After spending a lot of time away from society, your post-pandemic re-entry can be stressful. In fact, according to experts, there's a name for the distress caused by going back into the hustle and bustle. Re-entry anxiety has been compared to post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia. Therapists have seen increased numbers of clients presenting with social anxiety disorders. Athleisure brand E’s Element suggests the following points below for smoothing your return to "normal" life.
Prioritize Your Life
One of the most effective ways to re-enter society with less stress is identifying the people, places, and activities that you are most likely to enjoy. Don’t jump straight into a long commute; start by taking a walk through your favorite park.
You've had time to reassess your priorities; now focus on what you've learned. For example, this may be a wonderful time to make a career change that you've only dreamed about in the past.
Finances are also a common cause of anxiety; try saving money as a solution. Set up a new savings account or start investing. Cut down on unnecessary subscriptions. Consider refinancing your home to pay off bills, reduce your monthly payments, or make improvements in an older home. Refinancing could also help you save money for the future or increase your available cash.
Exercise provides a powerful antidote to anxiety. The physical and psychological effects of exercise reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. An active fitness routine with regular exercise releases endorphins in the brain that trigger a sense of well-being. Other benefits of a consistent fitness routine include:
- Increased confidence
- A healthy coping strategy
- Low-stress ways to interact with others
Most experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week, but even 10 to 15 minutes a day can lift your mood. Invest in stylish workout clothes to help with motivation.
Nutrition researchers have long been aware that diets full of sugar, fat, and processed foods are linked to declining mental health. In this area, there are still many unanswered questions, but the same nutrient deficiencies that lead to weight gain also cause a decreased ability to respond to stress. Make conscious decisions about what you eat, especially when you're feeling anxious or down. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and high-fiber whole grains are likely to improve your overall health and your mental health.
The body's natural response to stress includes a pounding heart, an increased rate of breathing, and tension in the muscles. When you recognize this physical response, spend a few minutes in meditation. Begin by focusing on long, slow breaths that start deep in the belly. Along with calmer breaths, you can use other relaxation techniques:
- Relax one group of muscles at a time, releasing tension until you've targeted all areas of the body.
- Focus your mind on places, experiences, or scenes that are soothing to you and that have personal significance.
- Rhythmic breathing combined with guided movements, such as tai chi and yoga, offers physical benefits in addition to helping you relax.
- Mindful prayer and meditation involve quiet time spent focusing on your breathing and the present moment. Repetitive prayers tend to be more helpful in this situation.
Regular time spent in relaxing activities helps you manage stress before you have a physical response. Make a list of your favorite relaxation techniques so you don't have to come up with a plan when you're in the middle of a crisis. And don’t overlook arranging your home for maximum serenity and peace. Clean and declutter, open windows and shades, and consider even burning some sage to remove lingering negativity.
Learning to manage your emotional response to stress is a positive step toward confidently re-entering the workplace, the social scene, and other stressful interactions. People aren't born with confidence; it's a quality you work to strengthen.
Whether you’re looking for stylish new jewelry or athletic wear, check out E’s Element today!
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