Living through a global pandemic is strange, scary, and stressful. It’s crucial that we don’t neglect our mental health during times like these. Too much stress can lead to chronic health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Take care of yourself with these five healthy ways to de-stress.
1. Exercise and stretch.
Our physical and mental health are closely linked, and just about every mental health care practitioner recommends exercise as a way to reduce stress. Exercising releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which boost your mood and act as a natural painkiller.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, just five minutes of aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety levels. If you’re feeling stressed, consider trying yoga or taking a (socially distanced) walk around the block. Stretching also relieves tension, so yoga in particular is an excellent way to de-stress.
2. Avoid doom-scrolling.
There’s a lot going on right now. We’ve got the pandemic, the election, wildfires, hurricanes, protests — and the list keeps going. While it’s important to be informed of current events, it’s equally important to take care of yourself. Know when to stop doom-scrolling and unplug.
Try to spend less time on social media, where it seems like there’s always more bad news. Use your free time to pursue a hobby instead. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to be stressed or depressed.
3. Take a trip to the shooting range.
While it may not be for everyone, going to the shooting range is a great way to de-stress. Whenever you handle firearms, safety is the number one priority — so you absolutely must focus on what you’re doing. This deep concentration will pull your mind away from any stressful thoughts. The act of shooting also forces you to breathe deeply, which lowers your heart rate.
You’ll usually need to bring your own rifle or shotgun to a shooting range and keep it locked in a gun case when you aren’t using it. Investing in a nice leather shotgun case will ensure the safety of your firearm as well as the people around it. Every Negrini shotgun case is handmade in Italy with premium quality materials, is TSA-approved, and keeps your shotgun safe from damage.
4. Give CBD a try.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is everywhere these days and for good reason — the non-psychoactive cannabinoid has a host of benefits, including stress-relief. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill made the cultivation of hemp plants legal in the United States, so long as they don’t exceed a certain THC level. This legalization of hemp is why you see so many CBD products on the market now — from CBD oil, tinctures, and edibles to CBD hemp flower.
Not to be mistaken with marijuana flower, hemp flower contains high levels of CBD with a low THC content. When you smoke hemp flower, you’ll feel the relaxing benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC-heavy cannabis flower. The potency and flavor of your CBD bud depend on the strain, as does the price. You can actually order CBD hemp flower online in almost every state now. Plain Jane, based in Oregon, sources their CBD flower from local family farms and offers a wide variety of CBD strains and products.
5. Get more sleep.
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It’s so essential to our wellbeing and overall functioning. You should aim for seven to nine hours a night but most importantly, listen to your body. If you’re feeling unfocused, irritable, and stressed — you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. Taking melatonin or CBD oil before bed can help you sleep better and longer. Being well-rested will not only help you fight stress but it’ll boost your immune system as well.
When faced with a major health crisis, we talk a lot about maintaining our physical health — but our mental health is equally important. Make sure you’re finding ways to de-stress during this pandemic (and this year in general).