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Top 5 ways to Reduce Stress + Anxiety During Social Distancing

There is a lot of uncertainty amidst the chaos of COVID-19. 

Needless to say, we’ve all felt it. As “Global quarantine” and “social distancing” have quickly become our new and temporary way of life we must ask ourselves, what can we do to find healthy and effective ways to navigate the stress of this uncharted territory? 

We realize that stress and anxiety are part of life but these are unprecedented times, charged with much more uncertainty than any of us have experienced before. So how can we manage our emotions and limit our stress to get through these days with a little more comfort and ease?

Well, the good news is, there has never been a better time to work on you! Looking back, Most of us weren’t taught healthy or productive ways to deal with stress or anxiety growing up, and find ourselves stumbling through this mess with a proverbial bowling ball on our chest. 

1. Keep A Journal

While there may be some cathartic benefits to jotting down what’s stressing you out but, try being grateful instead… 

Sometimes stress can feel like a bad anxiety ride you can’t get off of. Next time you feel like everything is wrong, try focusing on all that is right. 

Start a gratitude journal of all the things in your life, in your day, in your morning that you are grateful for. You can easily relieve stress and anxiety by focusing on the positive and shifting your mindset to a calmer state of being. 

We’re not suggesting you pretend all is well if it isn’t but, there is something to be said about taking time to recognize what is good in your life right now. Even in chaos, there is always things to be grateful for.

2. GO FOR A MINDFUL WALK

Studies suggest that mindful walking can actually shut down the “anxious” part of your brain…

The amygdala is the part of the brain that triggers your fight-or-flight response and causes anxiety. This “anxious” part of the brain is a mono-tasker which means it can only do one thing at a time. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31875047

Studies suggest that 10-minutes (or more) of mindful walking may actually shut down this anxious mechanism almost immediately. Mindful walking is a practice of being present in our walking experience instead of living in the story going on in our heads. 

Notice the world around you. Listen to the birds, smell the flowers, feel the ground beneath your feet and the sunshine on your face. If you need extra help play your favorite music. This helps you get out of your worries and into your body and a lighter state of consciousness. 

3. CONSIDER A SUPPLEMENT

Several natural supplements aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety. Here are a few of the most common ones…

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used commonly in ayurvedic practices. Studies show that ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels and symptoms of stress and anxiety disorders. It does this by blocking stress pathways to the brain by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26068424

Valarian is a native herb to Aisa and Europe and has been used for centuries to promote tranquility. Valerian contains several different antioxidants and a compound called valerenic acid. These compounds help promote calmness by reducing the breakdown of GABA in the brain and improving stress responses by maintaining adequate serotonin levels.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18602406

Organic CBD helps by regulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that becomes dysregulated through chronic stress. Vaping organic, filler-free CBD is one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of CBD, which is important in an acute anxiety situation. Try our calming organic vape pen formulated with anti-anxiety reducing natural plant terpenes. https://shop.iamlabs.co/products/i-am-calm-cbd-vape-pen

4. FIND A ROUTINE

Finding a routine will help you keep your mind and body in check during quarantine… 

It’s a little strange to know what to do with your day when your normal routine is flipped on its head. While it’s fun to Netflix and chill, too many sedentary days on the couch are bound to get old after a while. 

In efforts to find a silver lining, it may be helpful to look at this time as a gift. There has never been a better time to work on you. Take this time and use it productively. 

What do you want your life to look like when the world starts turning again? How will you structure your mornings? What are some new habits you want to invite into your life. How can you take this time to focus on what YOU want now that your distractions have gone silent?

We have no control over the quarantine but, we can control how we choose to utilize these days to come. Find a routine to create some level of normalcy in your life and give yourself permission to explore new things you never had time for before. 

Schedule your morning

There is much to be said about the importance of a morning routine. A morning routine helps us set the tone for the day so that we can focus on what’s ahead of us feeling productive and confident, rather than stressed and overwhelmed.

Now more than ever it may be a good time to start focusing on how you want to structure your mornings going forward. What does that look like for you? 

We recommend:

  1. Setting an alarm
  2. Avoiding technology for 30 minutes to 1 hour 
  3. Self-care rituals 
  4. Meditation
  5. Make breakfast
  6. GET DRESSED! 

Explore new things

We all have something that we have put on the shelf for a later date when we have extra time. So here it is, take it! Write something, read something, learn something, create something, do anything. Explore the passions you put on hold and see where it takes you. If not now then when?

* Some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects, so you should always consult with a doctor before taking any new supplements. 

5. MEDITATE 

No, you are not bad at meditating…

We are here to tell you that no one is bad at meditating, not even you. Meditation is simply a habitual mental practice of learning to focus and calm the mind. 

The truth is, there is no shortage of sound research surrounding the mental and physical benefits of meditation. Research shows that meditation helps reduce stress, control anxiety, enhance self-awareness and lengthen your attention span. 

The trick is, you have to sit… alone… in silence… with yourself. If you have never done this before it may feel awkward at first. Like most new experiences, that feeling is temporary. Do yourself a favor, be patient, and stick with it. The long-lasting benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort. 

Not sure what to do? Here is a link to help you get you started. Stay with it. It’s worth it.  https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/

CONCLUSION 

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. How we react to it is a choice.

We can avoid it, ignore it, let it run away with our day… Or, we can acknowledge that it’s happening and choose how to handle it. 

There are many simple and effective ways to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety in your life. Find out what works for you and practice it daily.