#CentennialTips on easy ways to de-stress your environment
Right now, there’s a lot outside of your control. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the pandemic, it’s a good idea to focus on what you can actually control. Here’s some simple things you can be doing to take care of yourself, sourced from ADAA, Reader’s Digest, Top Universities, and The Thirty.
Some may roll their eyes at things like meditation, but it’s one of the simplest, best things you can do to cut your stress and enhance your wellbeing. It centres you and calms your mind. If you need to know how, Centennial College frequently hosts meditation sessions during our Wellness Wednesdays, and more details about meditation can be found in this archived video on mindfulness, including a short, guided meditation during the video.
How to start your day
One source recommends starting each day by asking yourself a few key questions. First, what are the three things you want to accomplish today? Secondly, what are two things that make you happy today? And lastly, who should you call or text to check on? Write these things down and do them, or think about them.
Write in a journal
Speaking of writing things down, you’re living through a historical event, so you’ll want to preserve your memories of the pandemic. But more importantly, writing it down will help you process your feelings. While you can write about what’s worrying you, you could also take a positive approach, and write down things you’re grateful for. Either way, putting your thoughts into words is a good way to process them.
Talk to a therapist
Feeling stressed and anxious? There’s nothing wrong with engaging in some old-fashioned therapy to fix it, even if it’s in a new-fashioned way through online sessions. It’s a service Centennial College also offers.
Read an uplifting book.
When’s the last time you read a book for pleasure? Consuming uplifting media’s been a tried and true self-help method for a long time, and now is no different. Something with a positive narrative can take your mind off of more current matters.
Play some brain games.
Keeping your mind sharp is important right now, especially if you’re learning online. So when you play games, make sure they’re brainteasers or puzzles, like Sudoku. It could be on your computer or phone, or you can lay out a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the table if you want something more tactile.
Listen to a podcast
Listening to something informative is a good way to relax while you work, and get smarter in the process. Have we mentioned that Centennial College has a podcast?
Organize your home office
A cluttered space results in a cluttered mind, so it’s worthwhile to take the time to clean up the places where you’ll be learning or working, both for practical reasons, and reasons of mental health.
Have a designated Work Zone, eating zone, resting zone and more
Speaking of that, it’s important to set up different areas in your living space for different functions, like work, dining and play. Without these boundaries, your routine gets muddled, and everything feels longer and more stressful. Ways to maintain this include avoiding eating in bed or working on the sofa.
You may think you need to stay informed, but forcing yourself to consume social or news media out of a sense of duty is called “doomscrolling,” and is generally bad for you. Limiting your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram time is important for your wellbeing, since what’s on there right now is generally really stressful and overwhelming. Instead…
Go for a walk or run
Exercise will help you, but you need to make sure you’re only doing whatever exercise you can realistically do, without punishing yourself. If you’re not in quarantine, there’s nothing wrong with going outside. The National Post ran an article about it, and concluded that, yes, it’s safe to go outside in the open air, so long as you’re socially distancing. Taking in warm weather, fresh air and sunlight offsets the negligible risks. A little bit of exercise and sunshine are good for you, thanks to endorphins and vitamin D helping your physical and mental health. And if you can’t exercise, it’s worth taking the time to step outside for some fresh air anyway.
Don’t feel guilty
Quarantine guilt is real, and it comes from the misconception that because we’re all stuck at home, we have more free time, and should be accomplishing great thinks, like that Twitter post that said Shakespeare wrote King Lear in quarantine. But it doesn’t work that way, and this misconception can make you feel like you’re letting yourself down and feeling ashamed in the process. It’s fine to take this time to relax, and you should be putting your own wellbeing above the need to accomplish stuff. It’s a stressful time, and we all react differently. You know what’s an actual achievement? Staying physically and mentally healthy. Just do whatever lifts your mood and makes you feel safe and secure. No one’s judging you, and we’re all going through it.
By: Anthony Geremia