By Tyler Jefford • September 23rd, 2020
Its been a pretty busy last couple months with ups and downs both at work and in life. It’s easy to feel like the world is crumbling beneath us. The US is on fire, literally and figuratively. We are just 41 days away from an unprecedented presidential election. Civil unrest, economic downturn, the earth is melting.
I wanted to share some things I have been doing to help manage stress during these times. This isn’t comprehensive and it varies day to day for me. If you need help, please reach out to someone.
Take a breath
This is probably the easiest thing to do. When you feel a lot of things piling up, your heart starts racing, pause. Take a step back for a minute and just breathe.
There are a lot of apps out there that can help you with this. My advice is to get away from your screen and breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 and out for 4. Do this a few times, 5-6 times in a row. I find it helps to close my eyes doing this.
This will lower your heart rate, replenishes your body with oxygen and gets begins to calm you down physically.
Take a Walk
I wrote about getting out for a walk a while back and mentioned how it can hep to clear your head and de-stress.
This is another low effort task for most. For me, I find getting out helps me organize my thoughts and come back with a clearer mind to address the things stressing me out.
The sun gives you energy, walking and physical activity help move blood through your body and get your cardio going.
Play some music
I’m doing that now as I write this. I love music and try to listen to different things every day, I enjoy finding new music to vibe to. Its not always calming music like the new Mike Shinoda album. It might be hard rock, rap or some blues.
This is an exercise I try to do when I can get away from the computer and close my eyes and really get lost in the music.
Talk to your friends
Especially during this pandemic, I have found it so recharging and helpful to talk to my fiends and family. Doing so through a myriad of video chatting services has been a big help to reduce stress.
Sometimes you just need to vent, sometimes you want to hear about what others are up to. Sharing your life and thoughts and experiences gets your mind off your problems and helps you contextualize your thoughts and things you are going through in a wider world.
A quote I like to think about when I am feeling the pressure of the day comes from YouTube personality Philip DeFranco when he was starting his new business.
"Everyone should feel the way they are feeling, but just know that soon, this is going to feel a million miles away."
Today might suck, but it’s just a small part of your life and tomorrow can be better. Bit by bit, things are going to get better and in a few months you will look back at this time and think about the mountain you climbed as a memory.