Stress is an important and natural stimulant that compels us to adapt to a new environment or lifestyle change. It causes a physiological response that helps us either flee or fight the threat or stressor. But spending too much time on high alert can have damaging health effects.Prolonged, unwanted and unmanageable stresses like the ones so many people are facing during the pandemic can take a toll, causing anxiety, irritability, nervousness, sleeplessness and digestive upsets. Stress can also aggravate or even trigger chronic diseases.
Here are some easy, natural ways to cope:
1. Write a gratitude list. Grab a blank piece of paper and write down a list of things that you are grateful for. This has been proven to drastically improve one’s mood and completely change their perspective. You might even consider making this a daily habit and keeping a journal.
2. Do a random act of kindness. Consider donating to an organisation feeding those in need or asking an elderly neighbor if you can pick anything up for them at the store. Give a colleague a compliment. It feels good to do good.
3. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Think about that person you used to be close to but just haven’t had the time to catch up with. Go ahead and give them a call or arrange to video chat! They will appreciate hearing from you, and reconnecting can put you both in a much better mood.
4. Go for a walk. Step outside and enjoy the fresh air. Going for a walk can help to clear your head.
5. Meditate. You don’t need to invest a lot of time. Meditating for even just five to 10 minutes can reduce stress and anxiety.
While a certain amount of stress is normal and natural, too much of it for too long can have harmful health impacts. To cope safely, take natural steps to relieve tension and worry.