Let’s get real — this last year or so hasn’t been fantastic for almost anybody. In the United States alone, 84 percent of adults are experiencing at least one “emotion associated with prolonged stress,” and, at the present moment, stress levels are even higher than they were at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
Therefore, it has perhaps never been more crucial to learn new ways to handle your stress levels. Check out some of the best ways to manage stress below:
1. Cognitive Behavior Therapy
The Mayo Clinic notes that cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for multiple mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, bipolar disorder, and more. While there isn’t necessarily any “cure” for anxiety disorders, CBT is known to help patients better cope with their feelings of anxiety. Some cases may require CBT along with medications such as antidepressants or even exposure therapy.
Whether you’re dealing with daily anxiety, chronic stress, a panic disorder, or a social anxiety disorder; consider working with a licensed therapist to create a CBT treatment plan for anxiety that works for you. Learning CBT techniques from a therapist at the Anxiety and Depression Treatment Center can help you cope with challenging situations and feel better about yourself and your life. For example, learning to evaluate your thinking and behaviors through CBT helps you understand your negative thoughts and stress levels, which can help you identify any tendencies for avoidance and what triggers your negative thoughts. This will help your therapist teach you tools to find different ways of handling situations.
2. Try CBD
For those experiencing high-stress levels, but hesitant to try prescription medication; consider trying a natural way for relieving stress with CBD. CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is the element found in the cannabis plant that won’t make you feel “high,” unlike THC (one of the other elements found in the cannabis plant). CBD products are a great way to reduce stress and anxiety without the side effects common with traditional anxiety medications. Whether you prefer to consume a dose of CBD in gummy form or in CBD oil or enjoy the flavor of smoking hemp cigarettes; CBD is a great option to manage stress.
A recent article in Medical News Today reported the growing research that suggests that CBD reduces symptoms of various ailments ranging from anxiety disorders such as general anxiety disorder, PTSD, OCD, and social anxiety disorder to insomnia. However, keep in mind that CBD isn’t legal on the federal level nor is it FDA-approved.
3. A Spa Day
Now that you’re dealing with stress daily, you could use a day spent just pampering yourself. Whether it’s soaking in a bath with your favorite bath bomb, lounging in the backyard hammock with a facemask, soaking your feet with your favorite essential oils, or giving yourself a manicure with some custom nails, a day dedicated to relaxation is a great way to manage stress.
Considering the pandemic, going to a traditional spa or nail salon will be a hassle with extra risk (not exactly relaxing). Luckily, companies like Mani Me have created custom nails that you can order online and easily apply yourself. Splurge on your favorite design and favorite hand lotion and give yourself a manicure without the social anxiety of a nail salon.
An article published in VeryWellMind earlier this year reported that social media usage has been linked to depression and anxiety as well as possibly causing impulse control issues, low self-esteem, and being used as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Therefore, it is unsurprising that one of the biggest things being universally recommended to deal with pandemic stress has been to make time to ignore social media and other news outlets.
Consider spending a day (or at least several hours) completely unplugged from the internet and the news to focus on you. Take a walk, eat a healthy meal, do yoga, read a good book, do some check-ins with elder family members, etc. Just do something that gets you away from negative thoughts. Focus on positive behaviors and actions that make you a healthier and happier person.