The pandemic upended the lives of people across the country. Aside from forcing businesses to close, it also increased the anxiety and stress levels of many Americans who had to stay home to avoid getting infected. Healthcare is one major contributor to Americans’ stress, with 64 percent concerned about the cost.
Due to this, you need to take care of your physical and mental health. While following proper health protocols allows you to avoid getting sick, taking care of your mental health can be complicated. But here are some ways to improve your mental health even though you are staying at home.
Exercising outdoors is a good way for you to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy. Exercising outside can reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder since serotonin levels go up due to the sunlight. The workout also allows the body to produce endorphins, which help boost your mood. Physical exercise also helps you sleep better and increases your stamina and energy. You can jog or bike around the neighborhood while following health protocols if you are not yet fully vaccinated.
If you are not keen on jogging or biking around the neighborhood, you can work out in your backyard. In this instance, a patio would be a good place for you to perform physical activities. If your home does not have one yet, you can get in touch with a reliable patio builder to make one for your home. These professionals can customize the paved area based on your preference.
Even as stress contributes to depression and anxiety, it also affects your body. It can suppress the immune system, which is risky during the pandemic. You can experience stress anywhere and at any time. Your work can cause stress and family life, especially with many people staying home during a health crisis.
One way for you to reduce stress is through deep breathing. Inhaling air through your nose until your lungs are full of air can slow down your heart rate. It can also stabilize or lower your blood pressure. Increasing the oxygen supply in your brain can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes serenity.
Deep breathing allows you to keep your mind off your worries and connects you with your body. You can practice deep breathing in a quiet space in your home.
Start a Garden
The pandemic caused disruptions in the food supply as shipping came to a standstill at the start of the health crisis. This compelled many Americans to start a garden at home. Aside from getting a supply of fresh vegetables, a home garden also offers other benefits.
Garden work can be challenging, but it allows you to have your daily dose of vitamin D through the sun. Studies have also shown that gardening reduces the risk of dementia among the older population. It can also boost your mood, as shown in a study conducted in the Netherlands. Another study showed that around 80 percent of people who spent time in a garden felt calm and relaxed. Additionally, you can get good aerobic exercise when you start a garden.
Socialize with Other People
While many people prefer to keep their mental health struggles to themselves, you should remember that you may need help from other people to succeed. Research suggests that people function better when they are connected with others or the community. You may withdraw when you feel stressed out, but socializing with other people can prove helpful for you. Studies also point out that people with good relationships with their family and friends tend to be happier. They also have fewer health issues and live longer. These studies show that the fact is true in all ages, gender, and physical health status.
On the other hand, people who have no social life tend to feel stressed. They also have more health issues compared to people who are connected with others. Socializing with other people also increases people’s self-esteem, and it is easier for them to feel empathy for other people.
While it may not be advisable to meet face-to-face, you can opt to connect with family and friends virtually. You can use video conferencing software to get in touch with them. You can also join online communities and connect with the members of these communities. Maintaining a healthy relationship with family and friends can help you reduce stress levels in your life.
Aside from keeping yourself physically healthy, you should also improve your mental health until everything goes back to normal.