April is Stress Awareness Month, and many people right now are very aware of this bodily response. While stress is a normal part of life, too much of it can be detrimental to your health. The PRIME Team can appreciate this; we’re going through it, too. So, we thought we’d take some time to offer ideas of things we’re doing to help regulate our own physical and emotional pressures. Keep reading and discover simple ways to reduce stress by refocusing your energy.
FIND YOUR CALM
Finding ways to unwind when you’re stressed is a challenge. Look for a relaxation method that works for you and practice this approach as needed. Many of our team members have turned to meditation or deep breathing techniques and found them to be beneficial. Other ideas include spending time in nature, closing your eyes and enjoying the moment, or tuning out adversity by tuning in some favorite music.
ASSESS YOUR STRESS
Some events carry with them a sense of urgency, but currently everything feels like it requires immediate action. Take inventory of the things on your plate and determine which ones take priority. We all want to stay busy, but that can be overwhelming. Some things can wait – for tomorrow or next week or whenever you feel up to them. Do what you can and remind yourself that it’s okay to extend your own deadlines for backburner projects.
WRITE IT OUT
If your head feels overcrowded with thoughts and emotions, write or type them out. Transfer those ideas and feelings into words to better help process them. Try detailing your concerns in a daily writing exercise but also include a gratitude statement. Get ideas out of your brain so your mind will know it’s okay to let them go and remember to be happy for something every day.
FIXATE ON FUN
Simply put, do things you enjoy or perhaps take up a new hobby:
- Get your art fix. Artistic activities are especially ideal if you have children. They’re likely stressed, too. Be creative together by completing a string art project or start your own painted stone adventure and anonymously spread kindness throughout your community. Decorate your windows and doors with colorful rainbows and heart cutouts to make your neighbors smile.
- Exercise. If you have a daily workout routine, keep it up. Otherwise, perhaps now would be a great time to start walking, biking, or jogging. Physical activity reduces the body’s stress hormones and produces endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood stimulators.
- Dive into a book. Pick up new reading material or revisit a favorite title or series and relax. Studies show that reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by almost 70 percent.
- Take a museum tour (or twelve). Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can travel the world and visit a dozen museums, such as London’s British Museum of New York’s Guggenheim, without leaving home.
DON’T FORGET TO SMILE
No matter which stress-reducing avenue you decide to pursue, remember to smile. The simple act of smiling is shown to improve your mood by tricking your brain into happiness. Take this one step further and find a funny video or movie and enjoy a good laugh. As it turns out, laughter really is the best medicine because it helps people cope with difficult situations and helps alleviate some of the physical symptoms of stress.
If this unpredictable time has shown us anything, it’s that everyone experiences stress. Hopefully some of these ideas from the PRIME Team can aide with refocusing your energy to help reduce stress and anxiety. We’re all in this together, and together is how we’ll get through.