In today’s world, anxiety and stress are two emotional states that many may be experiencing, whether it be due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the holidays, or other things going on throughout their lives. However, no matter how common these states can be, dealing with anxiety or stress can have a major impact on your health.
The good news? No matter how impacted you’ve become by the above, there are ways to cope with them and lead a better quality of life. To help you get started, here are four ways to relieve stress and anxiety that you can incorporate into your life now.
1. Make it a top priority to work with a mental health professional.
Stress and anxiety exist on a spectrum. For some of us, we may only be dealing with minor, temporary forms of stress and anxiety that have manifested as a result of a certain situation in our lives. For others, stress and anxiety can be chronic, resulting in serious mental health issues that must be addressed. Regardless of where you lie on this spectrum, one of the best ways to address these problems and begin learning the coping mechanisms needed to work through them is to book a therapy session.
Although speaking with a therapist can sound daunting, the truth is that counseling is a great way to learn more about your stress and anxiety, how it plays a role in your life, and what you can do to alleviate the symptoms that you’re feeling as a result. Another concern that some will have is booking an in-person therapy session. Fortunately, having traditional face-to-face therapy is a concern that can also be diminished. If you want to book a therapy session without meeting someone (due to Coronavirus concerns), you can go the tele-therapy route instead. Teletherapy sessions, or online therapy sessions, are sessions in which you meet with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist over a device like a computer or a phone.
As long as you have a video camera (for Facetime or Skype sessions), a microphone, an internet connection, and time to devote to your mental health, you can find teletherapy services to help you get the support you need today.
2. Seek out resources that calm you when you feel overwhelmed.
Therapy can provide us with the tools we need to reduce stress and anxiety. However, we need to implement these tools on our own. This is why self-care has become such a priority for many. But what exactly does self-care look like? Let’s imagine, for example, that you find going to the spa relaxing. In this case, it may be helpful for you to purchase some relaxing spa gifts for yourself like shower and bath essentials that help you get some “you time.” Look into some simple resources like scented creams and serums that calm you down and reinvigorate your skin, or even teas, essential oils, and crystals that offer you a different kind of wellness support.
If you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage, you could purchase yourself a starter kit that gives you the full range of products you need to care for yourself at home. Or you could book an appointment at your local spa to get signature treatments like facials, pedicures, or a soak in the hot tub, or meet with a massage therapist to help release the stress in your muscles. Whatever you believe is a fun activity or a helpful tool for reducing stress or anxiety, it can be a good idea to incorporate more of that into your life.
3. Make a list of things that help you feel calm and relaxed.
Coping with stress and anxiety relies on you being able to find ways to work through the feelings and bring yourself back to a state of peace. Of course, it’s far more helpful when we have a list of healthy coping mechanisms and activities that we can do when we begin feeling a certain way. Set aside some time to sit down and find things that help reduce your stress and anxiety. Some great ideas to help you get started include:
- Learning how to set goals and plan when you feel nervous about a certain outcome in your life.
- Going on vacation and deciding to travel, such as going to Northern California and finding things to do in Marin County like hiking in the redwoods or exploring the coastline and natural surroundings. You’ll also find yourself in the Bay Area close to San Francisco, which offers wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond.
- Cleaning and organizing your home.
- Climbing under your blankets and watching your favorite movies.
- Reading a new book.
- Meeting new people on an online social event.
- Trying a new activity for the first time.
- Getting the peace of mind you want through meditation or yoga.
No matter what it is, it’s always good to have a list of helpful activities to fall back on whenever you need to break away from life and your stress or anxiety.
4. Avoid any triggers that may place you back into a state of stress or anxiety.
Many of the recommendations above are healthy coping mechanisms and rituals we develop to help us cope with negative emotions. Of course, some of us may engage in negative coping mechanisms if it helps us get rid of the discomfort we experience when acknowledging stress and anxiety. For example, some people may turn to alcohol as a way to deal with their feelings. The problem? While you may rely on alcoholic beverages like a cocktail here and there at first, your drinking habits can quickly become detrimental to your mental and physical health. This creates the potential for addiction, which can make it so that your cravings push you off the edge of the cliff and make it difficult to maintain your sobriety, undoing your life in the process.
That being said, we can lead a sober life free of excuses and alleviate our anxiety and stress in the process. As was stated above, look for fun ways to calm down without having to rely on a happy hour to stabilize your mood (you can learn how to stay sober and still have fun). Some sober activities that can help you get started include exercising, finding creative activities that bring you joy and allow you to express yourself, and even volunteering to bring joy to others.
If you don’t believe you have the strength to avoid alcohol, it can be a good idea to look for a counselor or rehab center that can provide you with the health information and additional resources as well as the support needed to avoid temptation and become a sober person. Although it can be a tough journey, your family members and friends will be by your side and, regardless of your situation, you should be able to afford rehab through your insurance company, discounts, or other financial arrangements.
Stress and anxiety can push us to the edge, especially if we’re dealing with extreme sources of stress. However, there are always ways to cope with these emotional states and find ways to overcome our feelings. If you’re being affected by stress and anxiety in your life, the four tips above will help you find ways to better cope with the symptoms and effects so that you can lead a happier, healthier life.