The year 2020 has been a year of much-unprecedented stress and anxiety, with the pandemic being around for many months now and up to the election day. People have been sharing stories of coping with stress like staying in bed for a week, stress eating, and clearing their calendars.
According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 76% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans have said that the 2020 election is a significant cause of their stress. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and who will win the election, people are getting a lot of stress lately; and in general, humans do not like uncertainty.
But people can do something for themselves even if some things are uncontrollable. Here are five ways to cope up with stress and anxiety.
A CNBCreport said that research has shown that distraction could ease worry as it shifts the attention to negative things to something else that is more productive and less stressful.
One way to do that is through seeking out activities that produce 'flow.' According to a 2018 study, seeking out flow-inducing activities like making music, rock climbing, sailing, swimming, dancing, playing chess, or riding a bicycle could improve well-being as it makes time pass faster when in waiting period. Thus, the feelings of anxiety and stress will not be the focus of one's attention.
When feeling anxious or the stress level is rising, try the quick calming exercise of Dr. Judson A. Brewer of Brown University's Mindfulness Center.
He said to try focus on the feet either while sitting or standing and feel the soles of your feet, then feel the connection between the heels with your shoes and the ground beneath you, The New York Times reported.
"It's a different way to ground yourself," Dr. Brewer said. "Anxiety tends to be in your chest and throat. Your feet are as peripheral as you get from your anxiety zones."
Read Also: 3 Tips in Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
Family and friends can be strong social support. Having them is good for a person's mental health. Studies have also shown that having social support boosts immunity, increases life expectancy, and helps you adjust to life changes better.
Since a face-to-face gathering is not yet safe during the pandemic, you can set up video-conference events with your friends and family. To make it more exciting, plan to play a collaborative game with them over your video calls.
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, a lecturer at Stanford University, said that it only takes three minutes of moving to boost your mood. "If you give me three minutes, it works, as long as you're moving your body in ways that feel good to you," she said.
Additionally, she suggested picking an aspiring song that gets you moving. This short burst of exercise will get the heart rate up and boost dopamine secretion, giving yourself the sense of being alive and engaged. She said that it is a way to feel one's strength and connected to hope and joy.
This time of uncertainty might get people wanting more information from various types of media. But in the recent election, the APA suggests that limiting one's news intakeis the easiest way to reduce stress. Setting boundaries like setting a 30-minute schedule for opening your social media accounts to read the news will help you not go overboard.
Read More:Overcoming Separation Anxiety When Returning to Work
Check out more news and information on Anxietyon Science Times.
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