Finding ways to relax might be one of the most important ways to cope with 2020. The news seems tailor made to create anxiety and fear, and one of the ways we have to cope with one of the biggest challenges of 2020 is to spend as much time as possible at home. Denied our usual distractions, hobbies and structure, we need to look for other ways to relax that are effective at soothing our anxieties and dealing with stress and that are also healthy and constructive and don’t lead into spirals of behaviour that, in time, make you feel worse.
Today we’re taking a look at some ways you can relax in 2020 and endure some of the stresses it’s serving up to all of us.
Sometimes exercise is recommended as a total solution to mental illness and distress, and that’s deeply unhelpful. Used as one tool or technique among many, you might find exercise is a helpful way to improve your sense of wellbeing (as well as your state of physical health).
If one of the things you’re missing as a result of the drastically altered circumstances is structure and achievement, then an exercise routine can help you there very specifically – even following the programme of a simple couch to 5k app will provide a timetable and a growing skill and endurance you can feel proud of.
This could be the ideal time to pick up a crafting hobby, whether it’s digging out the rainbow weaving loom you received as a present some Christmases ago, or investing in some new knitting needles and yarn, this could be the foundations of a new habit and a great way to relax.
Crafting hobbies give you a sense of satisfaction few jobs deliver in the digital age. You work with your hands at your own pace, and create objects for yourself: to decorate your home, use in your day to day or give as gifts to friends.
The focus required and the simple, repetitive actions of any crafting hobby, whether it’s counting and stitching of needlepoint can help to relax you and it can also be helpful in practicing mindfulness. This is the meditative technique of being in the present moment, observing your thoughts and feelings free of judgement. While it is, again, not the whole answer to stress, depression or anxiety, for many people it is a helpful tool to avoid dwelling on distressing thoughts, and creating distance from worries from the past and anxieties about the future.