Keeping Yourself Well: Managing Stress During the Pandemic Health
Social activities have taken a back seat since the attack of this deadly virus. For those who have been able to return to their church or other community centers and clubs, please continue to do so in a cautious manner. The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get vaccinated.
Wearing a mask is still a fashionable way to help prevent the spread of disease. This is unless you take off your mask to cough or sneeze, which I have witnessed! Obviously the wrong thing to do.
That’s why we wear the masks to begin with. This is the goal, which is to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets. In any case, I digress. Things are a lot more stressful lately.
Here are some natural ways to prevent feelings of boredom, loneliness, and a bad mood:
* Mindfulness or meditation is simple, easy, and can be a quick fix. Just sitting still and focusing on your breathing can be a form of meditation. Sound generators such as running water, crickets, or wind can de-stress the mind, improve sleep, and increase inner peace. Listen to relaxing music and ease cloudy thoughts. There are several resources especially online such as Mindspace and Calm or locally in community centers or the gym.
* Again, just be careful if you are in a local center. That said, there are some exercise classes that could be of great help including yoga, tai chi, stretching classes, stationary cycling, or other exercises. You also have Peloton or other online programs available.
* Going outside is one of my favorite things to do. One can consider an outdoor exercise like walking, biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking or gardening. Sports like tennis, golf and racquetball, among others, are enjoyable. Then there is camping, fishing, boating, and bird watching. After all, we live on the Nature Coast.
If you are physically limited or are afraid of pulling a hammer, there are many low impact hobbies that you can enjoy. I think of arts and crafts, cards and puzzles. There are several local clubs for recreation such as model trains, coin collecting, music, and art, among others.
* I know a lot of very nice people who come together in different faiths. Don’t be afraid to reach out your hand in faith at a community church or other religious center. There are also local social clubs like Moose and Elk, and of course there is the Rotary Club.
* Can shopping be healthy? In the budget of course. Wives, take it easy with husbands please.
* What about video games? Gambling can be a great mental release, but puts people at risk of overuse with symptoms of OCD, so use it in moderation. It’s the same with movies and TV shows. Speaking of television, watching the news is a common source of unwanted stress these days, so be sure to moderate that too.
One can always consider seeing a psychologist, licensed social worker, or licensed mental health counselor. You may want to consider talking to a psychiatrist or another doctor you can talk to, such as your primary care physician.
This is especially true if you have a substance abuse problem or experience severe irritability, anxiety, depressive thoughts / feelings, or manic symptoms. If your mental health is not an emergency, you can dial 211 before considering 911.
Your mental health is extremely important. I am sure this article is useful for those who need a new idea or a new resource. I wish you excellent health!