Key Tips to Reduce Stress
With the outbreak of COVID-19 around the world there are a lot of people finding it hard to manage stress and anxiety associated with all the impact it is having. At this time it is more important now than ever to focus on your mental health. In this blog post we will share some insight into some tips to help you through this time and help you to feel more positive, motivated and inspired.
This period will pass
This period of time will pass and it is transient, so whilst we are in this moment you can look at some positive steps on how to manage both your mental and physical health. With knowing that this time will inevitably pass you should try to make the most of the different type of time you have now.
If you are isolating or social distancing take this time to be with your family. If you are self-isolating then take this time to be present with yourself too, but remember you are not alone. There are many people doing things online to help us all stay positive and connected for example there are virtual coffee mornings held on Facebook live. You can schedule Skype or Zoom dates with friends and family to keep in touch and maintain those important connections too.
Many of us nowadays don’t have enough time for ourselves in our busy day to day lives or don’t have time to spend with family. This is the perfect time to enjoy the simple things such as playing a board game with your children instead of going out for a meal or read the book you have been wanting to read for months. Possibly you have been putting off chores for a while at home so now is a great time to get those chores ticked off the list and a great opportunity to do some spring cleaning and clear out those cupboards. It can also be a time to really practice self care and be kind to your self.
Take time for self reflection and also to reflect on life. You can reflect on what you want to do with your goals whether it is with health, your career or family. Reflection helps with personal growth and it allows you to be grounded at this present time. You may self reflect upon the fact that you have more time now at home so now is a perfect time to develop your knowledge and possibly do some online courses or read some interesting books to help your personal development. You can reflect on what brings you peace and calm in your life and then start doing the things that help you feel the best you can.
Manage your environment
It may be hard to feel like you have much control at the moment but you can choose how to manage your own environment. You can choose what you put into your body for example eating an apple instead of having a chocolate biscuit. In the same way you can choose what food to give your body you can also choose that with stress and anxiety.
If you are feeling overwhelmed you can reduce the input of the things that are stressing you out. This is an ideal time to allow yourself to be grounded. Whilst it is important to keep up to date with the current situation it is also important to do what is best for you and that might be limiting the amount of content you are reading or listening to or choosing who to talk to about certain matters.
When your body experiences either discomfort, stress or pain your breathing changes and this is because of your sympathetic nervous system. Chiropractors focus hugely on the balance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Your sympathetic nervous system is in charge of fight or flight in your body. This fight or flight stems from when we were cave men/women so if we saw a tiger at the water hole we would either ‘fight’ or ‘flight/run’. When you are in fight or flight your breathing becomes more shallow, muscles becomes tighter and your physiology changes through a change in hormones in your body. With these changes in your body the blood is diverted to other parts to prioritise and this in turn means that less blood is going to the neocortex in your brain. The neocortex is the part of your brain where thinking and reasoning happens. If this is not functioning at its best it can promote more of a stress response (your sympathetic nervous system) and many people may feel that their thinking isn’t as clear as well as their reasoning and that is because their body is prioritising.
The best way to interrupt this fight or flight process is to focus on your breathing. Take a couple of deep breaths. When you take a deep breath in push your stomach out and try to keep the shoulders down and back in a comfortable position. This allows the diaphragm to open as much as possible and let oxygen in. Slow and deep breaths activate your parasympathetic nervous system which is in charge of resting, digestion and healing in your body. We find at that after their adjustments our patients feel naturally more calm and relaxed.
Meditation is also a great way to reset, rest and rejuvenate (please click on this link to access a complimentary guided meditation).
Filed Under: Mind