8 Strategies for Dealing with COVID Related Stress
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting our day to day lives, itís normal to experience a wide range of feelings, which of course includes stress and anxiousness. With things very much outside of our control now, itís important to focus on the things that we can control. Here are 8 strategies for dealing with COVID related stress.
1. Acknowledge How Youíre Feeling
The first and most important step is to simply acknowledge how youíre feeling. Whether youíre feeling stressed, tired, helpless, or anxious, know that itís completely normal. Give yourself the time to notice these feelings, and work through them - this could be done by journaling, talking to others, or by channeling your emotions into an activity. Mindfulness meditation helps us take notice of our feelings without getting swept away in them, which is essential for the situation.
2. Maintain your Routine
Healthy routines go a long way to having a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. During this time, itís important to establish a solid routine that you can stick to. Start off with the basics like eating healthy, getting a little bit of exercise each day, falling asleep and waking up at the same time, and carving out time for your hobbies. Also look to incorporate more things into your daily routine with the extra time at home, like tackling your reading list, trying out a new hobby, or pursuing some education.
3. Follow Health Guidelines
No matter where you are in the world, there are probably some kind of guidelines put out there by the health branch of government. And simply by following the guidelines and restrictions, we can relieve some of the stress and anxiety. Wash your hands regularly and often, and before you know it itíll be a habit you donít even think about. Same goes for physical distancing and wearing a mask - do it for long enough and youíll stop thinking about it.
4. Stay Connected with Friends and Family
One of the biggest COVID related stresses to appear out of the pandemic is that fact that we see our family and friends less. But luckily, itís also easier than ever to stay connected online. Regularly check in with your social circle, talk through your feelings, thoughts, and concerns. By talking with your loved ones, youíll often leave the conversation with a positive mindset and new ways to deal with a stressful situation.
5. Focus on Whatís in your Control
As you begin to feel stressed and anxious, it often leads you to begin focusing on the Ďwhat if...í scenarios. And often, itís the worst-case scenario that compounds on our stress. To counteract this stress, turn your attention to something within your control. What is one positive action you can take right now? Is there one way to show kindness to others? How can you continue to live your values in this situation? This train of thought helps break us out of a negative mindset.
6. Limit your News and Social Media Intake
When big, important global events are occurring, itís understandable that you want to stay informed and updated. However, if youíre constantly reading or watching the news and scrolling through social media feeds, it can cause unneeded stress and agitation. To lower your stress, try to dedicate a time to watch and read the news, and a time limit on how much social media you consume. The next time you get the urge to pick up your phone or turn on the TV, try to stop, notice the feeling, delay on acting, and let the feeling pass.
7. Ask for Help
It can be difficult for many people but asking for help is key during this time. Whether you ask friends, family, or a psychologist, seeking help is one of the best ways to deal with your COVID related stress. You can schedule an online appointment with a psychologist like New Vision Psychology, whose psychologists are on hand to help you deal with any stress, depression, and anxiety.
8. Show That you Care
By sending a message to someone you care about, be it friends or family, you begin to foster feelings of hope and meaning. This can go a long way to relieving our own COVID related stress, so think about sending a message to a loved one, a care package to someone in need, or donating to a local cause during this time.
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