This Wednesday, Nov. 4, is National Stress Awareness Day. It’s natural to experience some stress in your daily life, but 2020 has been a uniquely stress-inducing year. If you’ve been feeling more anxious than usual amid the barrage of challenges that characterize life in a global pandemic, you can adopt some healthy daily mindset habits to mitigate stress. Try these tactics and see which ones bring you the most relief.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation has been a healing habit for thousands of years, and practitioners have developed many ways to bring mindfulness into everyday activities. If you struggle to stay focused during the traditional technique of sitting quietly and drawing your attention to your breath, try mindful eating or walking. You can even do your daily chores with a mindful intention, instead of operating on autopilot.
If you aren’t already fitting exercise into your daily schedule, it can feel challenging to start following a consistent fitness routine from scratch. However, exercise is one of the most rewarding habits to reduce stress because it can benefit every aspect of your holistic health. It might take some trial and error to find a workout style you can stick with, but if exercising feels like a chore, it’ll be tougher for you to get in the mindset of doing it for stress relief. Some people love running for their physical fitness, but if that bores you or causes joint pain, try dancing, Pilates or an invigorating Tabata circuit.
Listening to music can significantly impact your stress levels. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your mood each day, put on some tunes you enjoy. The style or genre of music doesn’t matter as much as its impact on your mental health, so don’t feel guilty if classical music doesn’t inspire you. If your surroundings allow it, sing and dance along for extra anxiety-relieving benefits.
Keeping a journal provides you with an excellent outlet for stress and tension. It also gives you total privacy and a creative way to express your emotions. Writing has proven advantages in the battle against anxiety. There are no wrong answers when you’re trying to establish this daily habit. It doesn’t matter what format you keep your journal in, what time of day you create your journal entries or even how much time you devote to it. If you’re on the run and only have a few minutes to spare, it’s perfectly OK to jot down a couple of quick impressions of your feelings or a few bullet points about anything you’re worried about.
When you’re working to reduce stress, it’s essential to periodically check in with your mindset and emotions. How do you feel? Are you frustrated, tired or tense? Bringing your awareness to any inner turmoil can help you focus on the moment. If you struggle to establish this habit, set reminders on your calendar or phone to do self-checkups a few times per day.
Seek Help When Necessary
Life can bring unexpected challenges, and sometimes, it’s tough to manage them on your own. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s OK to reach out for professional help. Remember, you’re never alone, and a holistic treatment program such as the one you’ll find here at Vista Taos Renewal Center can help you discover your sense of purpose.