Professional life can be stressful. But then again so can your home life, especially if you allow stress from work to spill over into your private world. And with all of the distractions we have on a daily basis, from smartphone notifications to keeping up with work, school and kids, this can make managing stress rather difficult.

It’s also no secret that along with all of our everyday stressors, the COVID-19 pandemic did take its toll on the nerves of the world. And though its safe to say that people are just “over it,” the fact remains that the pandemic has heightened stress around the globe

But thankfully today, even amid the pandemic, we have many creative ways to help manage stress and to keep your edge on life along with a boss mentality at work.

The best methods for coping with stress are creative outlets, along with a few practical strategies as well. In the following tutorial, we’ll outline a few of the best methods for coping with stress in 2021.

Try a Digital Detox

Most people don’t realize it, but the amount of time that we spend online can affect us both mentally and physically. And in a society where we’re surrounded by devices and bombarded with digital media, image-saturated content, and the flashing of notifications every other second, this can become overwhelming even for the biggest tech enthusiasts on the planet.

So what do you do when you need to destress? In a word, unplug. 

Unplugging from digital content, otherwise known as a digital detox, is exactly what most of the content-consuming population of the United States should be doing from time to time. And even if this is setting aside a few hours per day where you’re away from your phone (or any other device), doing so can have a significant impact on your lifestyle.

But then the question arises, what do you do with your time when you’re without your device? 

The answer: whatever you want. Just as long as it doesn’t include staring at the TV, or mindlessly scrolling through apps. 

The following are just a few suggestions on how to occupy your time during digital detox:

  • Read a book (yes, an actual book–not an audiobook) 
  • Take a walk
  • Play a sport
  • Go for a jog
  • Cook something 
  • Play a boardgame 
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Write in a journal
  • Go people-watching downtown

The activities are truly endless. But you get the idea. A digital detox can only be successful if you stick to a routine of unplugging for a certain amount of time. And if you can’t commit to several hours at first, just take baby steps until you get there.

Start a Garden

Gardening is often referred to as a therapeutic art, and many scientists would agree that spending time among nature can actually lower your stress levels and have you feeling much more at ease.

Gardening can also allow you to spend time away from the noise of life, and from the noise of your devices as well.

The best way to begin a garden is by getting to know your property. And to do this, you’ll need to begin attuning to the movements and rhythm of nature just outside of your window. 

For example, in order to pick the best spot for your garden to grow, you’ll need to pay attention to the path of the sun as it crosses over your property. Keep in mind that most plants need 6 hours of overhead sunlight per day to thrive.

Once you’ve picked the best spot, it’s time to clear away the weeds and overgrowth. But this process you’ll want to perform naturally by pulling weeds. 

Refrain from using any chemical herbicides because not only can this soak into the soil (and your plants), certain chemicals in herbicides, such as Roundup, have been linked to cancer, and this is something that you’ll certainly want to avoid. 

Meditation 

Of all the natural methods that you can employ to aid in stress reduction, meditation is by far the most convenient and perhaps the most effective. And, it’s free.

Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to pay a dime to meditate unless you want to join a retreat or hire a guru to help you, of course. But the most basic forms of meditation are easy for everyone to learn.

You’ll also have to keep in mind that when you begin, it will be difficult to quiet the mind. But this is natural, and quieting the mind isn’t the overall goal of meditation. The overall goal in most Eastern practices is to relax the mind through attention to breathing, while recognizing thoughts as they come, and letting them go without judging or clinging to them. 

The practice at first isn’t easy to master. But by trying the techniques a little each day, you’ll slowly get the hang of it and be better able to control your thoughts, and it’s our thoughts that ultimately cause us the most stress. So it’s much better to be in the driver’s seat when stress comes calling.

Additionally, meditation naturally lowers the heart rate which also lowers blood pressure. And meditation improves memory, focus, concentration and relieves tension in the body that stress can cause. 

Keeping the Stress Off

As a human being, you’ll never completely relieve yourself of stress–unless perhaps you become a monk and live the life of an aesthetic. But until you give up all of your worldly possessions and begin wandering the world with an alms bowl, you’re likely to incur some levels of stress from time to time.

But when stress begins to wear you down, taking steps towards relaxing your body and your mind are going to be your best tools to help alleviate stress, and this is the beginning of balancing your mind-body connection.

Life is too short to be worried about stress. And remember, worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, you’ll be using a lot of energy to go nowhere. 

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