There’s a lot of stress these days. Fear over COVID-19, loneliness, job loss, or the loss of a loved one can make life feel overwhelming. When the stress hits, it’s time for some self-care.
Taking time for yourself every day can help keep stress levels down and make you feel calmer. Small five-minute doses throughout the day can fit into any schedule and provide some grounding when you need it most.
Just make sure you’re able to immerse yourself in the present fully. Focus on what you are doing and gently abandon distracting thoughts as you notice them arise.
One thing you can do is reach for a travel book or magazine. Though you can’t physically go on holiday, taking a few minutes to take a mental vacation can offer a calming moment in your day. When you see beauty, you feel better.
Of course, it’s even better if you can step outside into a beautiful natural setting. This experience of nature can offer a mental exfoliate that clears away the psychological debris we accumulate in the course of a day.
Another quick option is to listen to some soothing or uplifting music. Using a vinyl record or CD might be the best option, as research has shown these tangible items may lead to heightened emotional arousal. Vinyl may be best, but use whichever is available.
A face massage can also be a quick way to self soothe. Massaging your face and forehead can help relieve tension to help you refocus and refresh.
Keeping your hands busy may also alleviate anxious feelings. There is research showing that folding paper can boost concentration and mindfulness. Going online to learn origami or other folding techniques may serve as a quick stress-reliever when you need it.
A hobby, a bit of exercise, a meaningful conversation, a cup of tea, and no expectation of productivity can all be opportunities to calm your mind and attend to your mental well-being.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for BelMarraHealth, which first published this article.