Most of us are undoubtedly sitting on stress bombs ticking to explode round the clock. Stress is a killer that can get you anywhere, anytime and is ruthless. Factors that extend invitation to this killer are many. There is no respite from nagging spouses, demanding bosses, grumpy in-laws, annoying kids, bad news, house chores, work to-dos, Covid-19 prevention/cure and the list goes on. Nowadays, with return of lockdowns, curfews, Covid-19 second wave (and the third wave) and now followed by unlock, our stress levels have quadrupled into all time high.
Good news is we can diffuse all of these stress bombs planted in our minds. We can sweep away stressful thought processes and develop a resilient body and mind. Physical and mental well-being does not have to be a costly affair. Below is a stress/anxiety challenge program for 15 days to help you sweat and vent it all out. Please block 40 minutes of your time daily until you start feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Day 1 Go for a jog:
Jogging can prove very beneficial during stressful times. All you need is a pair of walking/ running shoes and a place to jog. The more you sweat jogging, the better you feel.
Day 2 Fill in coloring book:
Coloring books are not only meant for kids. Adults of any age can benefit by filling colors in these books. This is a very effective stress buster.
Day 3 Dance like nobody is watching:
Dance is a therapy and it instantly uplifts our mood. Forget the world, play some dance numbers and dance your heart out. After 40 minutes of dancing, you have sweated it all out.
Day 4 Write a journal:
Writing in a journal might sound little old fashioned especially when we are in an era of apps and Smartphone. Still, give it a try and you will never regret it.
Day 5 Exercise with a skipping rope:
Jumping or exercising with a skipping rope is an amazing full body workout. This will not only help you de-stress but also burn those extra calories.
Day 6 Listen to mood boosting music:
Prepare a playlist of mood boosting music and raise your endorphin levels.
Day 7 Laugh:
Every now and then, remind yourself not to take life too seriously and help those around you have fun. Lighten the mood and laugh about things. Your immune system gets boosted when you laugh.
Day 8 Try Yoga:
“Yoga is a form of exercise that gently (or as strongly as you want) stretches and strengthens your body. And you wear ordinary old shorts, T-shirts, tracksuits or leotards” – Amanda Gore.
Day 9 Take up your favourite workout
Take up any form of workout. Weight training, calisthenics, crossfit or just freehand exercise, do whatever you like.
Day 10 Play a board game:
Stimulate your mind by playing board games like carrom, chess, snakes and ladders etc. You are never too old to play these games.
Day 11 Try breathing exercises:
Try breathing exercises to reduce stress or anxiety, or improve your lung function. Begin with just 5 minutes a day, and increase your time as the exercises become easier and more comfortable
Day 12 Say positive affirmations to yourself:
Positive affirmations offer us a wonderful way to start the day. Select affirmations that feel right to you at any given time and repeat them throughout the day.
Day 13 Step outside and take a walk:
Drag yourself off the couch and go outside for a walk, in fact, a long walk. Getting fresh air is crucial for both mental and physical heath.
Day 14 Reduce caffeine intake:
Control those cups of coffee/tea or bars of dark chocolate if you are trying to reduce your stress levels. And yes, the process has to be gradual for better results.
Day 15 Go on a digital detox:
Say no to all that is digital on Day 14 and this includes your smart phone and devices.
We have covered 15 simple activities for the 15 days anxiety challenge program above. Many of us could be already doing most of them or few of them. What matters is, after 15 days, you would feel much lighter and happier compared to Day1. You would have sweated and vented out those annoying and stressful energies from your system. Trust me, you may start feeling like your kids are cuter when they annoy you, your boss and colleagues are not too bad, and may start loving those conference calls as well. You may also learn something crucial from those boring online classes. You may start playing Carrom with your grandchildren, and also be exploring various ways to workout at home and outdoors.