Spring is in session, and we’re ready for a feeling of renewed energy and hope! It has not been easy to avoid giving in to the monotony of two years under the Coronavirus pandemic, but there are ways to cope with stress and negative thought cycles. (Even better – it doesn’t even have to be hard!) We hope the following easy-going tips can help keep your spirit high this Spring and beyond.
Pause and Breathe
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a break and practicing breathing exercises can help your nervous system and relax your body. A common exercise is known as “box breathing”. Inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold again for four counts before repeating the process. Simply taking the time for mindful breathing a few minutes a day is beneficial for your overall health. “From cognition to digestion, effective breathing can not only provide you with a greater sense of mental clarity, but it can also help you sleep better, digest food more efficiently, improve your body’s immune response, and reduce stress levels.” (E. Physical Therapy, 2017).
Care for Your Body
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Take a 30-minute walk to get your exercise minutes in for the day. Make sure you are getting anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep. Give your body the best opportunity to function at its best. Your physical and mental state influence one another and health is a key element in maintaining a positive mindset. Caring for yourself helps your body and your mindset allowing you to gain a better sense of control, coping abilities, higher self-esteem, and happier thoughts (Better Health, n.d.).
Enjoy Some Humor
Laughter is a great way to reduce stress (Mayo Clinic, 2021). Laughter can stimulate many organs, activate and relieve your stress response, and soothe tension. Long-term benefits include an improved immune system, pain relief, and an overall better mood. Look up funny memes, watch a funny video on YouTube or a popular comedy special on Netflix, or call your most hilarious friend! It’ll be a (laughing) gas.
Though there may be plenty of negative things to harp on, taking the time to reflect on the good that has taken place in life can boost one’s gratitude. It can be something small, like enjoying a new food, or more meaningful, like more time spent with family or friends. After taking a breath, appreciating your health, or laughing at a joke, take a look around and see if you can find a fresh perspective.
Thanks to technology, it’s easier to stay connected. Six in ten adults now use some kind of video-chatting platform to connect with others, whether it be for professional or personal reasons. With platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, and Hangouts, it’s easy to celebrate birthdays, see a friendly face, and visit with those who may not be feeling well. Benefits of socializing include a better mood and a heightened sense of safety, belonging, and security (MercyCare, n.d.).
Each person is different, so not all of these may work for you. We encourage you to take the time to find something that will lift your mood. Only you can take the necessary steps to do so.
PrimeroEdge wishes everyone well throughout the rest of the school year, and if there is anything we can do to make managing your school nutrition program less stressful, contact us at any time.
Tesla is a Marketing and Communications Specialist with six years of well-rounded experience in the television, radio, newspaper, and most recently, marketing in the K-12 industry. She has a BA in Mass Media with an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism, and a BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Acting and Directing. You may connect with her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tesla-cadena/