Let’s face it, 2020 was a year that added a lot of stress to all of our lives. And In times of stress, it’s easy for each of us to turn to the elements that comfort us or numb us against whatever’s going on. Many people turn to bad habits, while others simply try to block the stress out using different methods. However, there are so many healthy ways to deal with stress.
At Wild Bum, the best stress reliever is hands down travel. And while it has been limited and a bit trickier to maneuver for the past year, there are still ways to keep travel alive right now. Whether it’s exploring your own backyard on a staycation, or venturing off to a new place in a smart and safe way. Travel to new places, near or far, can help us escape the normal, everyday life stressors. Travel health insurance can help you to get started on your journey of finding unique ways to handle your stress, and make sure you’re protected as you do so!
While travel might be Wild Bum’s go-to way of de-stressing, there are so many other ways to help maintain your mental health in challenging times. From exercising to journaling, trying a new hobby, or doing something that brings you joy.
I challenge all of us, myself included, to not reach for the junk food, run to the liquor stores, or hit up that person that was just never into us enough, when we are overwhelmed by stress. Instead, try incorporating travel, along with a few of these daily practices, into your life, to stay healthy through stressful times.
Travel Near and Far
Traveling is a de-stressing activity. If packing and planning gives you anxiety use that time to analyze your triggers. When we know what creates stress the better we can be in combating anxious thoughts.
Challenge yourself by taking new approaches to traveling, or even by not planning anything at all. Sometimes the best trips are the spontaneous ones we did the least preparations for. You can stay close to home and take a day, or fly somewhere far and spend a week.
A change in activity and location can help you put down the heavy baggage that piles on your plate from day-to-day responsibilities. Exploration and fulfilling wanderlust is a part of self care that like anything else takes practice and effort to tailor for your best fit.
Work on Minimizing Your Stress
Let’s get it out of the way, shall we? There’s no way to completely avoid stress or the hiccups of life, but one thing we can always control is our inner self. It can be hard to hear, but staying mentally and physically fit only improves the overall quality of our lives no matter what chaos gets thrown our way.
You could be thinking that you’re not the meditating, exercising, kombucha drinking type and what some may be too polite to say is that you could be right, but that may also be why your anxiety is getting the best of you.
Sweat it Out
It’s only fitting to begin with exercise since most of us dread the gym. Whether working out is already a part of your weekly routine or not, beginning or staying in a routine at home or traveling will help you in hard times.
A common misconception is that there are limited ways to exercise when in reality any kind of movement will help improve your mood.
What are you feeling right now, and what makes you feel better? You know yourself best and if endless cardio isn’t for you, try something where you can actively make contact to get out your aggression. For example, boxing, muay thai, or spinning can all be great stress-relievers.
If you’re needing calmness or something you can control easily, try walking, running, hiking, weight lifting, or resistance training.
Perhaps all you need is some fun and a Zumba, dance, or barre class fits your personality more. In times where you feel like getting out of bed is tiresome, moving your body helps decrease that depression even if you’re spending time doing things you don’t normally do.
These types of classes are good, too, because they allow you to be in a group fitness class which can help lower stress levels.
Your Results Correlate to Your Efforts
You get out what you put in. Take this literally because your grandma saying you are what you eat isn’t just a phrase. In times of stress, a detox could be exactly what the doctor ordered. When you’re feeling down, it can feel comforting to grab sweet and salty treats or fast food, but all those do is add to the heavy weight of stress you already carry.
Even if you already practice eating a balanced diet, detoxing can help distract your mind as well as boost endorphins that will improve your mental health.
If you have trouble staying in the zone during work or in your personal life, try boosting your energy by incorporating supplements into your diet plan. Anything with vitamin B, ginseng, omega-3 fatty acids, or magnesium can help you get the most out of what you eat and what you do.
Do What Brings You Joy
Take the time to enjoy your own company and hobbies. Think about the things you haven’t done in a while and put in the effort to do them. Reconnecting with yourself gives you the energy to not only stay active but to also make all-around healthy choices that will add better quality to your life.
We all love our friends, but some things are better solo, and you may need time to be alone. That’s okay. Short periods of isolation can be healthy as long as you’re spending your time treating yourself well, which means you’re fueling your body and mind with activity and positive affirmations.
If you’re having trouble finding exactly what to do alone try a new activity or traveling to a new place. A change of scenery is sometimes all we need to find new inspiration for our daily routines.
I promise you, this is one thousand percent less corny than what sounds. Journaling can be whatever you want it to be. Write down anything that helps you from a food diary and fitness goals to poems and daily thoughts.
If you’ve never kept a journal before start by just writing down something good that happened to you each day and what you look forward to in the days coming.
Art is therapy even for those of us who feel as if there isn’t an artistic bone in our body. Get messy, and enjoy the power of being able to create something with your own will. Depression can often make us feel small, powerless, and not in control.
On the other hand, even the simplest of art projects can get us out of that negative headspace. It doesn’t have to be something large, intricate, or expensive. The purpose is to just relax and enjoy the process of creating even if it looks terrible.
For example, when I tried to be creative, my origami swan came out like a ball with a stick-figured bird drawn on it. I failed horribly, but I got out of bed and tried. I failed, but I laughed, so therefore I succeeded.
Do Something Trendy
Have you been ax-throwing yet? After going, I see the appeal. Any aggression you have you can channel all into that ax which is not only fun but feels really cool. Trying something new can be a solo experience or you can go with friends. However, the chances are you’ll want to share the experience.
Allow your friends and family to be there for you and by no means feel the need to fake like you’re happy. It’s okay not to be okay, and more people are willing to help you through the dark tunnels than you think. Often it feels like people only want to see us once we’ve reached the light, but that’s not true. Once you make the effort of showing up for yourself a habit, you’ll see just how much fun to be had there is.
Never Give Up on Your Wellness
When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, the last thing you think about is healthy living and no one can blame you for that — life is hard. Maintaining fitness and a healthy lifestyle while feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster is no easy task for anyone, and unfortunately pulling yourself out of an emotional funk isn’t one either.
Life will never be weightless, but the more you push back the stronger you’ll get, and before you realize it what once felt heavy will feel light as a feather. You can’t necessarily change your circumstances, but you can change your attitude and work to stay healthy no matter what.
About the Author
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. Danielle is an advocate for healthy living in all aspects of life.