If the past twelve months have taught us anything, it is that life can be unpredictable. There’s no denying that lockdowns and social distancing have thrown up some unique and unexpected challenges for all of us.
From loneliness and grief to redundancies and financial strains, the global pandemic has made an enormous impact on millions of people worldwide.
So, when you throw in the usual touch points of relationship break-ups, the pressure to attain good exam grades, moving home, and juggling commitments, balancing your stress and emotions can seem like a full-time job in itself.
7 Challenges of Life
We all experience stress in our own ways and, at times, it can seem like a permanent fixture in our daily lives. However, making small changes to daily routines can help to break that seemingly never-ending cycle before it takes its toll on you.
#1. Rolling with the punches
Before you try to remedy the situation, take a moment to face things head-on. Be brutally truthful with yourself and make a list of everything that just feels like it is too much to cope with or the one thing that you go to bed worrying about and wake up dreading each morning.
It may sound simple and perhaps too good to be true but putting your feelings and worries into words and keeping a journal is an excellent way to process those feelings and ultimately let them go.
Once you’ve admitted to yourself what is having such a negative impact on your life, you can start to move forward.
Creating a more relaxed and flexible environment for yourself will not only allow you to deal with situations and changes in a more calm and balanced way but will be far better for your physical health as well.
#2. That’s what friends are for
It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and mistake them for being perfect, something to aspire to. In reality, there is a good chance that those same people are quite often thinking the same about you.
As the old saying goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved,” and sharing your fears and anxieties with a close friend can both help you to confront them but also enable those closest to you to give you their help and support.
They’ll be able to rationalize conceived problems and give a fresh perspective on things, but most of all, they will provide you with that all-important reminder that you are not alone, and help is on hand.
#3. A virtual couch
Sadly, for many people around the world, periods of lockdown and social distancing have brought the reality that busy career orientated lifestyles can result in having a wealth of colleagues but few real friends in whom to confide.
Talking to a therapist is an excellent alternative for those who are alone, also individuals who generally play the role of the ‘listener’ in a friendship with someone who has no problem in airing their innermost thoughts and emotions.
Nowadays, you don’t even have to step out of your home to speak to a professional because an online therapy app can instantly put you in touch with a comprehensive range of recommended treatments and services conveniently and discreetly.
#4. Redirecting negative energy
Your body uses a tremendous amount of energy when you get stressed or tense. One way of redressing the balance and putting you back in control is with the ancient art of Aikido.
As a defensive Japanese martial art, Aikido practices the visualization technique of ‘centering’ and spiritual harmony, encouraging you to focus on the here and now rather than what might or could happen.
By training your mind to take control of your body’s reactions to stress, such as tense muscles, fast breathing, or a racing pulse, by centering you re-channel all that negative energy to give you balance and an inner sense of calm.
#5. The magic of yoga
It’s true that, for the most part, you have little or no control over what goes on around you, but thankfully you can make an impact on what goes on inside you.
Without the need for expensive running shoes, gym memberships, or unflattering spandex, from the comfort of your home, daily yoga sessions done in your own choice of comfy clothing can help to make you feel cool, calm, and collected.
Slow stretching exercises and poses will lower your breathing and pulse rates, increase your blood flow, and decrease your blood pressure while releasing tension.
With many free online classes and courses available, this relaxed form of exercise for the mind and the body also burns a surprising number of calories and teaches you to become aware of yourself.
#6. An apple a day
When you’re feeling stressed, it is always tempting to reach for your favorite comfort foods or skip meals. However, it is precisely in those moments that eating a regular and well-balanced diet is more critical than ever.
Meals full of vegetables, protein, fruit, and whole grains will have positive impacts on your overall health and give your body the energy it needs to deal with the things that are causing you to feel out of kilter with the world.
#7. Give your system a boost
When we get stressed and our body and emotions are unbalanced, taking vitamin supplements are an added way to give our system the support it needs.
We use up a considerable amount of B vitamins in the production of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, so it is a good idea to take a high-quality B complex to replenish those you’ve used up.
Known for offering a wide array of benefits, Vitamin C can help to regulate cortisol levels. It also has the added power to help reduce anxiety and elevate your mood while also being a superb antioxidant.