How to de-stress, naturally

Is the Covid-19 pandemic causing you to feel stressed?

With such widespread coverage, the 24-7 news cycle, and social media feeds jammed with coronavirus content, many of our patients are reporting that they feel overwhelmed, anxious. This is understandable, so it’s important to find ways to calm stress, naturally.

See, a 2017 study published inComputers in Human Behavior[1] found that,“Exposure to chronic stress can suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infection.” That’s not a good combination!

During this pandemic it is important to be informed; to take the right steps and follow advice. But, listening to conspiracy theories, sensational stories, and being constantly switched on can do more harm than good. It’s important we each support our mental wellbeing, especially if we are sensitive to feeling overwhelmed or already experience mental illness.

We want you to stay safe and healthy and managing stress has a key role to play. These three simple steps will help you to calm your stress, naturally.

Sensible engagement in news and social media

Our understanding of Covid-19 and the steps we need to take continues to evolve. This makes itimportantthat we remain up-to-date. But, being constantly immersed, as we’ve already discussed, is not helpful.

A study published in theBritish Journal of Psychology[2] looked at what factors, if any, influenced whether someone’s mood was affected by the news. The authors found that when daily news was perceived as more negative the viewers felt, well, more negative. The authors also observed that when negative news is personally relevant, like Covid-19 is to most of us, the negative affect was stronger.

If you’re feeling stressed, it might be time to cut down the constancy of your news exposure. Stick with reputable sites for coronavirus advice:Health.gov.au,Australia.gov.au and theWorld Health Organisation will likely suffice.

Focus on sufficient sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is often a challenge at the best of times, let alone with the added pressures and anxiety this pandemic has placed on us. How are you coping?Do you sleep well or do you toss and turn, fitful or worried?

Sleep and the circadian system, our 24-hour body clock, are strong regulators of immune function.[3] When you slumber poorly, your ability to fight foreign invaders is decreased. Poor sleep also elevates stress, which lowers immune function, too. Sufficient sleep is a simple way to calm stress and enhance immune function.

To sleep well: Ensure your bedroom is dark and slightly cool, quiet and safe. Avoid blue light from TV, laptop and smartphone screens for 90 minutes prior to retiring for the night. Establish a routine; go to be and rise at the same times each day. Choose a comfortable and supportive pillow and mattress.

Be physically active

Covid-19 may have temporarily changed the way we live, but we are still able to be active. Unless infected and unwell, that is. Exercise is wonderful for elevating mood and, as an added plus, boosting immune function.[4] One study found that those who engaged in Hatha Yoga were “significantly less anxious, tense, depressed, angry, fatigued, and confused.”[5] This is great news! Yoga can be streamed so even if you’re self-isolating there is no reason you can’t be involved. Walking 45 minutes, five days per week is also ideal.

If you are feeling stressed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, be gentle with yourself. There have been so many major changes, so quickly. These three steps will help you to establish much-needed calm, which is crucial to your physical and psychological wellbeing.

Please, take care of your health. You matter.

 


[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563217304405

[2] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjop.12389

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/

[4]https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005

[5]https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02701367.1988.10605493

Daniel Irvine

Chiropractor - Irvine Chiropractic

Dr Daniel Irvine's mission is to provide personalised, quality chiropractic care with an emphasis on preventive measures, striving to give his patients more fulfilled and enjoyable lives, while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Western Sydney born-and-raised, Daniel was first inspired to become a Chiropractor as a young athlete dealing with recurring injuries. After seeking treatment from various health practitioners without success, he was introduced to chiropractic care and was amazed by the results.

While studying, Daniel played and trained as a first grade Rugby League player with the Parramatta Eels, Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs. He strongly believes that regular chiropractic adjustments enabled him to deal with the enormous physical stresses placed on his body during this time. Throughout his professional sporting career, obvious emphasis was placed on eating well and this is where Daniel developed his enthusiasm for good nutrition.

Daniel is a graduate of Macquarie University in Sydney, achieving a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and Master of Chiropractic where he graduated at the top of his class. Daniel is a member of Chiropractic Australia (CA) and Sports Chiropractic Australia (SCA).

With more than 5 years' experience with physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors, Daniel has had extensive exposure to the treatment and management of a diverse range of conditions from sports injuries through to pregnancy related care.

Daniel's other passion is his family which includes his wife Amy and their three boys Bernie, Harvey and Alfie. His recreational interests include cycling, running, golf and training at the gym.

Irvine Chiropractic

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