulness is a practice of staying in the present moment instead of thinking about the past and worrying about what the future may bring. By learning how to be mindful, you’re also avoiding negative thinking which is the number one contributor to stress. So, remember to take it one second at a time, a minute at a time, and learn how to live one day at a time.
Practice gratitude on a daily basis by writing down the things you are grateful for:
Instead of anchoring yourself from all the negative things in your life, think about the great things and think about the things that you’re thankful for daily. Record it down in a journal as it can help you to look at the brighter side of life.
Socialize with your friends and loved ones:
Another factor that leads to stress is isolation. So as much as possible, open up to your loved ones and friends whenever you have sentiments or you feel like you want to voice out something. Thus, connecting with them brings more joy to our life.