Feeling stressed out is an understandable response in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic gave us a double hit of stress by the initial shock of living through a pandemic, and then just as we were adjusting to that, stopping every aspect of normal life.
Stress comes in many forms. Acute stress is the type of stress that happens and is then over quickly, leaving relatively little damage in its wake. Chronic stress, on the other hand, is the type of stress that occurs on a more regular basis and creates far more damage in the body, including everything from greater susceptibility to colds and the flu to a higher risk of heart disease.
Here are some coping strategies for when you feel overwhelmed:
Take a walk: Exercise can be a great stress reliever in itself, as it helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins. Taking a walk when stressed can bring you the benefits of exercise both short-term and long-term, and it provides the bonus of getting you out of the stressful situation.
Take a breath: Getting more oxygen into your body and releasing physical tension are two ways that breathing exercises can benefit you, and you can do them anytime or anywhere, even if your demanding situation isn’t letting up.
Take a mental break: If you can steal away a few minutes of peace, visualizations and guided imagery are a wonderful way to restore peace of mind.
Meditate: Doing a daily meditation significantly reduced stress and anxiety from multiple types of negative events. It may also help your immune system, which could help fight colds and viruses.
Once you’ve been able to calm down, you should be in a better position to address whatever stressful situations you’re experiencing. It’s also a good idea to adopt a few regular stress relievers and healthy lifestyle habits so that you can reduce your overall stress level so that you experience less stress and are less bothered by the stressful situations you do encounter.
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