How to manage stress and anxiety during a pandemic
With news about the current pandemic on a loop, as well as other factors looming over our heads, right now is a stressful time for everyone. News about the Coronavirus has affected almost every aspect of society. And, with more people staying in and practicing social distancing, this can severely impact mental well-being. If you’re coping with feelings of stress and anxiety, you’re not alone—here are a few tips to help you manage those feelings:
Stick to your usual routine
In this era of uncertainty, having a sense of normalcy is critical to maintaining your mental health. It’s one of the few factors you can control, so it’s essential to ensure you’re sticking to a routine, just like any regular day. Do what you would accomplish on a normal work morning—wake up, shower, and get dressed as if you’re going to run into people. It’s also vital to avoid burnout by enforcing your work hours.
Keep yourself occupied
While it seems easy to treat this period of social distancing as an opportunity to veg out and watch Netflix, it quickly grows old. There are surprisingly a ton of things you can do from the comfort of your home. You could experience a virtual tour of the Louvre, started spring cleaning, or even learn a foreign language. Either way, finding something to stay occupied will relieve some boredom you might face.
Take a break from the news
It’s essential to stay informed, but constantly hearing news about the pandemic is exhausting. Every once in awhile, take a break. Whether it’s from social media, reading, or even having the news playing in the background, shut it off. Find something uplifting to watch or listen to, so your mind will be on other things. Puppy videos are highly recommended, because who doesn’t love puppies?
Yoga and meditation are highly beneficial—there are numerous physical and mental benefits. Yoga and meditation are proven methods to help relieve stress and anxiety. People of all ages and fitness levels can participate, and you don’t have to be an expert, either. There are dozens of apps and YouTube channels that guide you on the essentials of yoga and meditation. Headspace is an app that’s great for beginners—their free basics pack instructs you on the fundamentals of meditation. Yoga with Adriene is another fantastic resource—her YouTube channel is filled with over 500 free videos for all fitness levels and ages. From simple meditation to yoga for writers, there’s something for everyone.
Talk to others
Just because people are social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with people. Staying home and not having any social interaction can take a huge toll on your mental health. As humans, social interaction is essential for coping with stress and anxiety. So, it’s especially important to maintain contact with friends and family. Set FaceTime dates, or pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. It’s always great to hear someone else’s voice and have someone to talk with about whatever issues you may be facing.
We understand this is a difficult period for many of you. We hope that these tips will help you manage your stress and anxiety and get you through this crazy, confusing time.
For more information on coping with stress and anxiety during COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.