April is Stress Awareness Month. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to look a little different than previous years as the United States and the world deal with the stress and uncertainty.
In recent weeks, you may have found yourself asking: How can I protect my family? Will I lose my job? When will my kids get to go back to school? Will I be able to feed my family? Will I be able to get treatment if I get sick? When will we be able to socialize with friends and family again? When will this all end? How can I help?
These times are stressful, there’s no way around it. And while it’s natural to feel that stress, it’s also important to find a healthy, manageable way to approach your anxiety and uncertainty.
For Stress Awareness Month, we’ve put together a few methods for combating stress and focusing on the things that truly matter.
4 Ways To Manage Stress
1. Stay active. You may think that with gyms closing and orders to stay home you have the perfect excuse to binge-watch Netflix shows for the next month. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, you could get a huge benefit from trading an hour or two on the couch for some physical activity.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get endorphins pumping through your brain, which helps relieve all the stress that’s piling up. And, thanks to fitness experts who know the importance of staying active, here is a list of several services offering free workouts during this time of isolation.
2. This will look different for everyone, but learning to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your daily rhythm can go a long way in reducing stress hormones.
Here are some ideas:
- Meditate – There are lots of free resources online, or you can try an app like Calm or Headspace
- Create – Draw, bake, start a DIY project
- Diffuse some essential oils – Take the time to slow down and breathe deeply with essential oils like lavender or bergamot
- Put your phone down/turn off all devices for an hour to quiet outside noise and the stress of the 24/7 news cycle
3. There are very few silver linings to what is happening around the world at this time. But if we can take a moment to find a bright side, it would be the age of connectivity that we’re living in. With Zoom meetings, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram, etc, there are lot of ways to connect with family and friends.
Try scheduling a family Hangout/Zoom every week to check in with each other; let your kids teach you a new TikTok dance; call an old friend that you’ve been meaning to catch up with. The point is, we as humans are made for relationships, and this time of social distancing doesn’t mean we have to be lonely.
4. That’s right. Just breathe. It’s easy to forget how important this is when you’re stressed out, but it’s the perfect, free way to take a break from the world.
At Aprilaire, we’ve identified decreased stress levels as one of the benefits of having healthy air in your home. This is more critical than ever, given the “safer at home” orders asking us to leave the house as little as possible. So when you make healthy air a priority at home, you can enjoy: better health for your family, better sleeping environments, increased energy efficiency, and less need for dusting and cleaning.