Managing Stress in Challenging Times
Thursday April 2nd, 2020
The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty on a global scale. As a result, more people are working remotely and trying to keep with the ever-changing updates that come along with the pandemic. Schools across the nation have closed indefinitely, leaving parents and children struggling to get into a routine that allows them to resume some sense of normalcy in life. Non-essential businesses have also closed, resulting in people being furloughed or laid off.
The outbreak of this disease and the resulting impact on people’s lives has created a very stressful situation. Stress can wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being, making it difficult to focus on tasks and feel relaxed. Follow these tips to manage your stress, even through the challenge of COVID-19.
Step Away from the News
Every news avenue, including TV channels, printed newspapers, and online websites, are reporting on the updates of COVID-19. It’s the focus of attention right now, and it’s getting all the airtime. While some information may be new and important for you to learn, most is simply repeating what you already know and are likely doing in your life. Give yourself a break from reading, watching, and listening to news stories, including the information you see on social media. Continuing to hear about the pandemic without a break can increase your stress levels and cause you to feel upset.
Take Care of Your Body
Your physical health plays a role in your mental health. Take care of your body and its physical needs to help manage your stress level. Even just getting outside for a brisk walk can help you reset and feel less anxious about what’s going on around you. Make time to prepare and eat healthy meals, exercise at least a few times a week, and get enough sleep. You can also take some time to meditate and take deep breaths when you’re feeling particularly concerned.
Create a New Routine
Although your routine may look different than it did a month ago, you can find ways to create a new normal. If you’re working remotely, set a schedule and work the same time every day to feel like you’re getting back into your routine. If you have kids at home, agree on an amount of time that they can devote to their homework or online schooling, as well as how much time they’ll spend on screens or doing other activities. You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, but rather find a way to feel like your life isn’t too chaotic and you know what to expect from each coming day.
Make Time to Unwind
Every day, take some time to unwind and focus on activities you enjoy. Draw a bubble bath, read a good book, binge your favorite show, or even take a nap. Making time to unwind and feel more relaxed does wonders for your stress levels.
Find Ways to Connect
One of the biggest challenges of social distancing is feeling like you’re losing touch with the people you love. Luckily, we live in a time where digital means make it easier to connect with others. Video chatting, text messaging, and social media direct messages all allow you to reach out and talk to your loved ones while maintaining a safe distance.
Implementing these tips can help you manage your stress and stay healthy, even when times are uncertain and challenging.