This has been a year for the history books. 2020 has featured quarantine lockdowns with parents working from home along with children doing remote learning for school. There have been destructive fires in various parts of the world, hurricanes, protests, and of course the infamous murder hornets (whatever happened to those murder hornets by the way?)
We all deal with stress when we are under pressure to make a work deadline, and who hasn’t felt the adrenaline kick in when we have to give a speech in public? But this year is different. If stress continues day in and day out, or we face extra stress above normal levels, it can disrupt many of your body’s processes and lead to all sorts of health problems. So, to help you survive the 12 crazy months of 2020, we have 12 tips (that are social distancing friendly) to help you deal with stress.
Yes, sounds kind of basic but it does help. Take 5 deep breaths. With each, inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 2, and then exhale for 5 seconds. Slowing your breathing can reset your nervous system, and have a calming effect on your body.
2. Meet with Friends
How can you do this during Covid-19? Set up a Zoom Happy Hour so you can socialize with friends and talk about whatever is worrying you. Good friends will help you work through your concerns and be there when you need support.
3. Consider nutritional support
A dietary supplement containing L-Theanine and Panax Ginseng can help support stress management. A clinical study using L-Tea Active® L-Theanine showed stress reduction as well as reduction in cortisol levels, and even shifting of brain waves to the alpha spectrum as confirmed by magnetoencephalography (MEG).1 Research also shows Ginseng helps boost the body’s natural endurance and stamina.
4. Try Yoga
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even lower your heart rate. Almost anyone can do it, and there are lots of great options for doing it from home.
Take a walk or go on a hike. Try forest bathing. The Japanese concept of forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, means immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the forest. Forest bathing is a way to reconnect with nature and take in the forest through your senses. Simply find a spot, perhaps in a wooded park near your home, and just wander.
6. Take a bath
Try some essential oils, use that bubble bath soap you’ve been wanting to try out. Keep the lights dim and the water warm. No interruptions allowed!
7. Get better sleep
Most people need 7-9 hours each night.Consider turning off electronic devices several hours before bed. Melatonin, the hormone produced by the pineal gland at night, serves as a time cue to the biological clock and promotes sleep anticipation. Help reset your circadian rhythms by taking a supplement containing it.
8. Love your pet
Do you have a cat or dog?Try giving them some extra love and care.Animals love unconditionally, and studies have shown petting an animal can trigger a hormone response in us that helps reduce stress.
9. Put on a funny movie
Laughter causes the release of endorphins, feel-good chemicals that reduce stress and can even temporarily relieve pain. One study found that people with a good sense of humor actually live longer!
10. Cut the caffeine
Caffeine is a natural stimulant.It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness. However, too much of it can make you wired, so try slowly reducing your caffeine intake and see if you notice a difference.Try to not drink any after 2 PM.
11. Avoid processed foods
If you’ve put on the “Quarantine 15” by eating comfort foods like cookies, ice cream, and pizza, that sugar and those empty calories actually make you feel worse, both mentally and physically. You’ll also worry about gaining the extra pounds so avoid junk foods! Be aware of when you are stress eating, and have healthy alternatives available.
12. Seek out healthy foods
Oatmeal is great for starting the day—the complex carbs help promote the release of serotonin.Avocado contains health fats that promotes blood flow to the brain and have also been linked to lower blood pressure. For a meal, eat some turkey, that relaxed feeling you get at Thanksgiving dinner is because of the tryptophan in this great protein.And last but not least, dark chocolate is perfect for dessert!
 White DJ, de Klerk S, Woods W, Gondalia S, Noonan C, Scholey AB. Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an L-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):53. Published 2016 Jan 19. doi:10.3390/nu8010053
L-Tea Active® is a registered trademark of Blue California, Inc.