Well, 2020 has come and gone and wreaked havoc on our minds and bodies in the process. And while most of us hoped we’d be able to leave the uncertainty and constant anxiety in the year past, 2021 is shaping up to be an equally tumultuous year. Whether you’re sitting in a 1BHK flat in Mumbai, a girls’ hostel in Kolkata or a couple’s PG in Bangalore, you’re bound to feel a little overwhelmed by the political and pandemic-related news in the country. So it’s totally understandable if being surrounded by so much turmoil is taking a toll on your physical and mental health.
What we want to do is give you an outlet for all that anxiety and apprehension, and help you find ways to cope with your stress. And since we want to make our list as accessible as possible, we’ve tried to focus on resources that are freely available on the internet or techniques that don’t require any external support. No matter what triggers your stress, you should be able to find a coping mechanism here.
A quick disclaimer before we get into our tips. We’re not mental health professionals, and while we know that the methods in our list can help alleviate some symptoms of stress, they are by no means ‘cures’ of any kind. We recommend reaching out to a professional if you’re feeling hopeless or experiencing any persistent or uncomfortable symptoms. Having said that, we hope that some of our techniques provide you some degree of relief from your daily stressors. Let’s jump in.
Take up journaling
If you often feel anxious, you probably end up having a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions running through your mind at any given moment. If that’s the case, journaling could help you calm yourself down and focus on what really matters. Whether you keep a journal throughout the day or simply take some time to reflect before bed, this method can help you gain a lot of clarity and provide an outlet for your anxiety. And if you think a paper and pen journal is too difficult to fill or carry with you, a virtual journal on your phone, or even a Google doc that you can keep updating works just as well. Remember it’s always easier to find excuses than solutions. So, do yourself a favour and try putting your thoughts down.
Quiet your mind
At this point, destress has pretty much become synonymous with meditation. But for some of us, it’s difficult to find time, or we struggle to sit still and focus on breathing. Thankfully, there’s plenty of technology that you can use to help yourself figure it out. Apps like Calm and Headspace will provide you with guided meditations that can drive out the voice in your head. And if you’re someone who’s stressed out by silence, you can head to YouTube or Spotify for some great white noise playlists that will drown out all your anxiety.
Calm your body
Pause reading this article for a second. Now stand up and stretch. Are you feeling better? Whether you’re someone who’s very active and flexible, or someone who all that WFH has turned into a couch potato, a simple stretch can promote blood circulation in your system and help relieve some of your stress symptoms. Try and intersperse your hectic work schedule with ten minute breaks where you can stretch your neck and back, or even do some light aerobic exercises, and you’ll find yourself feeling a lot more calm and energised. And if you want to incorporate this habit into your daily exercise routine, you could try Adriene Mishler’s very popular YouTube video – “Yoga for when you feel dead inside” – for some quick stress relief.
Sometimes you feel irritable, develop a headache and feel uncomfortable and anxious simply because you’re dehydrated. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day so that you can keep your stress levels in check. If plain water just doesn’t do it for you, go for some natural juices or coconut water instead. And if you’re a tea or coffee person, you’re in luck as research shows that having a warm drink can also help improve your mood. But don’t go overboard, as excess caffeine and sugar can actually make your blood sugar fluctuate and have a negative impact on your anxiety.
Take a nap
It’s not just babies that need naps. A lot of the time, our stress levels are only heightened due to lack of sleep. Whether it’s a last moment deadline or revenge bedtime procrastination, you could have been putting off sleep for a while leading to increased anxiety. So give yourself a break and get some rest when you need it. The next time you’re feeling stressed, simply turn off your phone, forget the world and take a nap in your ladies PG in HSR layout. You’ll wake up feeling a lot more relaxed and ready to face new challenges.
And those are our quick and easy ways to destress your mind and body. Because you deserve to always feel your best. So, try and incorporate these techniques in your daily life and you’ll definitely be pleased with the difference they make.