We all know the current state of the world is making us a little uneasy at the moment. We’re in the middle of a pandemic in addition to other factors. It doesn’t help that we are connected to 24 hour news cycles, social media, and the internet.
Sometimes we need a break from all that. Studies show that too much stress can lead to health problems both physically and mentally. Today we present a few ideas to help keep your mind and body at ease.
Try to maintain a scheduled bedtime so you can help keep your mind sharp and focused. It’s best to get as much as 8 hours a night. Prepare yourself an hour before your scheduled bedtime and turn off electronics like the TV or laptop. Stay off your phone if you can help it. According to Harvard University studies, exposure to light (especially blue light) at bedtime can be harmful to your health. Light exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin which is a hormone that influences circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep can cause blood sugar levels to rise and increases the risk of depression, along with diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Give yourself an hour or so before bed so you can prepare. Brush your teeth, turn off the lights, and do a relaxing activity like reading.
Many people (including myself) have been doing a little extra eating since many of us are stuck at home and either eating out of boredom or stress. Try to set a specific meal time and stick to it. Maybe breakfast at 8:00am, lunch at noon to 1:00pm and dinner at 5:00 or 6:00pm. You can also meal prep where you set aside time to plan specific meals and prepare them for the coming days ahead. It’s a good way to keep yourself busy and stick to a healthier eating plan. Make meals with protein, veggies, and a starch or make something comforting like lasagna.
Learn something new
With many finding themselves with lots of free time, now is a good time to learn something new. Always wanted to learn Spanish or French? Download a language learning app and start learning! Or what about learning how to sew or build? The internet provides plenty of resources and videos to learn nearly anything.
Take some time to put the kettle on and pour yourself a cup of herbal tea. Teas like chamomile, peppermint, and lavender are good for anxiety. You can also mix up your herbal teas with any other tea to create a new blend. I like to mix green tea with peppermint and add a bit of honey to it when it’s brewed. Also, the act of making tea is also calming to me as I can hear the soft bubbling of the tea kettle and the clink of spoons to teacups. The best part is drinking it in silence while listening to nature outside.
Remember that better times are ahead and that we need to be patient. Someday we will all be back with our loved ones and enjoying life as we did before. In the meantime, remember the old British saying, keep calm and carry on!