One of the things I’ve used to cope with stress during this time is physical exercise! When the COVID-19 first started, I went to Wal Mart to pick out a bike. The type of bike I picked out was a “beach cruiser” with a comfortable seat- that was important-and it is a super fun Orange color, complete with a basket. I have found that I love to ride in the morning and the evening, when the sun first comes up or the sun sets. I have enjoyed looking at the gators, turtles, birds, and even a fox one morning! I usually turn on my phone and listen to music, and every day I try to ride a little farther.
The Mayo Clinic says there are some true reasons why I feel better riding my bike:
“First, it pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
Exercise is also meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you.
Finally, it improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.
My husband and daughter have gotten bikes also, and we have spent a lot of family time riding the neighborhood, looking at landscaping and stopping to talk to the neighbors. I’ve lost a little weight, but the best thing is- every day I ride, I feel good! I would encourage you- find the exercise you love (or like) and try it. It will help you reduce stress during this crazy time!.