The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many problems. The virus has disrupted day to day functions that we were so used to. Governments around the world have imposed social distancing measures and lockdowns in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. With these restrictions comes a load of problems for people. One of the major issues affecting people all over the world is the prevalent rise in mental health issues. The lack of social interactions is proving to be costly to some people. No one is safe from this issue.

So today, we will look at five simple ways to manage stress. I write hoping this information will help you and others to curb the rise of mental health issues.

1. Exercise

With a lot of time on your hands, you can do simple exercises such as press-ups, planks, rope skipping, sit-ups, etc. at homeRegular exercise helps reduce stress, ward of anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.

2. Sleep

A good 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep will have immense benefits on your body. Sleep is essential for two reasons: it helps us repair and restores our organs systems, including our muscles, immune system, and various other hormones.

3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol 

Ingesting high levels of caffeine elevates your mood leaving you craving for more; this will cause you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences, and feel more stress. However, taken in moderation, caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.

Excess consumption of nicotine and alcohol can lead to acute and chronic mental disorders, ranging from intoxication with impairment of cognition to dementia. 

4. Meditate

This is the practice where an individual uses a technique such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

Meditation may be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain while increasing peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being.

5. Talk to friends 

Long heartfelt conversations, dwelling deep into likes, dislikes, emotions, and feelings are an integral part of friendships. Trying to deal with the issue on your own can make things feel worse. Talking to friends can help you not feel alone, feel supported, stop things from getting worse, and you’ll feel loved and valued.  

I have tried some of the methods discussed above, and I highly vouch for them. Find the one that suits you and get going.

Meditation is not easy; it might take some time to get the hang of it because we have what they call a “monkey mind,” meaning our minds are always restless. Once you have mastered the art of meditation, you’ll be mad at yourself for not discovering it much earlier.  

For severe cases of stress and other mental health issues, please consider regularly consulting with a doctor or a psychiatrist. 

Have a stress free week, and remember to wash your hands and observe all the regulations set to curb the spread of COVID-19.  

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