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Protect your Mental Health with Stress-Relief Exercises

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
June 23, 2023
February 27, 2024
5

Our environment may be overwhelming and stressful at times… and that’s totally okay - remember that you’re not alone. Here are some ways to combat stress.  

Stacking stones is a great form of meditation to ease stress, focus attention, and improve clarity of thought.

Self-care during this time is essential and includes our physical as well as mental health. In addition to a good night’s sleep and eating well, here are some mindfulness-based, indoor exercises that can help us reduce our stress level and protect our mental health any time. 

Yoga is an ancient practice that includes physical postures, breathing practices as well as meditation to help strengthen your body and calm your mind. It is an excellent stress-relief practice to start at home without the need for any equipment besides a mat or blanket and maybe a block. Grab your yoga mat or a blanket to sit on, find a quiet space in your house - inside or out, wherever you feel comfortable, and then you can enjoy this mind-body practice.

Looking to relieve stress? Yoga not only helps improve your balance, flexibility, and strength but also aids in relaxation.
Tai-chi is meant to calm and condition the body, and achieve the balance between “Yin” and “Yang”.

Tai-chi is a gentle exercise that can be practiced at any age. With the continuous flowing body movements and the practice of “Qi” (the energy flow through the body), Tai-chi is commonly used in the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age, according to Harvard Health Publishing*.  It’s the perfect solution if you’re looking for a low impact and slow-motion exercise to release your stress.  

The idea behind meditation is “mindfulness”, focusing on the present moment, and being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. 

Among the three, meditation is probably the easiest one to start. Meditation can be practiced at any time and anywhere you like, preferably somewhere quiet.

There are many different types of meditation including:

  • Walking meditation
  • Visualization
  • Breath-based
  • Focusing on a word or phrase (or Mantra meditation)
To foster calmness and keep yourself centered, try mindfulness meditation.

Other activities that you may find relaxing are:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Listening to music
  • Journaling
  • Gardening

All of the above stress-relief exercises can be accompanied by soothing music, which can help the practice to be more relaxing. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of free instruction videos online, as well as free apps, that can help you to get started. Hope this article helps you find the calming exercise that suits you best. If you have more activities that help you healthfully destress, please share them with your care team.

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