What a whirlwind 2020 has been, no? I, for one, have experienced stress in ways that I hadn’t previously known. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Engaged couples are dealing with postponing their weddings and making big decisions about guest counts. Event professionals are experiencing major declines in their revenue numbers. Many parents are at home with their kiddos with minimal support. Everyone is protecting themselves against a dangerous virus. How could stress not be at an all-time high right now?
Stress can affect ones mental and physical health. Because of this, I know that it’s a vital act of self-care to lower my stress levels. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay as healthy as possible. Although the realities of the world right now can still cause me stress, I have found some helpful ways to decrease stress it overall.
Here’s what’s helped me:
1. Getting outside:
Fresh air is so important. I aim for at least 30 minutes outside a day. There’s so much science behind this one, so just do a bit of googling.
I made a lot of goals for 2020. Many won’t be attainable because of COVID-19. But my exercise goals are still in reach. Exercise releases endorphins, which reduces stress. I personally aim for at least 3 work outs a week. Do what’s best for you. If you’re able, just try to move your body regularly.
3. Cold showers:
I like to end my showers with cold water for at least a minute. Cold water releases endorphins (kinda like exercise does!) It can decrease cortisol, which is a stress-inducing hormone. Less cortisol = less stress.
I don’t claim to be an expert meditator or even a regular meditator. But whenever I do practice meditation, my mind is clearer and stress is reduced. Every time. Literally 5 minutes a day makes a huge difference.
5. Practicing Hobbies:
In addition to floral design, I also like to dance, paint, and sing. Tapping into these hobbies of mine has been a saving grace during these uncertain times. I encourage you to lean into what hobbies bring you the most joy and prioritize them. If you don't have a hobby, perhaps just start googling something you're curious about. See if you can dive deeper and be open to where that takes you.
6. Studying Stress Relief:
Not long after Covid hit, I realized stress-relief needed to be a priority. I want to understand and control my own stress response more, so I invested in a virtual stress relief course. I found the online course, “Stress Relief Reset” taught by Antonia Cartwright. It was SO helpful for me! It’s a 5 week course and walks you through a plan that can assist you in living a stress-managed life. It also takes assessments of your stress so that you can track your progress. I immediately started implementing teachings from the course, such as breathing and mindfulness exercises. I was so pumped by the progress I’d made, that I reached out to the instructor and asked if there might be any discounts available for my peeps. She very generously offered 50% off her $97 course to anyone who uses my coupon code. So if you’ve been looking to understand and tackle your stress, here’s the website for the course. If you enter LAURELANDVINE50 at check out, you’ll get 50% off! You’re welcome for the hookup, friend.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re experiencing increased stress levels. That is normal and to be expected with such uncertain circumstances. But don't hesitate to seek solutions for yourself either.
If you’ve found ways to lower your stress this year, let me know in the comments. I’m always open to learning and sharing more tactics.