To help you adapt to these strange times we are offering some activities to reduce stress and boost energy.
Do some artwork
Drawing, doodling or coloring can help foster your creativity and relieve tension. Adult coloring books have become popular for that very reason – they help reduce stress and anxiety. If that’s not quite your cup of tea, try writing a story by hand or journaling, give your mind a safe space to reflect and relax. You don’t have to create an artistic masterpiece. Creating art is about getting in touch with your thoughts and emotions. Respect that process.
Move your body
There is so much to process right now that our minds can feel overwhelmed, but our bodies are more stagnant than ever. Our new constraints have made us realize just how much we move throughout a day, and not doing it anymore can make our bodies resent it. Remember to take care of your physical state. You can try a full body workout routine, a walk around the block or just standing up for a stretch. Avoid holding a single position for too long though.
Listen to new things
Ever felt dull or weary without quite knowing why? What we hear influences our mood and listening to the same thing can lead to frustration without us noticing it. So update your playlist with new music from your favorite artists, explore podcasts and audiobooks about interesting topics or try ASMR or white noise sounds. Give your ears some new stimuli to improve your mood and shake off the dullness.
Have a dance party
Speaking of new music, there are tons of upbeat new songs that seem made to make you stand up and dance. So do it! Don’t think about what you’re doing or who is watching. Just let your body move along to the rhythm and sing along if you want. You will be feeling better in no time and your body will thank you for it.
Cook or bake
Cooking your own meals is not only rewarding and money-saving, it’s actually a very dynamic activity. It requires creativity and concentration, and engagement of the mind and body. Lots of people talk about the “flow” when they cook, losing track of time and focusing on a single activity. For an additional boost, try recipes with dark chocolate. Chocolate isn’t only nutritious but is known for reducing stress-related hormones.
Have a picnic
Make any meal extra special by changing the scenery around it. Make an effort to prepare the whole thing: cloth, basket, snacks, drinks and decoration. By doing this, you cultivate a new space that allows for a break from pressures and anxieties. If you’re sharing your meal with someone else, a picnic encourages a different, more relaxed kind of interaction. And if you’re by yourself, take it as an act of self-pampering.
Take a hot/cold shower
Also known as a contrast shower, a hot/cold shower is used by athletes and some cultures to relieve muscle soreness and fatigue. It also helps to lower blood pressure and boost the nervous system. So if you’re feeling tense or upset, hop into a warm shower and switch to fresh or cold water a few times. Let your body regulate itself and your mind relax.
Watch an inspirational video
If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself, get inspired by others. Listen to a TED Talk, or search for a motivational video. Take a breath and remind yourself how important it is to do something that matters.
Try guided imagery
Imagining yourself in your “happy place” is a common enough technique to relax. Take it to the next level by following a recording that guides you through a peaceful scenario and teaches you how to engage all your senses and truly feel like you’re someplace else. This technique relieves tension from your body and puts you into a deeply relaxed state. After a few minutes, as you open your eyes you will feel fresh and renewed.
Do a 24-hour technology detox
We are surrounded by screens now more than ever, and most of them feel unavoidable. We use our laptops to work, our phones to communicate, our TV to entertain ourselves. But it comes at a physical and mental cost. Try to go a full day without using any technology; give your eyes a change of scenery, your back a stretch and your mind a break. Use that time to reconnect with yourself and reassess how you spend your time every day.