Decreasing Stress Levels

Stress. Just saying that word out loud makes me stop and take a deep breath. Unless you've been living under a rock or on an island in the middle of the ocean for the past 2 years, Covid has taken over essentially all aspects of our lives. According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, Americans are at an all time high stress level. That beats out world wars, depressions, recessions, and everything which came prior. Because of this, I think we all owe it to ourselves to dedicate blocks of our schedules to relaxation.

Whether it be a hobby, meditation, or simply kickin' back on the couch, dedicating real time to "escape" should become an essential part of our day. Science tells us that when we're stressed, chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline are constantly being sent to our brains. Long-term exposure of these chemicals is what leads to chronic issues such as anxiety and depression. With both of these on the rise during a global pandemic, now is the time to focus on yourself and your loved ones. Go to that baseball game. Take that camping trip. Go see your parents.

If going out in public adds to your stress levels, which is more than understandable, perhaps creating a relaxing environment in your house or backyard is the way to go. Compared to just a few years ago, sales of saunas, hot tubs, recliners, even specific relaxation candles are up almost 80%. Most people have already figured out they need to relax a bit more or longer each day, and most of the time it's done through a new addition of furniture.

When I decided to take the step to relax more, I started off with a few candles, a diffuser, and lots of quiet time in the sun. It has made me feel immensely calmer throughout my work weeks. It ended up working so well, that I decided to tell my friends. So far only a few have taken the time to try it out, but the ones that have are absolutely loving it. We're all busy, but I believe it's possible find 10 or 15 minutes in the day to stop everything, take a few deep breaths, and clear our minds.