Easy Ways to Bring More Joy to Your Life During Challenging Times

A "joy" journal, fresh air, a quiet moment -- those are all easy ways to manage stress levels during these difficult times

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It's been nearly six months since the stay-at-home order was issued in California. The weight of the pandemic shutdown could have longterm effects on our health, especially our mental health, but there are some easy, healthy ways to cope.

Many people are struggling with anxiety and stress every day whether it be from the pandemic, racial inequality, or even natural disasters.

It’s more important now than ever to make sure we keep our spirits up and protect our immune system.

We met with a San Diego-based self-compassion teacher, Julie Potiker, to get some ideas on how to stay positive, which in turn, will help our overall health.

First off, if you haven’t already, Potiker said it may be a good idea to start meditating.

Mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion help calm us down; it lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and helps with anxiety and depression. It also slows the aging process and reduces inflammation.

Some free guided meditation sessions can be found here.

Potiker said it's also important to listen to your body.  If something hurts, there is a reason for that and take it seriously.

Also, it’s important to get outside and get some fresh air, even if it’s just out on your patio. Make sure to unplug from electronics during this time as well.

Cooking can also help. Enjoy and embrace each step, from start to finish, without any distractions.

“You’re rewiring your brain for happiness and resilience while you’re cooking," Potiker explained. "And then when you’re eating you can go down that beautiful journey as well because you can really look, and then you can taste, and then slowly chew. And then it’s a party in your mouth."

Also, you can create a “joy list” and commit to choosing one or two things from it to do each day. When you pick something to bring joy to your day, do so with mindfulness; really feel the good feelings. Have a great day!

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