Exercise and Managing Stress Through Changing Restrictions

Adapted for Jan 2022, from vanesschiro.com, first written April 2020

Undoubtedly, the number of people experiencing stress and anxiety with changing restrictions continues each day. Our daily lives continue to be limited, as shutdowns continue to be implemented, and phases of reopenings are reintroduced.

Exercise and Movement

Finding time to exercise and move your body and manage your stress is essential to handle the changes. Exercise and movement is one of the most effective ways to deal with and handle stress and anxiety. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol, and it also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

Examples of exercise and movement with current January weather can include fast walking, long walks, skating, sledding and skiing. It also includes building a snow fort, shovelling the driveway, and walking the dog. Choose what you like to do, and if you can, include family members.

Managing Stress

Play Music You Like

Music can affect both our emotional and physiological states. And just like bass-heavy or fast rpm tunes can get you pumped up for exercise and movement, classical music or jazz can calm your nerves. Choose what you like to listen to, to help calm your state.

Bathe Yourself in Light

Intuitively, we know that we feel better when we are out in the sunshine. It is easy to miss the sun during the shorter daylight times, so you’ll need to commit to get outside. Our brain’s chemicals associated with mood and sleep are affected by exposure to light. The sun helps to re-enegize when we are feeling sapped of energy, moody or down. When you start feeling cooped up, get outside into the sun. Or if you’re indoors, make sure you keep the blinds up and allow the light to shine in.

Enforce Some Device and Computer Free Time

Turn off the tv. Shut down the computers, phones and electronic games. Then, just be. Or do something that you like to do like completing a crossword or other puzzle, do some baking, painting or colouring. Or sit and meditate, focus on your breath, practice your martial art or create a gratitude list. Each will relieve stress and anxiety.

Chiropractic Care

Many people think of chiropractic care only when they are in sudden pain or have thrown out their back. In fact, regular chiropractic adjustments can help improve emotional well-being and reduce stress.

When we’re stressed, our muscles naturally tend to contract, and we therefore experience a feeling or tension. Many people carry their tension in their neck and shoulders. When people undergo episodes of chronic stress, much like we have since March 2020, the tensed muscles aren’t given the opportunity to rest and realign themselves. That means that while muscles remain constantly tensed, the bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves suffer.

All of these simple strategies can help us to cope with the changing restrictions and be at our best mentally, physically and emotionally.

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