Seemingly overnight, the world went from normal hustle and bustle to a complete and total shutdown. From loss of work due to an economic crunch to the closure of many enjoyable leisure activities, many Americans are now scared, worried, and stressed.
However, prolonged stress is bad for health, so no matter how long the current COVID-19 crisis lasts, it's important to relax and find even a small silver lining to enjoy. These tips can help you relax, unwind, and feel your best while overcoming coronavirus stressors.
Take Time for Yourself
With a sudden and abrupt change in schedule, it's easy to feel like you need to fill your newfound free time with as many productive activities as possible. While it's definitely a good idea to put some of your COVID-19-related freedom to good use, it's also important to take some time for yourself. Find an hour, or even just a few minutes if that's all you have, to read a guilty-pleasure book, binge some must-see TV, or sip a good glass of wine with noise-canceling headphones on. A little indulgence can make even the most stressful moments easier to bear.
Get Some Exercise
For those who aren't religious gym-goers, exercise may sound anything but calming, but the physical benefits speak for themselves. Getting exercise increases levels of endorphins and serotonin – two chemicals in the brain related to happiness and well-being – which can help you feel better, both inside and out. If you're not ready to commit to a marathon, that's okay. Even yoga in your living room, taking a long walk in the neighborhood, or doing some simple body weight movements can get your blood pumping, providing mental and physical health benefits.
If you've put off social outings in favor of a commitment to social distancing, you're in good company. However, you don't have to live a life of isolation. With myriad video chat programs on the market, it's easier than ever to hold virtual happy hours, hangouts, or even family dinners. Tools such as Zoom allow you to see friends and family face to face, even when far apart. With games like UNO and Scattergories now available in online form, game night can stay on your calendar.
Learn a New Hobby
With so much spare time from not commuting, now is the opportunity to explore your interests and let those creative juices flow.
Maybe you've always wanted to learn how to sew, or getting into scrapbooking has been on your list. With so many easy online resources, there's never been a better excuse to try some new things. Best of all, the current trend toward virtual socialization is perfect for hobbies. From Reddit to video hangouts with local crafting groups, it's still possible to get involved with a community while learning new skills.
Create Your Ideal Environment
When you have to spend all of your time at home, it's critical to create an environment you love. This can extend to everything from buying a new duvet for cozy movie nights in bed to an updated desk chair to help you stay comfortable while working from home. Those who find repetitive noises soothing may love a mechanical keyboard. With a satisfying clicking noise similar to that of a typewriter, these retro keyboards are adorable, functional, and stress-free. Anything that can make your space more relaxing and enjoyable is well worth it, so take this opportunity to upgrade in the areas most important to you.
Finding a way to unwind can make today's challenges all a little easier to withstand. From finding some "me time" to choosing the right accessories to make your home and office as welcoming as possible, even the smallest steps can eliminate stress from daily life.