Feel Good

Seven ways to relieve stress

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and anxious HLN’s Helen Bowman has pulled together a few stress-relieving tips to help you keep anxiety and worry at bay.

Written by High Life North
Published 28.05.2020

There’s no doubt that 2020 will go down in history as a time when our keyworkers (read: angels) risked their lives, day in, day out, to keep us all safe.

And those of us who are safe at home can thank the universe that the most we must do to contribute to the fight is to stay at home and watch Netflix.

We can never say enough thank yous to those who have stayed at work to keep us healthy, our food supplies available, general services functioning and the world as a whole, spinning and surviving. No matter how many times we clap outside our doors until our arms ache, or paint gorgeous rainbows to put in our windows, or donate to incredible veterans and other fundraising heroes, it never feels like enough.

Whether we count ourselves lucky or not, the Covid-19 lockdown has impacted everyone’s life in one way or another. We’re busier than ever, taking on new roles as a teacher, chef, carer and personal trainer, and whether you’re feeling alone and anxious, or simply taking the lockdown in your stride – everyone is reacting differently to the challenge.

Get creative in the kitchen

I don’t know about you, but our lockdown is just stuff that happens between meals and snacks. Our grocery bill has sky-rocketed and my waistline is in danger of doing the same thing! But if that’s the worst that happens, we’re very lucky people.

So, get in the kitchen and create. Whether you’re feeding the family or just fending for yourself, batch cooking, trying new recipes or baking a few sweet treats will keep your mind off the stress and anxiety that lurks in the background.

Why not check out some of HLN’s tasty recipes for inspiration?

Break out the neglected crafting materials

Whether you’re a seasoned cross stitch master, an experienced decoupage enthusiast or a total novice on the handicraft front, there’s never been a better time to pick up an unfinished project or crack on with a new hobby.

And if you’re looking for ways to get the kids involved in crafting, why not adapt some of these simple ideas from our crafting with kids article?

Get outdoors and garden

Surely the good weather we’re having is tempting even the most reluctant gardener out into the fresh air. From pots and planters to full on rockeries and garden landscaping projects, there’s always something to be done in the garden.

Dust off the tools, pull on your gardening gloves and enjoy some fresh air into the bargain. We’ve got a few tips for you in one our latest articles about gardening, here.

Get active to shrug off the blues

Exercise has long been heralded as one of the best things to do for stress-relief. Even if you don’t want to head out for your allotted once-per-day walk, run or cycle, there’s plenty of exercise you could do in the safety and privacy of your own home.

Search YouTube for your chosen exercise programme or join in with the kids doing PE with Joe Wicks every weekday morning (it’s seriously not just for the kids!). There are even a number of local exercise businesses delivering activities online – check them out in this article.

If a slower pace is more your thing, consider some yoga or pilates to relax, stretch and revitalise yourself. You can even get the kids involved with our children’s yoga help guide.

Embrace technology and FaceTime your friends

If loneliness is a huge issue for you during the lockdown, arrange a virtual meeting with friends. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple or stick the kettle on for a warming cuppa. Then grab your phone, tablet or laptop and dial up your friends on WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, Houseparty or FaceTime.

You can quiz, chat, play games or just generally shoot the breeze – everything you’d normally do when you meet up, except without leaving the house. You don’t even have to get properly dressed with the tips in our ‘waist-up’ wardrobe tips article!

Turn off the news and choose your own entertainment

Listening to the news about Covid-19 on a regular basis is enough to bring on stress and anxiety in even the most chilled out person. Of course, we need to keep abreast of the latest news, but listening to the news all the time isn’t the best idea.

Why not tune out and listen to your favourite music, binge watch something on Netflix (there are rules to live by, here!) or download a few episodes of your favourite podcast?

Look after yourself

Whether you’re stealing a few precious minutes away from the kids or simply pampering yourself in splendid isolation, self-care is just as important now, if not more important, to ward off stress and anxiety.

From lighting your favourite scented candle and painting your nails, to cracking open a luxurious facemask and giving yourself the time and mind space to meditate, some precious time away from the hustle and bustle or painful loneliness of lockdown life will do you the world of good.

There’s loads more tips in our recent article about self-care for key workers which are pertinent for us all…

There’s also some fabulous tips for children’s meditation too.

And if all else fails, why not join in with our recent decluttering series? High Life North editor Laura, who is in lockdown alone, swears by it to help pass the time and ward off anxiety.

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