If all the chaos of the last year has taught us anything, it is the importance of self-care. Despite the importance of relaxation, self-care, and taking some time for yourself, the demands of modern life do not often allow for it in sufficient quantities. And between the demands of busy professional lives, chaotic home lives, and trying to maintain social contacts, there can often be very little ‘me’ time left at the end of the day.
In many respects, this has been one of the benefits of the events of the last year. With many of us forced to stay at home, away from our places of work and education for prolonged periods of time, more of us than ever are pouring our efforts into cultivating self-care routines as a way of dealing with the chaos of the world.
The Physical Consequences Of Stress
But relaxation isn’t just about having some alone time in a more general sense – there are tangible health benefits that actively relaxing can bring. Although we might have a general idea that stress makes us feel bad, we are quite often lacking in knowledge when it comes to understanding the specific physiological symptoms it can bring about.
Headaches, tension in the neck and shoulders, dizziness, and gastrointestinal issues are some of the most common and immediate symptoms of a stress overload that you might have experienced at some point in time. Another common symptom is that of a disrupted sleep pattern, which can itself open up a whole range of other possible physiological symptoms and health issues.
Although commonly experienced by many of us going through a particularly stressful period in our lives, these symptoms should be taken seriously. Over time, they can seriously degrade your health and significantly reduce your quality of life. Additionally, if left unchecked, prolonged periods of intense stress can put you at risk of developing depression.
Beating Stress Through Active Relaxation
We begin to get a sense, then, of the perils of leaving our mental health unchecked. Although we often think about mental and physical health as separate concerns, we also see that they are in many ways inherently linked. We also need to remember that while prolonged periods of stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health, it is an unfortunate fact of modern life that it is perhaps impossible to completely avoid experiencing such events.
Given that some degree of stress is unavoidable in life, the need to manage any stress we might experience becomes all the more important. It should be remembered, however, that since stress is virtually inevitable, we shouldn’t focus on trying to control or prevent it entirely. Rather, our focus should be on developing relaxation practices that allow us to manage our responses to it.
Self-care: Different Approaches And Activities For Different People
One of the ways in which we can develop practices to actively manage our response to the stresses of life is to develop a self-care routine. Self-care routines allow us to manage stress by following a schedule that allows us to carve some time out for ourselves during the day and to remove ourselves from these sources of stress.
Self-care routines come in many different shapes, sizes and formats. For some individuals, a self-care routine could involve running a hot bath and diving into a favourite book at the end of the day.
For others, in contrast, self-care involves taking time out to do a hobby they are particularly passionate about. Many individuals, for example, indulge themselves in a favourite pastime, such as visiting online casinos, which allow them to remove themselves from the stresses of daily life by transporting them to a virtual casino setting. And if the latest growth figures posted by big giants in the gaming industry are anything to go by, this has become increasingly popular over the last year.
It begins to become apparent that the specific hobby, activity, or routine does not matter as much as the fact that you are creating some distance between yourself and the common sources of stress in daily life.
This is where the true essence of self-care and relaxation is to be found, and this is what you should focus on when trying to create your own stress management system to get you through the ebb and flow of life.
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