Be honest: how much of a toll has the quarantines and lockdowns imposed by the pandemic affected you? Acknowledging the true amount of strain they placed on you might be the only way you can see a clear path towards the future. It has been a stressful time with very little recourse for joy or simple relaxation. Living on edge can send many people to the edge.
The road to better health does not require you to make big changes. It just needs you to take care of yourself with kindness and intention. If you need to hire a nutritionist to help you start eating better, then you should do so without feeling inadequate. It is smart to turn to a professional when you need one. Contacting a treatment center if you are worried about the amount you use substances is something to celebrate. It takes immense courage to admit you have a problem and be willing to deal with it head-on.
Start making small steps that will snowball into big positive benefits for you. This will help you to feel encouraged to tackle the bigger issues. Incorporate simple activities, attempt to build good habits, and turn self-care into a daily routine.
Start Doing De-stressing Activities
Finding ways to release your stress can help you reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and deal with whatever comes your way with a calm and clear mind. Releasing stress is a good way to reduce anxiety as well. Regular exercise, meditation, and breathing exercises are some of the most recommended ways to help you manage stress. But anything that helps you to feel relaxed and releases tension can be a stress-relieving activity.
Reading, taking a bath, walking the dog, and doing arts and crafts are also acceptable activities. Whatever it is that you do, make sure that you continue with the activities which leave you feeling calmer and more at peace afterward.
Reduce Salt, Increase Water
Salty foods and sugary drinks can be directly linked to increased blood pressure, liver issues, weight gain, and lethargy. There is a place for salt when cooking, but it is best to severely reduce the amount you use and turn to other alternatives to bring out the flavors in your food. Lemons juice, garlic, pepper, and herbs are all great ways to add flavor to food and do not have the additional issues that salt brings in. Try to avoid premade seasoning blends as these can contain high concentrations of salt.
Eating salty foods makes you thirsty, and if you are turning to sugary drinks, you are making a bad situation worse. Sugary drinks do not count towards your daily hydration intake. They contribute to unhealthy weight gain, make you too lethargic to exercise, and damage your liver over the long term. Slowly replace your sugary drinks with sugar-free coffee, tea, and water. It is difficult at first, but when the craving passes, you will notice that you are a lot more energetic and well-rested than before.
If the idea of setting a schedule for your day feels difficult and you keep being thrown off track by unanticipated activities, then you need to give yourself a small schedule to keep first. Build up from small to big. A good small schedule can be to manage your sleep. Lack of sleep can cause you to be more stressed, weaken your mental health, and increase your chances of stroke no matter your age. Set a schedule for yourself where you go to bed a few minutes earlier every night. Continue this till you find the exact time you need to sleep to feel rested in the morning. You will soon find that the additional rest allows you to handle the unexpected better. It will become easier to start expanding your schedule to encompass bigger chunks of your day.
Healthy activities that benefit the body and ease the mind are easy to incorporate into our lives. It is mental fatigue and stress that make us feel like doing something we enjoy is bad. But taking the time to do an activity that fulfills you is very important to help you recognize when your body is tense.
If you feel too wound up and tense to concentrate on a crossword puzzle or a book, that is a sign that your body is suffering from the effects of stress. Do some deep breathing exercises and learn how to relax your muscles. Getting in touch with your body through cognitively beneficial activities like this can help you understand what your body needs to feel well.
Other ways to help you become more in tune with your body is to log the items you ate and drank to see why you feel that way. Start taking the stairs and avoiding escalators, begin walking wherever you can, and start lifting small weights when you are at rest watching TV. These are all good ways to help you learn more about your body and its capabilities. Once you gain this understanding, you will find that you have less stress, and it is easier for you to achieve a state of relaxation.