Summer is in full swing, but before you know it, we will be preparing to get the kids back to school and going back into the office full time. This past year has proven trying for a lot of us, and most of us were forced to adjust our home and work life to accommodate everything from homeschooling to virtual doctor’s appointments. As the world slowly begins to open back up again you may feel stress and anxiety symptoms beginning to rise. You may be feeling less than excited about having to get back to working in person, having to trek the kids off to daycare or soccer practice, and braving the commute to the office. You are not alone. Stress is inevitable, but on the heels of a global pandemic and one of the most uncertain times in most of our lives, you may be feeling more anxiety than usual. Here are some ways that you can help to ease your stress and reduce your anxiety in Hoboken.
Getting some sun is more than just about getting a nice tan, sunlight can actually benefit your physical and mental health. The summer is a great time to spend just a little more time outdoors, with proper hydration and SPF of course. Sunlight has been linked to decreasing depression symptoms and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), by increasing serotonin and lowering your blood pressure. Sunlight may also improve sleep, increase bone density and calcium by increasing your vitamin D, and has even been linked to aiding people who suffer from eating disorders. Who knew the sun was so powerful! In addition to sunlight, being outside and breathing in the fresh air has other health benefits, like increased energy, better digestion, and a boost to the immune system. Hoboken has dozens of places to go to enjoy the summer sun and take some nice deep breaths. Take a walk along the river at Frank Sinatra Park or Pier A, kayak on the Hudson, or check out the Uptown Farmers Market every Saturday between 9am-2pm under the 14th Street Viaduct between Grand and Adams. Once the sun sets, grab a blanket, stay in the fresh air, and unwind with Movies Under The Stars at Pier A and Jackson parks.
Free your mind with Music.
Music can have a profound effect on your mood, mind, and even your body. You probably like to listen to upbeat music while you are working out, because fast paced music can make you feel more awake and energized and can even increase your heart rate. Or maybe you like to listen to rain sounds while you are nodding off to dreamland. Research shows that music can calm stress, aid sleep, reduce anxiety, increase memory, and concentration, and boost your mood. Many different types of music can have a positive effect on your mind and body, by increasing serotonin, so it doesn’t have to be boring old elevator music to benefit you. Hoboken’s live concert series, Live from Hoboken, is back this summer, so you have no excuse not to get outside and enjoy the open air and the soothing sounds. Music isn’t the only way to use sound to quell anxiety. Sound therapy has been used for centuries to calm anxiety and aid in meditation. Himalayan Singing Bowls, for example, are said to restore peace, reduce blood pressure, relieve pain and discomfort, aid sleep, and even improve memory. The Singing Bowls create a range of sounds that impact the sympathetic nervous system. Check out the TSM Healing Center if this sounds like something you’d be interested in. They offer individual and group sound healing sessions.
Help someone in need.
Believe it or not, volunteering isn’t just good for others, but it is actually good for you. According to the MAYO Clinic, volunteering may help both your physical and mental health, from fighting off depression and anxiety to helping you live a longer and healthier life. Volunteering helps people form connections and increases social interaction, which may play a large role in combating depression and anxiety symptoms, especially now when so many of us have spent the last year with fewer interpersonal interactions. Volunteering also gives people a sense of purpose, another key factor in decreasing loneliness, stress, and anxiety. Many volunteer opportunities require learning a new skill, which helps keep us mentally active or doing physical tasks which helps to keep our bodies moving and grooving. There is also a link to a dopamine rush, that feel good chemical, called the ‘helpers high’, that gives volunteers the warm and fuzzies. All in all, it turns out that doing good deeds is quite good for you. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Hoboken. The Hoboken Homeless Shelter is always looking for volunteers, from cooking and serving food, to running dance classes or giving haircuts, there are plenty of opportunities for you and your entire family. If you are in the market for a kid sister or brother, the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club is always looking for help. Volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club is perfect for you if you have a couple hours a week to spend recreational time playing sports, doing crafts, reading, learning STEM, writing, playing music together, or anything else you can think of. If history is your thing, the Hoboken Historical Museum is always looking for volunteers. Volunteers help staff and manage all the Museum’s fundraising events, which is a great way to get involved in the neighborhood.
Get your Zen on.
It should come as no surprise that yoga is an amazing way to de-stress and quell your anxiety. Yoga has been used for centuries to soothe the mind and the body into a state of inner peace. According to the MAYO Clinic the mind-body practice of yoga, which combines physical poses, breathing techniques, and meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, lower heart rate, reduce pain and inflammation, and increase overall physical health. There is no scarcity of yoga in Hoboken, and you can even find yoga studios that are practicing outdoors (so you can get your vitamin D, fresh air, and zen all in one place!) Check out some of our favorite yoga spots, like Urban Soul Yoga, who offer Yoga and Meditation classes. Urban Soul is great for all levels, and they offer in- studio, livestream, and outdoor classes. Asana Soul Practice is another top pick because of the variety of Yoga Flow and Meditation classes to choose from. They even have upbeat classes with a live DJ, if you are looking for more of a zen party!
If you are struggling with stress or anxiety in Hoboken, you are not alone and a Be.WELL. Therapist is here to help. A Be.WELL. Therapist can help you ease your stress and take control of your mental well being. A Be.WELL. Therapist is available in both Midtown, NYC and Hoboken NJ.