By Dr. Didoy Lubaton
The world is changing. With the pandemic going on, it has changed the way we work, our lifestyles, and our usual routine. If unable to adapt to this rapid change, this could bring about unnecessary stress that could get a person overwhelmed and decrease productivity. Even relatively mild stress that is not effectively resolved can lead to long-term disability and an inability to work. Researchers have found that one exposure to acute stress affects information processing in the cerebellum, the area of the brain responsible for motor control and movement coordination, and is involved in learning and memory formation. Increased stress overtime also negatively affects one’s well-being and can corrode one’s mental toughness. Researchers at Brown University have found that some stressful life events cause panic symptoms to increase gradually over time, rather than to trigger an immediate panic attack.
Stress response refers to the body’s capability to mount a reaction toward a stressor, sometimes called fight-or- flight response. And it is an automatic reaction of a person for any triggering stress. When the body is no longer in perceived danger, the nervous system moves into a relaxation response. In this, the body recovers: decreasing blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion, and boosting your immune system. Knowing and applying this principle, a person needs to find ways to move this relaxation response more, especially now that we are in extraordinary times.
Knowing all these, a person needs to create an appropriate and effective response toward stress. ere is so much uncertainty up ahead because of the pandemic. People can get stressed because this is an unprecedented time, and its impact on our professional and personal lives could be long-term. My recommendation is to take it one day at a time. Make simple, actionable decisions that you can do daily, turn them into a habit, and let it be part of your lifestyle in the long-term.
Here are some simple stress-relievers you can do:
1. Take quick breaks. Ten- to fifteen-minute breaks from your routine allow you to shake things o your mind and be refreshed. Learn to enjoy quiet moments.
2. Deep breathing exercises. Good diaphragmatic breathing gives you life-giving oxygen in your cells, and you get to exhale the acidic carbon dioxide o your body.
3. Eat a healthy snack. What you eat, you become. When you eat healthy, fresh food, you will feel healthy and fresh, too.
4. Drink water. Water to the body is like oil to a machine. A well-hydrated body leads to higher functionality.
5. Take a nap. Rest time is recovery time. Twenty- to forty-minute naps refresh your memory, improve your concentration, and help your problem-solving skills.
6. Get up and walk. Give your body a good dose of blood circulation by doing this. Movement triggers a good dose of dopamine, giving you a sense of positivity.
7. Get some sun. Sunlight promotes vitamin D production, and it’s a proven mood booster. It relieves anxious and depressive symptoms.
8. Play good music. This enables different parts of your brain to be stimulated and enhances your mood and creativity.
9. Clean up. A cluttered environment is a product of a cluttered mind. Organize your home and workspace to work for you.
*This excerpt is taken from Feast Magazine August 2020 issue.
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Featured image is from Unsplashed.com.