Stress relief coping advice when you’re feeling overwhelmed is needed now than ever before. Life before Covid 19 was stressful enough. Now, for many, the stressors may seem insurmountable. Will I work again? Will I run into financial trouble? Will I get through this time of isolation and no in-person meetings? We’re also stuck at home, so it’s easy to spend way more time than is useful worrying. I struggle with anxiety, so finding ways to relieve stress and worry are critical. I collected some tips and spoke to experts about how to get through this messy time.
I talked with Chelli Campbell financial adviser about money.
I talked to Leslie Gold Marathon trainer about exercise and anxiety
I talked to Richard Blair about recovery at home
And here are my personal top 6 stress relievers
Endorphins are a cure-all for a lot. I knew this guy who suffered from terrible anxiety as part of his mental health issues, and he used to go for a long, hard run every single morning. The way he explained it to me was that the running forced his head to get straight in two ways – one, his endorphin level was raised. Two, his breathing became regulated from the run, which ultimately calmed his heart rate and put him on pace for the rest of the day.
Like meditation, I believe this is something that works best when you’ve had some guided training and practice. You know how when people have an anxiety attack they often hyperventilate? Well, deep breathing, or healthy breathing, will help regulate your heart rate and calm you down.
If you’re someone who feels comfortable in the kitchen, then cooking can be a fabulous stress-relieving activity. From giving yourself the assignment of finding a great recipe to buying the food, to food prep and cooking, to the finale of cleaning, the whole process can take up a lot of time and energy giving your mind a little relief from the mania.
I’m very lucky, and I live by an incredible hiking trail in California. Whenever something upsets me, I grab the dog, and we hike up that mountain. I did see a snake yesterday, though. And coyotes are rampant in the hills. Nature gives me the perspective and the quiet I need to remove myself from the situation for a moment, and a long walk with the dog allows us to connect and have a spiritual moment. A dog trainer once told me there’s nothing your dog loves more than a nice, long walk with its human in nature. When I see my dogs prance up the mountain and look back at me with a grin, I know I’m doing something good for both of us, and it gives me a lift.
Do not underestimate the power of naps. They can help you get extra rest when you need it, they help clear your head and reset if you’re having a rough day, and they’re just good clean healthy fun. If you are able, I recommend taking a nap when you feel stressed, depressed or running out of steam.
Read and connect
Sometimes a nice respite can simply be grabbing a book, or whatever E-reader you’re using, and finding a quiet space to read. Fantasy, mystery, romance, whatever lets your mind relax and take a vacation from itself in another fun world.
But connecting with others, especially right now, is also essential. If you’re a person who needs recovery group support, get the online links. The goal here is to create an emotional support system that will sustain us, no matter what is happening. To me, living comfortably means having tools I can use at any moment, for any reason.
Download five tips from Lindsey’s new book 100 Tips For Growing Up, My 20 Years In Recovery.