Covid-19

Simple Ways To Keep Your Mind Healthy Amid Stressful Times

Anxiety and stress are on the rise amidst the pandemic that has claimed about 115,000 lives to date in the United States. Recently, more than one third of respondents answered in the affirmative to displaying signs of anxiety and depression in a survey conducted by the government.

Worries tormenting people are aplenty considering the uncertainty of the crisis. There is concern about contracting the virus despite taking the right precautions. This threat of disease makes citizens feel unsettled due to scarce medical resources, temporary shutdowns and restrictions on travel as well as the government's seeming helplessness. 

The outbreak put many individuals in isolation. Feeling deprived of social contact can contribute to feelings of depression. Stigmatization of medical personnel, those who survived COVID-19, others who have disabilities and prior mental health problems increases levels of distress. These groups of people are perceived to be more likely to spread the virus than others, causing anxiety to both parties.These uneasy feelings could lead to unhealthy changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Anxiety can increase usage of drugs and worsen chronic health problems. 

In these stressful times, there are a few healthy coping mechanisms that we can adopt to maintain a healthy body and mind. 

Yoga

Yoga helps the body regulate its stress response by guiding breathing and can help develop mindfulness if done regularly. It also boosts sleep quality, which brings down stress levels. Yoga practitioners believe the mind and body are one. If you exercise a leg muscle, for example, it could impact other parts of the body and restore overall peace. 

Meditation and deep breathing

According to several studies, the brain’s structure can be altered with continous meditation by reversing aging. You do not need to become a monk to experience this. Deep breathing, slowly and mindfully, can change the brain for the better, reducing stress levels significantly. 

"Learning breathwork lets you know that you have an ability to physiologically calm yourself," stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, editor for Contentment magazine, said. 

Exercise

Exercise releases the body’s feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Even moderate intensity exercises can release them. When blood flow improves in the brain due to exercise, it helps in the controlling of the amygdala and hippocampus, which are both responsible for mood and motivation. 

Sleep

You have to prime your body an hour before bedtime to fall asleep by doing relaxing activities. Develop a routine and practice the principles of sleep hygiene. Do not try to sleep for long hours, as that does not serve any purpose. Instead, ensure you follow through on all the stages of the sleep cycle, which alternates from light to deep sleep. This results in a positive frame of mind.  

Stress Yoga, deep breathing, meditation and exercising can bring down some stress related to the coronavirus pandemic. Pixabay

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