As if life wasn’t already stressful enough, a lot of us are feeling extra pressure due to homeschooling kids that are stuck at home, the possibility of getting laid off from our jobs, the fear of a loved one getting sick or the uncertainty that we’re experiencing every single day.
If you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Is my chest feeling tight because of Covid-19? Or anxiety?” First off—you’re not alone. Secondly, here’s six of our favorite ways to take a step back and relax, despite everything going on around us.
The news and social media can be a huge trigger for a lot people, even when there isn’t a pandemic going on. If you find yourself glued to your phone, endlessly scrolling through Instagram and waiting for the next government update—it’s time to take a break. Completely shutting your phone off until this is all over is certainly not realistic, but scheduling time to unplug for 30 minutes to an hour a day to focus on yourself is! Your mind and fingers will thank you. Namaste.
2. Get Some Fresh Air
While fresh air isn’t going to instantly cure your anxieties, there are some serious health benefits to spending time in the great outdoors. From increasing energy by up to 90% to lowering high blood pressure to significantly reducing cortisol levels—a physiological marker of stress—studies show that spending time in nature is arguably one of the best, and easiest, ways to keep calm and carry on.
3. Use Your Hands
No, we don’t mean like that (although we’ll get to that later!). We’re talking about actively using your hands to create or make something. Think: cooking, knitting, drawing, gardening, scrapbooking. According to one study, “hand activity is useful for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and modifying depression.” This might be because when we create something, we feel productive and accomplished. Subsequently, working creatively with our hands allows our minds to focus on the task at hand, letting anxieties and stress be out of sight and out of mind.
4. Get Moving
Ah, exercise. Now, you might be thinking on a good day, talking yourself into a workout is hard, but during a stay-at-home order? Nope, no thank you. But we’re here to tell you all the hype you’ve heard about working out (it gives you energy, it’s good for your heart, it can boost libido)? It’s pretty much all true. Not only is exercise great for your physical health, but according to research, it’s incredibly beneficial to your mental health, helping reduce and manage symptoms of anxiety. You don’t have to start training for a marathon by any means, but just by adding a long walk into your weekly routine or incorporating a fitness video into your day can help relieve stress.
5. Take a Bath
Raise your hand if, when you think of self-care and relaxation, the first thing that comes to mind is a nice, hot bubble bath. And not for nothing! Baths have been found to promote heart health, help you sleep better and are an amazing way to destress after a long day. More than anything, baths just feel cozy and luxurious. The best part? They’re completely customizable! Turn your bathroom into an in-home spa by lighting some candles and adding a few scoops of CBD infused Epsom salts. Like bubbles? Pour in a calming yet rejuvenating bubble bath/shower gel combo and let the suds melt your troubles away. And don’t forget the wine. That’s important too.
We’ve talked a lot about why orgasms are good for your health before, and while studies suggest that the big “O” can boost immunity, relieve pain and even make you look younger, their best benefit might be their link to reducing stress. Whether you’re climaxing with a partner or on your own is up to you, but making the time for pleasure is just as, if not more, important than ever. Dr. Oz even said so!