Stress is a disease of our busy times. It can be defined as the body’s response to situations (stressors) that burden or exceed the ability to deal with these issues effectively. Stressors can be both physical (e.g., noise or disease), and social (e.g., loss of a loved one or unemployment).

Stress can be mobilizing. Then it is positive and can encourage you to act. A hormone called adrenaline is released, which helps you get the job done despite difficult circumstances. However, prolonged stress or constant stressful stimuli can exhaust you physically and mentally. Stress leads to effects such as shaking hands, palpitations, or cold sweats. We have to deal with stress all the time and try to overcome it.

There are as many causes of stress as there are people. Everyone is different, and we have to approach each situation individually. A large number of people are stressed by public speaking when they have to present something alone or in a group, for instance.

Today, many people struggle with the stress of the COVID pandemic. They are worried about their loved ones and for themselves. It also has to do with the fact that many people have lost their jobs, cannot visit their family abroad, or go on vacation, which makes them feel trapped.

In this article, we present the best ways to manage stress effectively in times of COVID-19.

Identify Stressors

Sit down and think about what exactly is causing your stressful thoughts. A great solution may be to write down all problems on a piece of paper. Perhaps you are worried about your loved one, and calling one another more often would solve the problem? Or maybe you are afraid that you will not be able to pay the bills because you lost your job? Look for remote job offers. As it is stated on https://www.selfdevelopmentsecrets.com/, the very intention to act on your personal growth will make you feel better.

Break down the problem into prime factors and identify stressors. Often, when we are stressed, we are unable to think constructively. We feel that not only is our situation very overwhelming, but there are also more problems (than there are in reality).

When you want to deal with a challenging and complex situation, take a moment to breathe and then start working through each difficulty one at a time. Remember, not all at once! Start with what is most urgent and slowly, when you manage to find a solution to one situation, move on to the next. This is how you work on your self-development.

Get Some Air

Sometimes we are stressed by the mere necessity of staying locked up. So, if possible, get out and enjoy the fresh air. Take a short walk and look around. Let your thoughts take your mind off your worries for a moment.

In stressful situations, a huge amount of stress hormones are released, including cortisol and adrenaline. They don’t only make the heart beat faster, but they can also motivate you to act. Turn it into something positive!

Physical activity weakens the stress response and improves mood because it leads to the release of endorphins. When performed regularly, it counteracts the effects of sudden and chronic stress and also improves its tolerance.

Get Enough Sleep

Stress negatively affects the quality of your sleep. And lack of sleep negatively affects not only your efficiency but also your mood and the ability to cope with difficult situations. As you see, everything is interdependent. 

To break this unhealthy cycle, remember about sleep hygiene – air the room, put the phone down half an hour before bedtime. When that doesn’t help, you can start supplementing with melatonin – a hormone that affects our circadian cycle. To avoid the burden of not getting enough sleep, try to get around 7-8 hours of sleep each day.

Spend Time with Animals

You don’t necessarily have to buy a dog or run to a shelter to get a homeless animal. All you need to do is consider which of your friends or family members has a pet and whether they would allow you to take their pet for a walk.

Animals have a calming effect on our nervous system. Interacting with them and caring for an animal triggers the secretion of oxytocin hormone in our bodies, which contributes to bonding and caring reflexes. The feeling of a nice and soft dog or cat’s hair under your fingers is very pleasant not only for you but also for the pet. And it is enough to pet an animal for a few minutes to bring happiness and stress relief.

Strictly therapeutic sessions with animals are also very popular. It is called zootherapy. You can participate in therapy with a dog, which is called dog therapy. Breed dogs such as golden retrievers or labrador retrievers are preferred in this kind of therapy, because their gentleness and ease of training contribute to therapy outcomes significantly. If you’re not a dog enthusiast but a horse lover, you can try hippotherapy!

Talk to Someone

You may feel very lonely during the lockdown. However, just because you should avoid contact with strangers to prevent contagion does not mean that you have to give up all social relations. Many psychologists conduct sessions online – try to participate in such a conversation. You will feel better.

Sometimes just saying a problem out loud allows you to look at the situation from a different perspective. Then it will probably also be easier for you to find a good solution. And if that is not enough, you can grab a self-help book and try to work on your personal growth by yourself.

Conclusion

Stressful and difficult situations happen in everyone’s life. However, strong and prolonged stress is destructive and can harm your health. It contributes not only to difficulty falling asleep, hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of disease but also reduces your ability to focus and concentrate.

That is why it is crucial in these extraordinary times to take care of yourself even more and deal with stress carefully. A calm mind will help you persevere when many things are uncertain.

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