This past year has been anything but easy, and many of us are feeling more stressed than usual. While small doses of stress are a normal part of life and can lead to motivation, excessive stress can damage our health and relationships.
Stress management is an important tool that can help us achieve a higher quality of life by making us happier and healthier individuals. In order to help people properly manage stress, Neora has identified four coping techniques:
Exercise is proven to cultivate our overall well-being with benefits including mood and energy improvement, better sleep and the prevention or management of many health problems. In fact, exercise increases the productions of endorphins, our body’s natural mood boosters. Physical activity is also the perfect way to channel our negative or tense feelings into something else. A productive workout can help clear our heads and shed any built-up stress.
If you’re someone who’s never consistently worked out or maybe you’re extremely busy and don’t have time to spend hours exercising – no problem! Start small. Try to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to physical activity. Whether this is a 30-minute walk or a 30-minute high-intensity workout, consistency is key. Find an exercise you enjoy and a time that works for you, and stick with it.
One of the most difficult challenges the pandemic has created is the lack of boundaries between work, school and leisure. Due to socially distanced mandates, we are schooling, working and resting in our homes, instead of having separate spaces for each. Parents are trying to assist children with schoolwork while also managing their own responsibilities. Remote workers are conducting business in the same spaces that they relax and unwind with a good book or movie.
With blurred work-life boundaries, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and burnt-out. In order to avoid these feelings, develop physical boundaries in your home. For example, create a designated office space or desk that you only use when you’re completing work. Another way to do this is by making time for yourself. Set a block of time where you can focus on activities that bring you joy without your cell phone or computer – maybe this is reading a book, taking a bath or watching your favorite show.
Speaking of making time for yourself, treating yourself is another great way to eliminate stress. Many of us spend so much of our energy taking care of others, that we forget to focus on our own well-being. Part of being a good friend and family member is listening to our loved ones when they’re in need and offering trusted advice. However, when we become wrapped up in everyone else’s problems without also focusing on our own mental health, this can lead to stress.
Focus on self-love and treating yourself. This can be a simple act once every couple of days, or maybe it’s something a little more extravagant once a week. Treating yourself may include buying flowers, enjoying an at-home spa day with Neora skincare products, making breakfast in bed, buying a small gift for yourself or anything healthy that makes you happy.
Did you know that our body has a relaxation response? The relaxation response is our body’s way of counteracting the stress or “fight or flight response.” In doing so, our heart rates and blood pressures are lowered helping us feel safe and blocking the effects of stress. With effective relaxation techniques, our bodies can elicit the relaxation response, thus enabling relaxation during times of stress and benefiting both our mental and physical health.
One technique we can incorporate into our daily routine is meditation. While there are many different types of meditation, it can be defined as a practice, such as mindfulness, to encourage an elevated state of attention and awareness. Deep breathing techniques can also be used to alleviate stress. By taking slow, deep breaths, we decrease our muscle tension and heart rate while simultaneously sending a calming message to our brain. Yoga is another great way to stabilize our bodies while using breathwork and movement to relax our body and mind.
Stress coping mechanisms help us achieve a fulfilled life by balancing work, relaxation, relationships and leisure. It’s worth noting that most of the above practices can easily be incorporated into our daily routines. Remember, The Slight Edge mentality is about making small, habitual changes that lead to positive long-term change. Find out which stress management tools work best for you, and integrate them into your daily routine.