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15 ways to chill out, and blow off some of that stress we are all feeling right now

April is National Stress Awareness Month, so here are exercise, meditation, and ways to connect with friends

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None of us need a reminder of what everyone in the world is feeling now — stress about the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how it's rapidly changing our daily lives. There are few in the world today who haven't been changed by the coronavirus, and who aren't experiencing some stress around this global pandemic. Finding ways to relieve some of that wired feeling isn't a bad idea. If even reading that sentence built up a but of stress in you, then trying one of the suggestions below may be worth your time.

We get it though — not every stress reliever is going to work for everyone. Having to learn yoga right now may just add more stress to someone's day. And meditation may sound like a punishment for others.

In short – we're not going to tell you how to try and chill out. But we hope one of these suggestions may help.

Meditate

Muse-S meditation band Meditation is a proven way to help relieve stressMuse

Meditation can be a way to tune out that noisy chatter in your brain. There are apps that can walk you through that process, and devices that help train you. Even Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa want to help.

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Sweat

Ryan Heffington An exercise class is a great way to work out stressRyan Heffington

Physical activity is known for helping people unwind, relax and sweat out their stress. It's a little tougher today to get to a gym, or event outside. But there are apps and even live workouts people can tune into from their homes to help get up and shake some of their stress out of their body.

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Connect

Apple Walkie Talkie app Apps and video conferencing tools can help you stay connected to friends and familyGearBrain

Connecting and talking with others is a great way to remember that stressful times will pass. A friend or loved one can make you laugh, and maybe even help you forget what you were stressing over in the first place. There are a number of online video conferencing tools, plus apps you can use on your smartphone or watch, all designed to help you feel less alone.

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Learn

Books open Learning or taking a class can help get you out of your headiStock

Sometimes pouring your brain into learning a new skill is a great stress reliever. Maybe that's learning about marine biology, or perhaps hearing a new book read aloud is more interesting to you. There are a lot of classes online right now aimed at kids — but that doesn't mean adults can take part in them as well.

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Unplug

A round of people holding their smartphones Stepping away from social media and the internet can help people decompressiStock

While the internet may feel like a lifeline right now — and in some ways it absolutely is — getting offline and spending a little time away from social media and people may also be helpful. Not everyone enjoys five video conferences a day. And while a Zoom call with friends can be great, for some it's just as much of a mental exertion as meeting up in person. There are apps designed for parents that you can use to help limit your own time online too.

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If you're experiencing a life-threatening emergency please call 911 for help in your area. If you or someone you know if suicidal or in emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has people available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need some information on mental health or want to find a treatment service near you, the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, -1877-726-4727, is staffed from 8 am to 8 pm ET Monday through Friday.

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