Have you been feeling stressed lately?
If so, don’t worry – you’re certainly not alone. The events of the past year have taken their toll on our mental and physical health, with instances of illness and self-isolation becoming evermore widespread.
Many of us have missed out on spending time with friends and family, with loneliness particularly rife amongst those who live alone.
It can be difficult to put life into perspective when we are feeling anxious and stressed about the unknown; but every now and then, it’s important to set aside the time for self-care.
So, in this week’s blog, we’re introducing 5 stress-relieving exercises that you can try in the comfort of your own home to help you cope with anxiety:
Try Gentle Yoga Stretches
At the estate, we love yoga. The combination of stretching and deep breathing helps to boost oxygen levels and blood flow, which helps nutrients arrive at the muscles much more quickly and efficiently. It’s also great for stripping the body of toxins, as well as improving balance and flexibility – both of which can positively develop mobility and posture.
Take a look at this article for some great chair-based exercises you can try at home. If these prove too difficult, try lowering your chin down towards your chest for a stretch in the back of your neck. Alternatively, you could try holding one of your legs straight in front of you, before tilting your toes forwards and backwards for a relieving ankle stretch.
Stress-Relieving Exercises: Activate Your Green Thumb
Plants, greenery and wildlife are highly effective at relieving stress. They help to unlock the senses, offering us an array of bright colours, refreshing smells, primal sounds and interesting textures to enjoy.
Try heading out to your garden to enjoy an anxiety-alleviating outdoor experience. Why not plant a new flower, or simply enjoy the fresh air by sitting down with a cup of tea?
Seated and/or Walking Meditation
Meditation is a brilliant stress reliever. When combined with a gentle stroll outside, your body is enabled to connect with the world around you. This can help to put your thoughts into perspective and clear your mind of unwanted thoughts.
To the uninitiated, meditation can seem intimidating; but there really is no right or wrong way to try it. If you’re a beginner, you can simply stay seated in your chair, close your eyes, and breathe deeply for 5 or 10 minutes. This helps to create a connection between your mind and body, and creates a sense of awareness.
If you’re keen to try the next step, imagine yourself attaching each passing thought to a balloon, and watching it float away. Here, you’re giving yourself permission to let go of the thoughts that are no longer serving you.
If you’d like to try walking meditation, you can take the same approach but just keep your eyes open. Rather, take in the sights, sounds and smells that are around you, and use them to help you get rid of negative thoughts and welcome soothing ones.
Enjoy a Dance
Dancing to music we truly love can help to release endorphins, our happy hormone.
You don’t need to be a ‘good’ dancer to enjoy this one. If you feel uncomfortable, wait until no one else is around and let yourself go! It may feel a little strange at first if you’re not used to it, but dancing can be incredibly liberating – and will certainly help you shift your attention away from your stresses.
Take Your Pet for a Stroll
Spending time with animals can be an incredibly effective way of relieving your stress. Loyal, loving and compassionate, pets provide an invaluable sense of companionship.
The next time you need a mood-booster, try taking your pet for a stroll around your neighbourhood, and take the extra time to appreciate the joy that such a simple activity can bring. If you don’t have a pet of your own, consider asking a neighbour or family member if you can help out with daily/weekly walks.
If you’re feeling stressed, try any of the above exercises to try and restore a sense of calm and joy into your daily life.
At Huntington and Langham Estate, we’re passionate about providing a calming, peaceful environment for our residents that encourages them to live with freedom, happiness and comfort.
Find out more about the benefits of stress-relieving exercises in this article.
Alternatively, why not take a look at our previous blog to discover why our team is passionate about working in care?