5 Tips to Combat Coronavirus Stress and Unwind for National Relaxation Day
Since its onset, the coronavirus has caused us to cancel countless plans and postpone milestone celebrations. It has disrupted our work and school routines and injected us with fear and anxiety. To say it’s been stressful is an understatement. So, how do we relax our minds and bodies amidst all of the chaos?
Luckily, National Relaxation Day, coming up this Saturday, August 15, encourages us to slow down and unwind. Easier said than done, but as coronavirus health and safety precautions draw on, it’s more important than ever. Below are five tips to help us all relax on Saturday, and every day.
GO FOR A WALK
If you can get outside for a walk, do it. A 2016 study found that walking improves your mood and can reduce feelings of boredom, dread and anxiety. The part of the brain that controls anxiety—the amygdala—also controls decision making. For this reason, making good decisions when you’re anxious is almost impossible. Experts say walking can help reduce feelings of anxiety because it’s a planned, structured and repetitive endeavor – not to mention, an easily accessible and affordable solution for stress-relief.
DO A PUZZLE
Different types of puzzles stimulate different parts of the brain. Jigsaw puzzles, in particular, may help reduce feelings of stress. The act of matching pieces together is a full-brain exercise that lets you tune out all other concerns. And people seem to be catching on; the jigsaw market is growing globally, and is expected to reach $730 million by 2024, according to Medium. Not convinced? Refinery29 shares an oddly satisfying subreddit entirely full of pictures of completed puzzles.
GET BUSY IN THE KITCHEN
The coronavirus prompted a surge in stress-cooking. In fact, the number of people Googling “bread” hit an all-time high in March. The stay-at-home “bread boomers” knew a thing or two about the therapeutic effects of cooking. According to Medical Daily, cooking provides relief from stress, anxiety and depression. It distracts you from your problems by enticing the five senses. Touching, smelling, seeing, hearing, and tasting food help in relieving stress. Also, cooking with family and friends requires communication and collaboration, which helps people bond during a period when so many of us are longing for connection.
Whether you’re short on space or stiff from sitting at your home work-station, consider doing some yoga. There are many different yoga practices, all that strengthen the body, mind and spirit. And many are free, accessible from the comfort and convenience of home. CorePower offers free yoga and mindfulness content on Instagram Live, free classes on YouTube and a free community class every Friday at 12pm PT on CorePower Live.
LISTEN TO SOOTHING MUSIC
Take a break from TikTok and listen to feel-good or calming music instead. Music has been used for hundreds of years to treat illnesses and restore harmony between mind and body. More recently, studies have shown that music brings a sense of security to people who are distressed, encouraging communication and improving overall quality of life.
If classical music or calming nature sounds aren’t for you, check out Spotify’s “Daily Wellness,” a personalized mix of music and podcasts to bring positivity and mindfulness to your day. Whether you are dancing around your room to a remix, or standing in front of the mirror following a guided meditation, this playlist makes self-care more accessible than ever.
For additional tips to cope with stress, read our blog post about Mental Health Awareness Month. Here at Double Forte, we believe it is important to prioritize your mental health, especially during a pandemic. Remember: be kind to yourself and do what works best for you.
– Phoebe Rios