Ways to manage and reduce stress at home

April is known as National Stress Awareness Month, dedicated to spreading awareness about stress, its ill effects, and how important it is to manage it for your well-being. For a long time, most of us have been leading a life where our happiness was linked and derived from being productive. It depends on how much has been accomplished during the day and making comparisons with other people's lives. However, the blockade introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic changed that perspective entirely. Since many of us are trapped in our homes for the foreseeable future, why not try learning one or two new skills? When the pandemic ends we can emerge, resplendent and wise.n Cases related to mental illness have witnessed an increase since the blockade was imposed. Suddenly staying home and not being productive has led to an increase in the level of anxiety and stress. Although it is difficult to go out and seek help, here are some practices and activities that can be done to control and reduce stress and anxiety at home.

Meditation: The practice of being aware by focusing the mind on a particular process or thought is known as meditation. It is known to help achieve mental clarity, a feeling of calm and stability within the mind. If you are a beginner, listen and sing OM and focus on the vibrations it generates to induce the state of attention.

Learn an instrument online: Being productive and busy with a task you enjoy puts you in a state of zen and calm. Many schools have started teaching various instruments and voices online, so this can be a great activity to undertake during closure. Music is known to have a positive effect on the mind and soul by producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning.

Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen in your body. It also signals the brain to release dopamine, which induces a feeling of calm and improves your mood. Simple deep breathing exercises for 10-15 minutes a day can improve your mental health and reduce anxiety and stress-related problems.

Coloring to calm your nerves: Color and paint are also a great way to calm your nerves. It allows you to disconnect and focus on something else, which can again put you in the zen zone and induce a sense of calm. FSM Buddy is one of those online portals that encourages kids to take fun and creative courses like painting T-shirts, arts and crafts sessions, learning a new language, etc. nWhile the pandemic is dramatically changing things for us Around you, it is important that you and your mental health come first. Engage in activities that keep you happy and help keep anxiety and stress at bay. Take advantage of this month to better understand yourself and explore your mind. It may take a while to find what you want to do, but once you find it, learning will never have to stop!

Contributions from Dharini Upadhyaya, co-founder and co-founder of Furtados School of Music.