The recent years have seen many unprecedented things happen in Singapore and the world. This has caused many restrictions to our lives, like mandatory mask wearing and the Circuit Breakers.
These changes to the usual way we live our lives can definitely cause some mental stress and anxiety. There are some self-care methods you can practice in your daily life to make things better and more bearable, and here are some of them.
- Stay Active and Exercise Regularly
Exercise of any kind, whether done indoors or outdoors, can be beneficial to your mood. This is because exercise helps your body to release endorphins, a type of hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and positivity.
That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time out each day to do some physical activity. If you’ve never exercised seriously, then it helps to start out slow.
There’s no need to put in an hour a day. Start with just 10 minutes of low intensity workouts. Increase this time gradually, and soon you’ll have a regular workout schedule.
Exercising is also really beneficial for your overall health, and reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses.
- Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine may aggravate the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as palpitation and hand tremors. Therefore, if you’re going through a difficult patch, it’s wiser to avoid both these beverages.
Drinks high in caffeine include fully caffeinated coffee. Rather than this, you can try water, fruit juice, decaffeinated coffee, lemonade,kombucha or green tea. Green tea is particularly beneficial as it contains lots of antioxidants which can help prevent heart disease and cancer.
- Write it Down
Rather than ignoring your feelings of stress and anxiety, experts advise you to keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings will help you work through them, and find beneficial solutions.
Journaling has been proven as an effective way to help people manage their feelings. It’s especially useful in encouraging you to slowly discover the root causes of your anxiety and work towards overcoming it.
Keeping a journal is not a miracle solution. Rather, it is a useful step in your journey of self discovery and self therapy.
- Take Up a Hobby
Hobbies give you a healthy and creative outlet. It’s also very therapeutic and can help you unwind from any stress and calm down. Recently, there has been a trend for adults to do coloring.
The traditional view has been that coloring is only suitable for children. However, adult coloring books are now increasingly popular on the market. These books are much more complex than children’s coloring books, but they have been shown to promote relaxation, mindfulness, creativity and focus. All these are great for handling stress and anxiety.
Another relaxing hobby you can take up is flower arranging. In Japanese culture, flower arranging is an art form called Ikebana. Here in Singapore, there are many flower arranging courses you can take.
Flowers have many calming properties and are able to lift moods too. Read more about that here.
- Talk to Someone You Trust
Vocalizing your feelings is yet another way that you can work through your anxiety. Who you talk to is important. It’s important that they’re good listeners and won’t judge you for what you’re going through.
Alternatively, you can also talk to professionals, including counselors and therapists. These sessions will allow you to unburden your thoughts, and allow the professionals to guide you into paths of self-realization and support you as you work through your issues.
Sometimes, just talking about it will be able to give you new perspectives about things, and will lighten your mental burden.
Talking won’t necessarily provide an instant solution, but it can help you cope and feel better afterwards. It’s important to have a good listener to hear you out, and avoid anyone with judgemental, toxic or negative comments.
- Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is an effective short term solution for anxiety. Experts advise that you should practice it whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on.
Breathing exercises are easy to carry out. All you have to do is breathe in while counting slowly from 1 to 5, then hold it while you count to 3, then exhale slowly while counting again from 1 to 3. This is often called the 5-3-3 breathing technique.
There are other breathing techniques available, and you should choose one that’s suitable and effective for you. Deep breathing has been shown to calm anxiety and reduce feelings of panic. It has also been shown to help you sleep, and relieve insomnia.
- Humor Definitely Helps
If you have a favorite comedy or stand up comedian that you can watch, it’s time to play it. Laughter has been shown to be as effective as exercise in managing anxiety.
This is because laughter is able to help release endorphins, the feel good hormone associated with euphoria and happiness.
This is definitely a scientifically proven technique, and you’ll feel better overall after a good laugh. Laughter is beneficial in general for your mental health. Anyhow, it’s always good to find humor in your life, which will be therapeutic for your soul in the long run.
Bonus:Challenging Negative Thoughts
One method for managing anxiety, according to experts, is to use logic to challenge whatever you’re worried about. For example, if you’re worried about losing your job, you should ask questions on whether this is a legitimate concern, and whether there’s any reasonable cause for why you’re feeling like that.
Anxiety is something that is definitely manageable. You may not find it going away immediately, but if you continue to believe in yourself, there will always be better days ahead.
Note: All Images are from Xframe.com