Spring is generally the best time to break out of your cold-weather lows. More sunlight and warmer weather generally gets us out of the house more, and feeling less isolated. Unfortunately, this is not your average spring, as people are stuck inside; practicing isolation and social distancing. On top of these regular seasonal mood changes, the uncertainty of what the future holds is creating a lot of anxiety for all of us. Stress and anxiety can have negative effects on your body, which is problematic in a time when we most want to stay healthy. Here are three ways that you can manage your life to reduce stress, and eliminate or alleviate sources of anxiety.
Avoid Triggers: Disconnect or Divert
The average person spends almost 6 hours a day looking at some type of device connected to the internet, and the content we’re exposed to can really affect our mood an stress levels. The average person can only handle so much, so it is important to give yourself a break.
It is great to be well-informed of current events, but reading the news can be stress-inducing at the best of times. When the news is particularly troubling as it has been recently, many of us experience higher levels of anxiety and can have difficulty coping. It is important to step away from the news stations or websites regularly. Turn off the radio, television or computer temporarily and spend time away from the headlines and with things that you can control.
Social networks are the most time and energy-consuming of mediums, and as such are also riddled with potential triggers.
- Misinformation and fake news: Often sources of information are unclear and unreliable.
- Social comparison/competition: Social media gives us an unrealistic or ‘filtered’ view into other people’s lives, makings often feel like we are lacking.
- Fear of missing out: Often referred to as ‘FOMO’, we are left feeling unfulfilled or disappointed when we see other people enjoying things that we wish we could be doing.
Seek out what makes you happy
When you are connected, try to regularly divert your attention to content that interests you and makes you happy. Avoid triggers by reading about events and things that positively affect you, such as family or friends, or enjoyable content (cute cat videos are seldom stressful).
Avoid Triggers: Distract
Alternative use of your time.
Taking up a hobby or a creative outlet is a great way to occupy the mind and ease anxiety or stress. It gives you something enjoyable to focus on, at the same time taking your mind off of negative emotions or thoughts in a meaningful, productive way. A pastime that you truly enjoy can be a good way to lessen your time online, calm down an overactive mind, and alleviate anxiety. You should choose something that isn’t stressful and that you enjoy doing. Some ideas include:
Enjoy a Nice Cup of Tea!
Enjoy a Nice Cup of Tea!
L-theanine is an amino acid found most commonly in the leaves of both green and black tea. It’s also available in a pill or tablet form supplement. Research indicates that L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness. Many people take L-theanine to help ease stress and unwind, or to improve sleep. Before trying any supplement out yourself, always consult your healthcare practitioner to learn if it is right for you.