If you've been staying inside, you might be feeling some cabin fever and maybe even a little stress. Here are a few tips that you can employ now in your life that may help you feel better. If you have any favorite tips please feel free to send them my way and I'll add them up here!
1. Make sure you're getting proper rest: Staying on a regular sleep cycle and getting proper rest, well of course this goes without saying. Give yourself permission to turn in just a bit early one night and see how you feel.
2. Eat well-balanced food: Diet can really impact our mood too. Keep it healthy but it's my opinion it's still okay to have a treat now and then too. Don't deprive but do keep it healthy.
3. Limiting caffeine to the level that's okay for you: I've read that while a morning coffee can be a nice perk, too much caffeine isn't good. So when it comes to caffeinated drinks and foods high in it, I think moderation is key.
4. Trying breathing exercises or meditation: These techniques can help relax and reduce stress and there's even some great guided meditations available on YouTube that are free to use. I like to use these right before bedtime to wind down after a long day.
5. Get it out of your head: If you're being triggered to overthink about something, try putting it to paper. You can always revisit it later but for right now get whatever it is out of your head. This is almost like a ceremonious ritual that allows you to relieve yourself of nagging thoughts.
6. Give yourself permission to relax: Sometimes when we try to relax we're just too wound up. Stress happens. So if you give yourself permission to relax, this can take the pressure off yourself in that stressful moment. Remember, you're still able to revisit it later, you're only taking time to allow yourself to relax in the moment. So don't feel guilty about taking time to yourself in the moment.
7. Allow yourself permission to mute your phone: Believe it or not, those alerts can send us into a momentary mental "uh oh" moment each time we hear them. It's stressful. You won't believe how liberating it is to just let it go to voicemail and relax even if for only 10 minutes. Give yourself a break.
8. Give someone you love (or a pet) a hug: Giving and receiving a hug can feel great for both and positive vibes are contagious. Nothing bad ever came from a hug and it feels great!
9. Try the EFT technique: Identify your stressor. Write down on a scale of 0-10 how badly you're stressed. Then, write a positive statement that addresses your issue. For example, "I'm stressed because Bob didn't call on time, but I'm confident in myself and accept myself as I am." Then, you'll touch the meridian points; brows, eyes side, under eyes, nose, chin, collarbone and your armpit. Do this multiple times as you state your positive statement to yourself. Then you can gauge how you feel again using that 0-10 scale. Repeat as needed.
10. Take a "self care" day: Employers nowadays are beginning to offer "mental health days" in addition to the standard sick day count. This basically translates to "I'm stressed, I need to self day because I want to feel better." If you feel you need to, take a mental health day. For a lot of employers it's a day you don't need an excuse for and you can take a day off for the spa, post it on Insta and not get weird looks from your coworkers the next day. The day is supposed to be all about self care. Relaxing you, rejuvenating you. It isn't a traditional sick day, it's to do whatever you need to relax and reset.
11. Take a walk: Going outside and getting fresh air can really help you reset your mind and feel better. A brisk walk or even a relaxing stroll gets you moving and helps reduce stress. Stop and smell the roses.
12. Enjoy your pet: There's something about a pet that helps us relax. Pets are wonderful. Spend some time with your pet, just relaxing together. Don't forget to treat your pet great.
13. Disengage with any negativity: Do you have a boss or coworker who continues to argue after you've answered? Disengage with an argument by simply being kind and... simply not arguing. Arguing never helped anything and if you're not arguing, then there's no argument to have. Sometimes we have to agree with people we don't want to agree with, or be nice when someone's being mean.
14. Try something new for lunch: This may sound silly but something you've never eaten before is interesting. It's something that piques your curiosity. It steals your attention for a few minutes and engages all your senses. You can pretend it's a trip to a distant land when you try an exotic new food. It's a physical experience. It's along the same lines as aromatherapy, except it's for your healthy sensible midday meal. And while you're engaging all your senses there, remember to eat mindfully. Mindful eating is a thing, it's a positive thing and you might really enjoy it.
15. Practice mindfulness: This is more of a lifestyle choice versus a quick fix stress reducer. Mindfulness is positive and can promote a more relaxed mindset. A more relaxed mind means less stress, or at least dealing with stress in a better way.
16. Create something beautiful that you love: It can be anything from artwork, knitting, anything with your hands. Create something with your own hands, something beautiful you can look at. Use a color scheme that promotes joy in you. Painting is a great example of this. It doesn't have to be perfect or professional looking. You're putting your positive energy into making something beautiful and this is an excellent stress reducer.
17. Grow something: This kind of goes along with creating something but I'm sure you've heard that plants reduce stress and anxiety. They also produce oxygen. Even if you grow something in a paper cup, you're growing a plant. You can water it, check its sunlight, talk to it... plants are great for your home and also great for reducing your stress.
18. Relax with a book: Unwinding and laying back with a book is something of the days of old now, isn't it? We see Kindles more than we see books nowadays. Personally I prefer the experience of picking up the book, turning the pages, smelling the old paper and the whole experience. Whether you prefer an electronic device or a book there's a lot to be said for relaxing this way.
If you guys have any other ideas, please feel free to let me know!