Stress and Social Distancing: 10 Ways to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health

Stress and Social Distancing

As we work as a community to “flatten the curve” of this virus, the feelings of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety so many of us are experiencing are wrecking havoc on our well-being. We are out of our routines and anxious about the unknown. It’s a tough time, but there ARE things you can do to help manage whatever emotions you may be experiencing.

Here are 10 things that take 30 minutes or less but can help to instantly improve your physical and mental health

Take a walk

Here in Arizona it has been amazing to see so many families outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather together. Even if you only have 15 minutes, getting outside in the warm air can cause a huge mindset shift for the better.

Mobilize

Mobility training can help alleviate everyday aches and pains that could be caused by hunching over a computer screen for hours on end while we work from home. Telos members, check out the Saturday mobility workouts Abby has so generously provided us in our Team Telos facebook group.

Meditate

When things are seemingly totally out of control and stress levels are through the roof, spending a few minutes a day training your mind and refocusing your thoughts can be a game changer. Meditating a few minutes a day can help reduce anxiety and increase calmness and clarity.

Workout

We know gyms are closed right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the amazing benefits of exercise. Even a short, body weight movement training session can increase endorphins and help you both physically and mentally. We have been helping our members continue to progress by providing custom workouts that can be done at home and through virtual personal training sessions. If you want to join us, schedule a free intro HERE!

Journaling

Writing a few minutes a day can help us keep our thoughts organized and allow for self-reflection. It can relieve stress and reduce depression by literally “dumping” our worries and fears onto a piece of paper, which can calm and clear our mind.

Eat a healthy meal or snack

When we eat right, we function better. When we fuel our body with proper nutrients, it improves our ability to get stuff done and have consistent energy throughout the day. Aim to eat balanced meals that contain vegetables, lean protein, and smart carb sources.

Read a book

Reading books benefits both physical and mental health by strengthening your brain.  Just 30 minutes of reading a day has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of distress.

Make a Schedule

Making a plan for the day helps us to have an idea of how things will go and gives us a sense of control. It also helps us to start structuring some sort of routine for our time at home (or if we are still working, for our day at work). Don’t forget to also plan times for snacks and meals and things to do with family.

Communicate

Pick up the phone and get in touch with someone. Take advantage of video calling to reach out to a friend or family member. Socializing in this way increases endorphins which decreases stress and anxiety.

Take a power nap

Sleep is one of the most important components to a healthy mindset, increased immunity, and lowering stress levels. Just a quick 20 minutes will allow you to wake up feeling recharged and refreshed.

BONUS! Here is one thing to ELIMINATE (or reduce) in your day

Social media

Mindlessly scrolling through social media can fuel an unhealthy comparison to others or feed the need for a quick fix. Right now there is also a lot of inaccurate information floating around that can be an unnecessary source of stress. If you do it, set a timer to limit your exposure.

While it is no secret there are a lot of things that are OUT of our control right now, there are many things that are within our control and doing them will help us be healthier, happier, and manage our stress better. Doing one (or more) of these each day will not only help you feel better, but also improve your health and well-being.

Further Reading

Analysis Paralysis

Put Your Mask On First

Practice Thankfulness

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