Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, and with the unprecedented and uncertain COVID-19 pandemic that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation, it’s completely normal that your typical reactions may be heightened. It’s okay to feel anxiety, worry, fear, uncertainty, frustration, loneliness, anger, etc. during this time – we all are feeling these same things. It’s essential during times like these to make your health a priority, both mental and physical.
Here are some simple measures that you can take to help you adapt and cope with our current situation:
1. Structure Your Day
Having a set schedule for waking up, meal times, breaks, and bedtimes can help you stay on track, even consider setting aside a few extra minutes to do something special for yourself. Planning out activities and setting goals can also help keep you motivated.
2. Maintain [Digital] Social Contact
Stay in contact with your social network – from a distance! We live in an incredible digital age where staying connected is easier than ever by simply phoning a friend, video-chatting, emailing, messaging on social media, etc. Take this time to reach out and reconnect with friends or family.
Exercise is a great physical and mental health boost – especially outdoors. As we move toward warmer weather, you’ll have more opportunities to be outside and soak up that mood-boosting Vitamin-D from the sun! Consider going on a bike ride, taking a walk around the neighborhood, try some relaxing yoga in the backyard, etc.
4. Relax & Maintain Healthy Outlets
Relax your body often by doing things that work for you – take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you can enjoy with social distancing. Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task. Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful. Most of all, maintain a sense of hope and positivity – we will get through this TOGETHER!
5. Manage Media Intake
It is all too easy to get sucked into the constant media coverage we are faced with everywhere we turn. Set limitations for yourself and only tune into media/news for updates when you’ve scheduled yourself to do so. Remember to stick to reliable news outlets – rumors spread quickly and can increase your anxiety and fears!
As the severity of the situation with the pandemic begins to fall, you can expect your current strong feelings to as well, but stress won’t disappear from your life when the health crisis of COVID-19 ends. We encourage these self-care practices to take care of your mental health and increase your ability to cope with life’s ongoing challenges.