There are many de-stressing cures out there, but often they are time consuming and expensive. As many of us continue to live within the walls of our homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re feeling burnout in increasingly alarming rates. The lack of novelty, face-to-face interactions, and often boundaries between work and home life make for an energy draining, stress-infused workday. That’s why I’ve gathered some tips to destress with your existing resources. You can follow my newsletter, https://wabisabiletter.substack.com/, for more. Find the suggestions below:
Meditation: Specifically mantra meditation. A mantra is a word or phrase silently repeated over and over again in your head for a series of time in a serene environment. You might notice that first your mind floats to things like grocery lists, past conversations, but then slowly your mantra quiets your mind bringing you to the present moment. You might notice that your self-referred thinking decreases, cultivating a greater sense of compassion for others. This is due to the reduced activity in the brain’s default mode network, which regulates both of those experiences.
Guided imagery sessions: Similar to meditation, guided imagery involves you listening to recordings of peaceful scenery, or imagining yourself in a quiet, peaceful environment. It enables you to close your eyes and get lost in the present moment. Of course, Youtube has amazing guided imagery playlists to explore.
Simple Breathing Exercises: Even mindful breathing can increase awareness of self and bring your heart rate down, minimizing feelings of stress and anxiety. Here are some tips that can be practiced anywhere:
1. Breathe in through your nose and watch your belly fill with air. Count slowly to three as you inhale. Hold for one second and then slowly breathe out through your nose as you count to three again.
2. Breathe in through your nose and imagine that you’re inhaling peaceful, calm air. Imagine that air spreading throughout your body. As you exhale, imagine that you’re breathing out stress and tension.
Take A Walk: There really is value to taking a breath of fresh air and getting your heart rate up during particularly busy or stressful seasons. There are studies to support that being in nature increases feelings of happiness and even creativity. If you’re stumped on a particularly task, consider taking a quick walk around the block. It will likely enable you to pick up your project with fresh eyes and a better mood.
KonMari Your Habits: Easier said than done. But stress can often be exacerbated from various external factors that you might not even be aware of. Consider switching from coffee to decaf herbal tea after a certain time in the day. You may not realize it on a conscious level but consuming too much caffeine, drinking alcohol, and even being glued to your phone on breaks can significantly increase feelings of stress in your life.
Balance is key in everything in life. Not to mention, positive social support. It might be tough to connect in-person, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Know your limits and boundaries as they relate to your relationship with stress, and provide positive support for your friends as well.
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