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Are you stressed due to this crisis situation that we are currently facing? There is no denying the fact that COVID-19 outbreak has caused feelings of stress, fear and anxiety amongst us as our regular livelihood has been disrupted by this pandemic. The new rules of life or the ‘new normal’ might be scaring you to some extent leaving you to ponder on what’s going to happen next. But you need to take care of your physical and mental health and help your near and dear ones to do the same.

Stress is not good for health. It reduces immune system’s ability to fight off antigens. You need your immunity system to be strongest now. You cannot control what’s happening around you. So it’s time to bring down the stress level with the help of the following methods and expert tips on dealing with stress and anxiety.

Exercise:

This activity offers innumerable benefits. Exercise reduces the body’s stress hormones which decreases overall level of tension, elevates and stabilizes your mood and improves sleep. Breathing exercises are also very helpful. Deep breathing enables more air flow into your body and helps to calm your nerves which results into stress reduction. Every day dedicate at least 15 – 30 minutes for working out which can be done in the form of walking, running, yoga, breathing exercises, aerobics and enjoy the amazing benefits of the same.

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Meditate:

Meditation should be a part of your routine. At least 10 minutes of your day should be dedicated for meditation. It is scientifically proven that people who meditate are happier and calmer as they shift their brain activity from stress-prone right frontal cortex to the calmer left frontal cortex. It will help you inculcate a sense of self-discipline and improve your work performance. Meditation is a great way to train your mind to be alert. Hence, invest some time for both your physical and mental well-being during this phase.

Pursue a hobby:

Due to tight schedules and deadlines, you have always missed out on doing things that you used to when you had time. For instance, reading books or writing short stories/poetry, singing, cooking, drawing/colouring and other such fun-filled activities. The unexpected joy of taking up a new hobby is amazing. Bring the past practices back into your life with the help of this extra time. Binge watch series on OTT platforms or get the books out of the shelf which you have been planning to read for ages. May be you yourself wanted to write something but could not focus on it due to lack of time. Now is the best time to put those words down and create magic with the help of your talent.

Stay connected:

When you are experiencing stress and anxiety, it is good to turn to your friends and family for support. A quick catch up with friends and family can help you get your mind off your worries and have a laugh. Physical distancing has forced us to stay away from each other. But digital mode of communication can help you reach them within no time. Also, spend quality time with your family which otherwise becomes difficult due to your busy schedule. Hence, enjoy this time with your loved ones and create memories for future.

Manage your media consumption:

Limit your screen time which is focused on COVID-19. Too much information can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Keep reminding yourself that everyone is in this situation together; it is not just you alone. When others can do it, why can’t you. Encourage yourself to be strong and you will be able to get through this with all your near and dear ones.

Learn something new:

Since you have some extra time in hand, why not learn a new skill online. Skills like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain are widely adopted by almost every known industry to gain a competitive advantage. You can utilize this time to acquire a hard or soft skill which will help you stay ahead of the curve. There are plenty of e-learning platforms which offer such courses online. Hence, accessibility is not an issue.

Quality sleep is important:

Sleeping late, not getting enough sleep, waking up late can cause stress and health issues. Quality sleep is extremely important to keep away panic and anxiety. You should follow a regular sleep routine which will help you calm and restore the body, improve concentration and regulate mood.

Maintain a healthy diet:

During crisis situations, you are prone to seek comfort. This might ultimately mean a lot of comfort food. You may end up eating a lot of chips and cake while watching Netflix or take endless trips to the fridge while staying at home. Try to reduce this as much as possible. Poor dietary habits can aggravate stress and anxiety. Studies highlight that a diet which consists a lot of fat and refined carbohydrates can disrupt insulin signalling within the brain which will end up causing anxiousness and depression symptoms. Hence, you should be very careful about your diet. Eat healthy and work-out during the day to stay fit and happy.

This pandemic will eventually pass and life will slowly take its usual course. Do not panic or stress as it is not good for health. Practice healthy habits, spend quality time with family, stay connected with friends and focus on activities which you like doing but could not do them earlier due to time constraints. Hope this article helps you to reduce anxiety and motivates you to develop a habit or hobby of your choice.

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