Feeling stressed? You’re not the only one. Two years of a global pandemic is taking its toll. It’s certainly common for us to develop a routine that eventually dulls our spirit and negatively impacts our physical and mental health.
People over the age of 65, who have become even more isolated during the pandemic, have suffered from a lack of interaction. Even before COVID, young people’s mental health suffered from too much connectedness, as excessive use of social media can fuel anxiety and depression.
In fact, life today is razor-edged. If your regular coping methods aren’t working. There are science-backed actions we can add on our own to ease anxiety, depression and stress naturally.
Something as simple as taking deep, slow breaths can do amazing things to our brain and therefore our stress. Deep breathing realigns the stressed-out part of our bodies, called the sympathetic system. For example, cardiac coherence is where you inhale for six seconds and exhale for six seconds In a short period of time. Focus on belly breathing, or breathing to the bottom of your lungs, by putting your hand on your tummy to feel it move.
Meditation and mindfulness are two excellent ways to lower stress. If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. You can spend one minute each morning and each evening doing this.
Focus on sleep
Improving your sleep quality is one of the best things you can do to ease stress and boost your mood. It’s not just about sleeping longer, either. By going from light sleep to deep sleep and back again, you’re giving your body time to repair itself. Set yourself up for success by developing good sleep habits that will train your brain for restorative sleep.
As we age, our minds and body can change. Change is hard both for the adult who is growing older, as well as their family members. The nice thing about many of the activities listed above is that they can be done together with loved ones, neighbours or friends.
Will you join us to help raise awareness around the challenges and opportunities to protect mental health? Use #mentalhealthawareness in your social media, share these resources and then, set a goal to volunteer to serve others, and yourself.