If your family is still in a self-isolation holding pattern, you’re probably feeling the stress. And as schools prepare to resume, your entire family is likely on edge trying to figure out how to remain calm in the face of uncertainty. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep the peace, both with your family and internally. Here are a few suggestions that won’t require anxiety meds.
Time in the Outdoors
Spending time outside is one of the absolute best things that you can do for your mental health. Not only does being in nature boost your feel-good hormones, relaxing at the beach, the park, or even your local campsite is a quick and easy way to combat nature deficit disorder, which the Our Parenting Life blog explains is anxiety caused by being inside for too long.
If you’re more active, there are also lots of activities you can do outside to squash stress and alleviate anxiety. Biking is a great example, and it’s one that can get your heart pumping. There are plenty of budget-friendly cycles including the $150 Kent Pomona Men’s Dual-Suspension Comfort Bike and the likewise-priced Kent Oakwood Men’s Cruiser Bike. Both of these, along with a few other options up to about the $500 range, are recommended by Metal Blade Cycles.
Boredom and anxiety are similar in a lot of ways. They can each cause feelings of discomfort, which can lead to bad attitudes and untamed frustrations in the home. When you can’t get outside, look for ways to keep your – and your children’s – mind occupied. As much bad press and screen time gets, video gaming is an excellent way to do just this. Be careful, however, that you have a great, high-speed internet connection so that you can download games that everyone can play without an annoying buffer.
If your laptop, desktop computer, or tablet is painfully slow and not operating efficiently, it may be time to upgrade your machine. Purchasing a new device can be pricey, but you can score deals on popular laptops and tablets from a variety of manufacturers if you take advantage of Black Friday deals and discounts.
Reading is another pastime that quickly whisks you away from the woes of every day. According to the University of Minnesota, reading for pleasure is a great distraction. Keep in mind that you do not have to choose the most popular books. Whatever you choose to read, whether it’s a novel or magazine, should be based on your tastes and interests. After all, it won’t be relaxing if you’re forcing yourself to read something that does not capture your imagination. You also can create a more relaxing reading experience by purchasing an ultra-comfortable reading chair. A premium chair could be quite costly, but there are many excellent budget-friendly options available for under $250 like the IKEA Strandmon chair.
Sometimes, the best way to eliminate stress at home and with your family is to turn within yourself. Meditation, yoga, and solo exercises, such as running or swimming, can help you look at your life from a different perspective. And if you are one that needs to get your thoughts out, journaling, like reading, can be an excellent escape.
To start journaling, all you need is a pen and a cheap notebook. Writing in your journal is an excellent way to get out your feelings. This can help you look back on how you react to situations when you are not in the heat of the moment. Journaling can help you say things about how you’re feeling without potentially causing even more tension with your spouse, partner, or children.
There are many ways to reduce stress within yourself so that it does not translate into friction with those you love. Whether your problems stem from too much time indoors, boredom, or unresolved emotions, you will have to learn how to manage. The tips above can guide you, but only you know what makes you whole and happy.
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