Over the past year and a half, humanity has faced monumental stress on a global scale. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, has been a severe strain on people around the world. Beyond that, though, political strife, financial distress, and other concerns have affected the safety, security, and both the physical and mental health of people around the world. Now, even as we approach a new sense of normalcy, that tension remains. As we shift away from fear for our loved ones and selves, we can turn our focus to another element of health and wellness—our mental well-being. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can relieve that tension and start feeling better. From a good night’s sleep to a new pet, de-stressing in a post-COVID world can be easy. 

Get more sleep—or better sleep.

sleep
sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential to decreasing your stress. In many situations, though, it’s not enough to be in bed for eight hours or longer. To truly reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep, you need to be getting enough high-quality sleep each night. To ensure you do just that, you’ll want to implement a comforting sleep routine, practice good sleep hygiene, and invest in a quality mattress. Whether you’re seeking out a memory foam mattress or one with a focus on pressure relief, the right mattress will help you sleep more soundly. 

When choosing your new mattress, there are quite a few factors to consider—and each will have an impact on your sleep quality. For example, you‘ll want to consider what sleep positions you or you and your partner typically turn to. Are you a side sleeper or stomach sleeper? Does your spouse only sleep on their back? For maximum comfort, you’ll want to find a mattress that‘s meant for your type of sleeper. Know you’re looking for memory foam? Take some time to research Leesa vs Nectar mattresses to determine what popular, convenient mattress brand is best for your needs. By reading expert reviews, you’ll know that the Leesa or Nectar bed you‘re sleeping on will offer a stress-reducing, restful sleep, whether you’re heavier sleepers or lighter sleepers. 

Start a new hobby. 

hobby
hobby

For many people, hobbies became a lifeline throughout COVID-related quarantines. From baking bread to board games, the newly housebound population took up whatever new skills they could to pass the time. In particular, Nintendo Switch sales skyrocketed, with games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons flying off store shelves. Whether you were one of those people building virtual islands or you’re quickly becoming a Call of Duty expert, video games can be a simple way to unwind and even connect with friends and family you haven’t been able to see in-person throughout the pandemic. 

If you find yourself developing a particular skill for gaming, you might consider getting involved in eSports. This is yet another facet of the world affected by COVID-19–the Cloud9 CSGO project, for example, was recently ended due to the “undue stress” of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the world of eSports is still a wide-reaching, exciting one. Even Cloud9 shares that their departure from CSGO won’t be permanent. After the stress of the past year and a half, the adrenaline of a competitive video game will be a welcome sort of stress. 

Bring home a new furry friend.

new furry friend
new furry friend

Service dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy pets aren’t the only critters who can help you feel better. More generally speaking, pets have therapeutic benefits including, though not limited to stress relief. If you head to your local animal shelter, you can reap those benefits while saving a life. 

Not able to have a pet of your own? Find a way to spend time with a friend or family member’s, or look into volunteering at a local animal shelter. If you already have a pet, this is an excellent opportunity to give them a little extra love. Browse Cardboard Cat Homes to offer your kitten a comfortable corner of their own. For extra fun, you can sprinkle some catnip into their cardboard cat house, or offer a few new toys to keep them entertained. In return, your cat is sure to return the favor with lots of love—and the stress relief that comes with it. 

Tackle stress relief directly. 

Tackle stress relief
Tackle stress relief

If your mental health is affecting your ability to focus on hobbies, pets, or sleep, you might need a more direct approach to relieving your stress. More serious mental health concerns should be taken directly to a professional but, in less severe cases, you can find relief with natural remedies. Consult your doctor about whether a particular stress-relieving treatment, like CBD oil or a certain supplement, is right for you. Their medical expertise will ensure you avoid adverse side effects or interactions. 

With CBD in particular, that stress relief can come in a wide variety of forms. Glee CBD, for example, offers CBD tinctures, topical gels, lotion, and even CBD tinctures specifically made for pets! And, in addition, you can rest assured that you’re making a better choice with Glee, as their mission includes not just offering natural ingredients, but supporting local farmers in the process. Of course, with CBD products especially, it’s important to talk to your doctor to ensure you’re using them properly and at the right dosage for your needs—but, with their go-ahead, you‘ll likely find it’s worth the effort. 

Plan a getaway. 

Plan a getaway
Plan a getaway

With travel restrictions lifting, it’s not surprising that many people want to take to the skies and cross the globe. The most wanderlust-filled among us have been champing at the bit to get back to globetrotting. The especially responsible traveler has put off satiating that urge until the powers that be deem it safe and, in many countries, that time is finally arriving. 

You don’t have to be completely comfortable with traveling again to get a bit of stress relief, though. The simple act of planning a vacation–even if you don’t intend to take it in the immediate future—can influence your mental state for the better. Take some time to research guided Gateway to the Blues tours and lose yourself in daydreams of taking in the music and interactive exhibits at this blues museum. Visit the website for the visitor center of a nearby national park. Whether you’re a music lover, looking to see the oldest train depot in the world, you’re you just want to visit Los Angeles for the first time, planning a trip can get you excited about a destination and help melt away stress, even if you aren’t embarking on that getaway any time soon. 

After the tumult of the past year and a half, we could all use a break. Whether that comes from escaping to a virtual world with a new team in the eSports realm or adding CBD oil to your healthcare routine, a bit of stress relief is key to moving forward in a post-COVID world.

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