Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic, most of us are spending a lot of time at home because there are limited options for outdoor activities. Health and government officials are encouraging people to stay and work from home to reduce the chances of transmission.
At home, you might be tempted to sleep a little longer, watch Netflix all day, or chat with friends. Even if you enjoy chatting, watching TV, or playing games, the appeal for such activities can wear off quickly. And when this happens, it’s easy to start feeling fearful, anxious, and stressed.
Forming positive habits is a great deal of work. However, they will pay off spades. All you need is a routine and a chance to see family and friends. As you incorporate the tips that we are about to discuss, you’ll notice that your body and mind are starting to respond in several different ways. Let’s get started!
1. Avoid checking the news obsessively
While it’s important to stay informed particularly about what’s happening around the world, so that you can follow the guidelines and precautions issued by the government and health officials, there is a lot of misinformation being passed around. Such information feeds fear and affects how you think and behave. You need to be careful about what you read and listen to every day. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid unnecessary worries and stress:
- Stick to reputable and reliable sources: The World Health Organization, the CDC and local health authorities are some of the best sources of information. Avoid watching and believing everything you see on social media platforms.
- Avoid checking for updates compulsively: Constantly monitoring social media feeds and the news can quickly become counterproductive and compulsive. And this will fuel stress and anxiety instead of relieving it. You can consider limiting how often you check the news to two times a day. You won’t miss out on anything important.
- Stay away from media if you’re starting to feel anxious: If you experience chronic stressand anxiety, it’s important to limit the amount of information that you consume every day. Remember, your mental health is much more important than any news or message being passed out there.
- Avoid sharing everything you see: As we said earlier, not every source of information is reputable. Therefore, it’s important to verify the information before passing it on to your family and friends. You need to do your part to avoid creating unnecessary stress and panic.
2. Focus on the things under your control
We are in the middle of a global pandemic. There are a lot of things that we cannot control such as how long the pandemic stays with us, how other people think and feel, and what going to happen to us in the future. It’s difficult to accept all these facts. And so, most people react by searching for answers on the internet and thinking about the worst possible scenarios that can happen.
As long as you continue paying attention to questions and circumstances beyond your control, you will not make progress. In fact, you’ll start feeling tired, anxious, and stressed. When you are feeling like getting caught up in fear and anxiety, try shifting your focus to circumstances and things that you can control.
For instance, you cannot control how many people will get affected by the virus in your city or town. But you can take measures to reduce the risk of being infected by washing your hands regularly, staying at home as much as you can, avoiding crowds, maintaining social distance when you are outside, and following the health guidelines from local authorities.
3. Stay connected
Scientific studies show that many people who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease don’t show any symptoms. However, they can still spread the virus. The best you can do for yourself and your loved ones is practicing social distancing.
While social distancing has its benefits, it also has its risks. Human beings are social creatures. We depend on others to make progress and achieve our goals. As the popular saying goes, no man is an island. Isolation and loneliness can lead to anxiety, depression, and deterioration of physical health. That’s why you need to stay connected and reach out for help whenever you need it. Here are a few tips to staying connected:
- Prioritize staying in touch with family and friends especially if you tend to withdraw when you are stressed out or depressed. Scheduling a regular phone call or video chat can make a huge difference.
- Since face to face contact has been limited, consider communicating with your loved ones using video chat. Seeing other people’s faces will reduce the risk of depression and relieve stress.
- Social media platforms are powerful tools not only for communicating with our loved ones but also connecting with other parts of the world. Knowing that there are millions of people having similar problems can help in relieving stress.
- Don’t let the pandemic dominate all your conversations. You need to take a break from thoughts about the coronavirus disease and simply enjoy other people’s company.
4. Take care of yourself
These are trying times for everyone. While stress management tools methods apply, you need to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and journal. Here are a few self-care tips that will help you improve your health and wellbeing during this period:
- Be kind: Be kind to others and most importantly, yourself. Taking it easy especially if you are feeling anxious or depressed will greatly improve the quality of your life. Remember, you are not alone.
- Create a routine: The pandemic has completely changed our routines and lifestyles. And this has negatively affected our productivity and performance at work, health, and other important aspects of life. Now that you are stuck at home, sticking to your regular meal, sleep, study, or work schedule will help in creating a sense of normalcy.
- Make time for your hobbies: Play your favorite board games. Watch a movie. Read a great book. Try out a new recipe. Or compose a song. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you feel happy. There are a lot of fun activities that you can do with your loved ones at home.
5. Get out
Fresh air and sunshine are natural stress relievers. If possible, get out of your house and walk around your neighborhood to increase your productivity. Remember to avoid crowds and maintain social distance. If you have a spacious backyard, get out, and enjoy yourself.
6. Exercise regularly
Staying active relieves stress and anxiety. And helps you manage your thoughts. While your gym might be temporarily closed, you can still walk, cycle, or hike. If you are stuck at home, there are a lot of exercise videos and tutorials online that you can follow. The best thing about exercising at home is you won’t need any equipment.
7. Avoid substance abuse
When we are stressed out, we tend to use alcohol and other substances to cope with our realities. While abusing substances might make you feel better for a few hours, it will negatively affect your health in the long run. It’s best to tackle your problems head-on instead of avoiding them. If you tend to go overboard, it’s never too late to ask for help.
Stressors will lead to imbalances in your nervous system. To avoid this, you need to learn and practice different relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. By practicing regularly, you’ll start seeing the results.
9. Help other people
It’s easy to get caught up in your own world during such times. However, it’s important to take a break and remember that you are not alone. Other people are going through exactly what you’re going through. Focusing on others and supporting them will not only make you happier but also improve your health.
Whenever you can, do kind acts for others. When you help others, you add more meaning and purpose into your life. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to show that you care about other people’s wellbeing. Reaching out and spending quality time with others is enough to uplift their spirits.
There are a lot of online groups and forums that you can reach out if you are starting to feel overwhelmed. You can also talk to your doctor or psychologist if you need help. Don’t hesitate to reach out. By following the tips that we’ve discussed, you’ll come out of this stronger and better in every way.