2020 was a really challenging year for all of us. We went through a lot of ups and downs, some of us have experienced depression and anxiety. It was a tough one, but on the other side, it has taught us a lot. We’ve learned that we are all the same; we are all humans, regardless of our age, gender, race, or social class. So we became kinder to one another and we learned to love ourselves and the people around us a little more.
So hey if you are feeling down or bad for any reason (and they were a lot this year) it is okay… Know that you are not alone. Stress and anxiety tend to visit at the most challenging time, especially around the end of the year. Here are some tips that will help you get through such hard times, manage your stress, and love yourself a little more.
1 || Meditation
Make it a habit to start your day off with meditation. Meditation and breathing exercises can make positive physiological changes to the autonomous nervous system. Any time you experience stress during the day your body responds to it in ways that affect it negatively. But when you meditate you help in triggering the body’s relaxation response by putting your body and mind in a calm state preventing any stress damage.
Don’t worry if you haven’t found “the zone” yet, you’ll still find some moments of peace and mindfulness that will help you to relax.
2 || Yoga Is A Good Therapy
Whenever I feel down or stressed I personally hop onto the yoga mat and I find huge relief there. Yoga relaxes both mind and body and releases emotions. Also, some yoga poses have a deeply calming effect on the body. If you have already started writing your 2021 resolutions list then yoga is a great wellness and self-love act that you can add to your lifestyle. Poses like Shavasana will teach your body to surrender and the steady breathing techniques will help your mind to let go and manage stress easily.
3 || Watch Your Diet & Don’t Give Up Exercising
Stress eating is actually a thing. Some of us resort to food (or even cigarettes or alcohol) when we feel down, thinking that it’ll make us feel better while it actually makes things worse. Taking care of your health is a huge part of self-love. Start to be more mindful of what you eat cause it has a great effect on your mood; add more healthy options to your diet and cut back on junk snacking to reduce any jitters and treat yourself in moderation.
Also, try to change your focus when it comes to working out. Don’t do it just to lose weight for example. Instead, do it to improve your wellbeing while building strength. of course, sometimes you’d rather stay in bed or binge-watch on Netflix but believe me the way you’ll feel after a good workout will make you push yourself most of the time if not every time.
4 || Get Creative
Express yourself fully and connect to your inner child. Rather than keeping your emotions inside, release them in a creative way… Start journaling, take a dance class or let your body move on a song that reflects your mood, paint if you love painting, or even write a story. Our bad moments can really bring out the creative side of us if we just allow ourselves to feel freely and fearlessly.
5 || Release Your Emotions
Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your body if you don’t find healthy ways to release them. Whenever you feel bad no matter what the reason is, you either start to blame yourself or you just run away from these bad emotions not allowing yourself to feel them. Both ways are not healthy. Instead, and as a practice of self-love, you need to allow yourself to feel bad sometimes. The next time you feel down for any reason allow yourself to feel things for a bit, think it through, just don’t live there. Then indulge in some self-care. Pamper yourself with a great massage, go for lunch, listen to your favorite music while soaking in a warm bath, call a friend, or go for a run. Eventually, things will get better.
6 || Talk To A Professional
I know things might get out of control sometimes. Don’t worry, you can always seek help from a professional. Talking to a therapist is very beneficial in some cases, for it teaches you to develop coping mechanisms for different situations, listen to yourself without judgments. It also helps you reconnect to yourself, love and forgive yourself, and reminds you that you are actually worth it.