Everyone’s stress levels are understandably high during our current pandemic. As healers, we’ve put together a list of stress management resources to help you get through this time. We’re here to support you as we all figure this out together!
If you aren’t quite sure if the stress is getting to you, check out Dr. Samina’s article here to learn how to tell if you are stressed!
1. Keep Moving
Exercise is one of the absolute best stress-busters. Whether it’s working out with weights in your basement, or following a bodyweight workout, staying active is one of your best options to keep stress and anxiety in check.
2. Remember: You don’t have to figure it all out now.
Remember that you’re not alone in figuring this out. It can be overwhelming to try to plan for the future when things are uncertain, and the situation keeps evolving. Take things one day at a time—answers and solutions will reveal themselves as time passes. Stay in the present moment as much as possible.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is key for stress management. Try to get at least 7 hours per night, or even more if you need it. Sleep is a major regulator of cortisol production, which is the hormone most impacted by stress.
4. Get Out Of Your Head: Do Something With Your Hands
If you find your mind turning things over and over, get started on a physical task that will help you attain a sense of accomplishment. For example, cleaning out a closet, organizing your paperwork, or even preparing meals in advance to freeze. These tasks keep you focused and will make your life less stressful. Best of all, they are things that you CAN do right now, so you’re not spinning in circles, feeling lost.
5. Stay Connected to Friends and Family via Virtual Methods
Our connections with friends and family are vital at times like these. Reach out to an old friend, or give your elderly relative a call. Stay in touch with your friends and ask for help and support if you need it. If you can communicate via video calls, even better! Voice connection is great, and being able to see one another, even at a distance, is even better.
This kind of human connection can make a world of difference for alleviating stress and worry.
5. Talk to the Right People
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to ask for help or reach out for a conversation or support. A supportive friend, a trusted psychologist, or counselor can go a long way in lifting you up and helping you feel grounded in uncertain times.
5. Moderate your News and Social Media Consumption
Keeping an eye on the news is important, but it can also be incredibly stressful. So can social media, which can seem like a constant scroll of bad news, judgement, worry, and arguments!
Here are a couple of tips to help you manage that:
1. Limit your time on social media, particularly if you’re feeling stressed. Only check in once or twice per day.
2. “Unfollow” on Facebook or “Mute” on Instagram are great options to use on social media. They’re particularly effective if you have specific friends who repeatedly post things that make you feel anxious or upset. These settings will stop posts from appearing on your newsfeed, and you’ll remain “friends” with the person—no hurt feelings!
5. Eat Well
A healthy diet is important for good mental health. As a result, be sure to include sufficient protein (a general guideline is 60-75 grams per day for women), and create balanced, healthful meals including vegetables. Frozen veggies are a great option for quarantine cooking. Add in healthy fats, and slow-burn carbs like quinoa, legumes, and root vegetables.
Avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates:these cause a blood sugar rollercoaster over the course of the day. Each time our blood sugar drops, our cortisol rises—thus impacting our ability to regulate stress responses optimally.
5. Keep it Light
Reading a book, or watching a happy movie or a funny TV show can lift your mood and create a sense of normalcy during this time. Additionally, a great way to keep things light is to spend time with your pets!
5. Mindfulness, Meditation and Relaxation
It’s important to take time out of your day to specifically transition your nervous system into parasympathetic mode. This mode is present when you are safe and relaxed, and promotes healing, digestive function, sleep, and proper neurotransmitter balance.
It’s the opposite of “flight or fight” mode, which is where many people’s nervous systems are living these days, understandably!
Help your brain and body get out of that state by spending 15 minutes daily in a parasympathetic-inducing exercise
Headspace App: Learn to meditate for beginners. Free options during COVID-19.
Calm App: Meditation, Visualization for Stress. Free Trial.
Circle and Bloom: Guided visualizations that are specific to women’s health, fertility and pregnancy. 20% off during COVID-19. Some Free Options
Online Restorative Yoga Classes – 2 Months of FREE yoga during COVID-19 at Do Yoga With Me
Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise for Parasympathetic Activation
Creating Art, Adult Colouring, or Drawing
Journaling: Buy a beautiful journal and start writing!
Knitting and Needlework
Aromatherapy Basic Mindfulness Exercise:
Add aromatherapy to a diffuser: some great options are lavender, clary sage, sweet orange, and geranium. Close the door and simply sit, relax and enjoy the scent of the oil. Bring your awareness to the present moment, noticing details of your sensory environment including sounds, smells and physical sensations. 5-15 minutes of mindfulness can make a major difference in how you feel.
Ram Dass: Guided Meditations and Mantras from Ram Dass, Yoga Meditation
Key Takeaways from this article
- You are not alone. Reach out to friends and family for support!
- Control what enters your attention and mental space including social media and news.
- Take care of your body – get sleep, eat well and exercise
- 5-15 minutes per day of a parasympathetic activating activity can make a major difference for stress
- Keep it light – focus on humour, laughter, pets and joy whenever possible!
To Get More Support for Stress and Anxiety:
Our Licensed Naturopathic Doctors are offering natural support for stress and anxiety during this time by telemedicine.
We can provide an array of customized lifestyle suggestions, herbal medicines and supplements to regulate cortisol response and promote healthy neurotransmitter balance.
To book an appointment, please click below!