The last year has been stressful for every living person on this planet. Actually, to say it’s been stressful is a huge understatement. Parents working from home and schooling their children, maintaining the home, wearing a mask, social distancing…it’s exhausting!
April is Stress Awareness Month. Pretty fitting since the pandemic hit just over a year ago. I remember how I felt stressed this time last year. It was thrilling to work from home and roll out of bed just before I had to clock in for work. I also enjoyed not having to drive all over town before heading to the office. I saved on gas, I had more energy, and I was less tired before clocking in.
However, I was definitely stressed. While working from home was wonderful, it also put communication skills to the test and other added stressors. I had projects that required attention or answers, and I needed one or the other. I will admit that the stress I felt in working from home and needing answers doesn’t pale compared to the stress that my fellow team members felt during this time last year or any point during the pandemic.
How stressed have you been with everything this year? What have you done to relieve yourself of the stress of the pandemic and other items from your lives?
How To De-Stress Your Life
Here’s a list of things you can do to lighten your load and get closer to a stress-free life:
- Get active – We’ve all heard for years that exercising is wonderful for relieving stress. I find that this helps me after a hard day at the office, and it also helps my waistline get a little smaller. If working out first thing in the morning works for you, awesome!
- Healthy diet – This is something I wouldn’t think to tie in with stress relief. However, I imagine that the thought behind this is that as long as you’re eating well, it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Meditate – I’ve never tried to meditate, but I’ve met others who love to do it. They tend to feel more centered (sounds cliché, huh?) and grounded.
- Laugh more – We know the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Who doesn’t enjoy a good belly chuckle? Laughing helps me to get out of my head for a minute and relax more. Even if you’re still at home with your family, you’re showcasing your incredible smile to the world. And that’s a lovely thing.
- Connect with others – It could be texting your best friend or calling your mom. Talking to someone you trust is therapeutic because you can vent your frustrations from life, work, or anything that’s bothering you. It’s a great feeling when you can feel the stresses of your day-to-day life lift off your shoulders. And you can let out a sigh of relief afterward.
More Ways To Help De-Stress Your Life
- Be assertive – Many of us have a hard time saying no to certain things in life. It could be multiple projects at the office, party invitations for friends, or other events. For the sake of your sanity and your stress levels, it’s okay to say no sometimes. As much as we all want to handle everything thrown at us flawlessly, it just isn’t possible.
- Try yoga – In my younger years, I tried yoga. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I understand why many people enjoy it. They can do exercises or stretches to calm their nerves, and the music played during yoga is pretty soothing. The tranquil atmosphere can help to quiet the thoughts in your mind.
- Get your beauty rest – We’re told all the time that we need to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. How realistic is that for you? To be honest, I get anywhere from five to seven hours at night, depending on what’s going on with my days. I’ve noticed that when I’m well-rested, I tend to have a sharper memory, and I feel better in general.
- Keep a journal – Have you ever written a text or a note on your phone that was mean, then immediately deleted it without sending it? Did you feel better after writing the message or thought, even though you didn’t send it? Just writing down a stressful thought or event can make you feel better because it’s the act of getting it off your chest. I’ve done this several times, and it was great to not only get it out but also to reflect on what I was thinking or feeling.
- Get creative – This can be either music, crafting, or some other hobby that allows you to decompress from everything going on in your life. Whatever gets those creative juices flowing!
- Speak with a counselor – Maybe you’ve tried everything else, and nothing has worked. There’s nothing wrong with speaking with a professional about the stresses in your life and finding other ways to cope or deal. They might have other ideas that we would never think of or consider.
If you’re feeling stressed with life, COVID, or anything else, trust that you’re not alone. Everyone gets stressed. What matters is how you handle it in the moment and the future.
Stress is nothing new to the team with Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We were pulling our hair out even before the pandemic. But just like last year, we’ll get through this and come out stronger on the other end. And so will you!