In this difficult time we are all dealing with a high level of stress. The COVID-19 crisis has interrupted our lives. The pressure, tension and strain can be overwhelming. Try and take these four steps to reduce stress.
Learning when to stop going through the motions and take an emotional and physical inventory is important. In order to stay happy and healthy mentally and physically we need to learn how to de-stress.
It is in your best interests and in the best interests of the people closest to you, that you start now. Nobody should feel constantly overloaded, unhappy and frustrated. Every relationship and obligation is overwhelming. And your very life can be at risk.
There are some very simple tools that you can use to get rid of the toxic stress in your life.
Understanding that you are experiencing stress is the first step. Stop what you are doing and take a look at what’s going on in your mind and your body.
Do a quick emotional inventory and identify the true source of your stress. In the case of the COVID-19 crisis the source and distress is more obvious.
When you are looking at a more normal situation the picture changes. And you don’t focus on the small stressors (it’s not the deadline, it’s the job), look at the big picture. Be intentional, not distracted.
You have a list now. You know that in most cases the coronavirus epidemic is the primary problem. The list should include fear. And all the things that may feed it.
Not getting enough exercise, job insecurity, boredom, and dealing with the constant presence of those you love. It’s a lot.
You know exactly where to start. You are in the solution and not the problem. If a primary source of your stress is something that you can change, do so now.
Change is not instant. If your life is filled with stress factors you may need to develop a plan to manage the stress.
For instance, if your job is incredibly stressful and you can’t afford to quit…plan to start looking for another job or to talk to your boss. If you develop a plan that you can implement in day-to-day life, this will serve to relax you and reduce stress.
When the issue is more complicated (usually anything that involves relationships) you may need to talk to an objective 3rd party that can help you brainstorm solutions.
From the time that you identified the problem you have started to create solutions. When you are looking at the problem, and discussing solutions, you effectively have stopped internalizing.
Redirect and Refocus Your Energy
You had to stop moving forward in the wrong direction. Now you have shifted into problem solving mode. Unfortunately, most solutions are not instantly available. You will be working on reducing the stress in your life step-by-step. This is an on-going process.
In the meantime, you need to redirect your energy and refocus your direction. You need immediate relaxation techniques.Exercise. Eat healthy. Sit outside. Be loving to those around you.
Give yourself permission to watch a movie, take a long steamy bath, or just listen to your favorite music. Do something good for you. Guide those you love through the process. Allow your family to be good to themselves.
Meditation is not as hard as it sounds. Even 5 minutes a day of getting comfortable and thinking about something good, will help. There are numerous meditation methods. Daily meditation, even in its simplest forms is one of the most powerful tools to de-stress.
Visualize things that make you happy. And as you work on your stress busting plan remember to give yourself a pat on the back when you have success. It’s easier to de-stress when you are allowing yourself to feel joy and optimism. Meditation can help you to maintain a more positive attitude.