If, at some point this year, you have noticed that you have the same stress levels as Kanye West’s publicist, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Studies show that since the beginning of the pandemic, levels of emotional and psychological distress among South Africans have rocketed by 56%. It’s easy to see why. The petrol price is higher than Snoop Dogg, the nation’s electricity supply is vulnerable to wet coal and Trevor Noah left the Daily Show. We live in stressful times but that does not mean we have to be stressed all the time.
To help manage your stress try these mood-boosting hacks:
1. Go to bed:
It may sound suspiciously simple, but all the best advice is. Sitting in your bed hunched over your blue screen until 3am like a modern-day Gollum is doing you no favours. Regularly getting a full eight hours of sleep is proven to boost your mood. It will also help you become one of those smug folks who regales the office with stories of how well they’re doing at adulting because they’re in bed by 10pm.
2. Practice (app)recitation:
Like parents, our phones can be a source of stress and a source of calm and wisdom. You just must figure out how best to use them. For example, downloading an app like Panda will help you develop tools and coping mechanisms for stress and other mental health issues.
3. Give yourself an earworm:
Getting a good pair of headphones and playing THAT song on repeat while your body pretends it knows how to dance is like injecting pure happiness into your veins. So, find yourself some loudspeakers, a touch of alone time and dance like you’re in your own imaginary Broadway Show
4. Clear the cobwebs:
Cleanliness may not be next to godliness, but it is less stressful than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes and realizing that all your breakfast spoons are in there. Cleaning can also be a great way to help distract you from the fact that The Rock could be America’s next president.
5. Find your own balance:
Having balance doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard. It is important that you find ways to “de-stress”. Some examples include: going for a walk, spending time with family or friends, or playing your favourite online game. Some form of outlet is important to ensure that you can continue to operate at your optimal levels.
Life can be very crazy and stressful, however, sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax and try again tomorrow. Download Panda and join or share a session with a friend who needs some more stress hacks. Not sure if you need to consult a mental health professional? Take part in assessment and questionnaire to help you understand yourself better and whether you need mental health assistance or not.
Posted by Khwezi Mabunda