It’s a weird time in the world, and it’s been lasting longer than we expected. Chances are, we may have fallen into some not-so-healthy ways to deal with the pandemic and being stuck inside. That said, it’s time to make smarter choices for our bodies and minds. Below, we’ve listed out some of the most common unhealthy ways to cope with stress that we turn to, pandemic or not. We will then list some healthy alternatives to get you on the path to healthy and mindful living—check it out!
If you dealt with being stuck at home by online shopping all day every day, then it’s time to slow your orders. When you turn to material things to bring happiness, soothe anxieties, or simply pass the time, then you’re putting yourself in a bad space both financially and mentally. Your mind will crave true forms of coping rather than the surface-level cope of shopping—that’s why you may feel the need to shop every day.
Instead of spending, pick up a hobby that distracts your mind; that may mean gardening, painting, or cooking. Using your hands and your brain will keep you from picking up the phone or heading to the computer to shop.
Drinking in Excess
Many people turn to alcohol to alleviate stress, but this has consequences for both the short- and long-term. As an incredibly unhealthy way to cope with stress, heavy drinking can alter your brain’s chemistry, making new things (often unhealthy habits) seem normal. Drinking can shift hormonal balances within your brain and body, and this can impact how our body perceives and reacts to stress. Simply put, when we drink to deal with stress, we’re reducing our chances of handling any sort of stress.
Instead of drinking, see if you can limit yourself to one drink per day. If you need to cut it off entirely, then start by understanding how alcohol affects your body. When you understand all that the booze is doing to you, you’ll be more inclined to partake in healthy distractions, like exercising or meditation.
Withdrawing From or Lashing Out at Loved Ones
If you want to cope with stress in a healthy way, then you need to recognize that withdrawing and lashing out are unhealthy. When we lash out at loved ones, we hurt ourselves almost as much as we hurt them. In that same sense, when we feel stressed, isolation feels comfortable, but prolonged social withdrawal is not good for you mentally. Though you can’t go out to your favorite restaurants with your friends right now, you can still make sure that you’re taking proper steps to communicate with loved ones and control anger.
Instead of withdrawing, fight this feeling and reach out to friends and family who help you relax. Work on healthy ways to cope with your emotions that don’t put your loved ones or yourself in any sort of harm.