In 2021 there are many contributing factors to the stress in our life that is beyond our control. We all know that getting enough sleep at night, drinking plenty of water and exercising daily is beneficial to not only our physical health, but also our mental health… but what if we can’t even get ourselves to start there? If you are feeling the heaviness of life these days, start small and try one of these tips every day for a week and see how you feel. Find joy in the small things and peace in the good.
Pick up a new hobby this winter
Another winter is upon us and that means colder, longer days with more time spent indoors will be here before we know it. Add in a pandemic and the list of things to do outside of the house dwindles significantly. Now is the perfect time to pick up a hobby you’ve always considered or to try something new and completely out of the box. We’ve gathered 5 ways to stay busy indoors during these colder months.
- Knitting– known as a meditative hobby with calming effects. According to Knit for Peace, a network of 15,000 knitters in the UK who “knit for those in need,” there is substantial evidence to suggest that knitting is beneficial to the mind and body. It is known to reduce depression and anxiety and slow the onset of dementia. Where to start? Check out this article on 10 knitting projects for beginners to try.
- Embroidery– another great way to self-soothe and keep your hands busy. No idea where to start? Start here. They break down the supplies you need and also teach you each every stitch possible. You could also consider buying a kit like this one to try for your first time.
- Jewelry-making– create your own beaded bracelets or try some polymer clay earrings. Find the directions to the cute daisy chain bracelets here and the clay earrings here.
- Hand Lettering– know as drawing letters as opposed to writing them. You also have more control over the letters with hand lettering as opposed to calligraphy. For that reason, hand lettering can be a great alternative for projects that are too large for calligraphy, like large chalkboards and other signage. Find beginner tips and tricks here. Find Brush and Barley on Etsy for digital hand lettering tools.
- Make your own Christmas tree ornaments– we love these simple botanical ornaments from Martha Stewart. Fairly simple and inexpensive to create. Perfect to tie onto presents with a simple strand of twine to add your own personal touch.
Students have always had many reasons to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Enter 2020 and these struggles are even more commonplace. According to this article by 5280.com, “in Colorado, the state’s teen suicide rate jumped by 58 percent between 2016 and 2019.” A report from the attorney general credits fear of academic failings as a key risk factor. Sadly, many of us have an overwhelming sense of feeling out of control these days and that is bound to affect our students as well. How can we ground ourselves when dealing with these feelings and emotions? Here a few simple suggestions.
Center yourself. Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Start to wiggle your toes and visualize any stress or tension leaving that area of your body. Slowly move up your body and continue this exercise all the way to the top of your head. Continue to breathe deeply and release any tension along the way.
Consider the negative thoughts that are filling your mind and focus on finding the positive in each situation. There is an opportunity in every stressful situation to grow and we can gain so much strength from that. Feeling left out from a social event? Use the time to reach out to an old friend and reconnect or organize your room or maybe read that book you’ve been hearing great things about. Find gratitude in the ability to do something else that you’ve been wanting to do instead.
Talk it out. Find a trusted confidant- maybe a parent, a friend or a teacher and lay out what is bothering you. Talk is therapeutic and can be a great stress reliever. Hearing someone else’s perspective on your problem could help you come up with a manageable solution quicker.
Parents, do not hesitate to reach out and connect with your child if you can see that they are struggling. Let them know there is no shame in the way that they are feeling and you are there for them however they may need you. Click here to read more about the signs of stress in your teenager and helpful tips to teach them how to manage their stress.
More helpful resources:
Childrenscolorado.org for teen suicide prevention