Stress Management During Covid-19
With the Covid-19 pandemic upon us we find ourselves in lockdown, quarantined and in isolation.
This means isolated from our friends and family, the people we go to for help and support in stressful times like these.
We are all finding ourselves in a situation of uncertainty surrounding out work, income and our health.
Everywhere you look you see the panic of the Covid-19 virus and the threat to all our lives and the human race. This creates a perfect storm for stress.
Here are some things you can do to reduce stress during this time:
Keep your daily routines as much as possible
Do you best to keep your old routine before you went into isolation.
Keep your old sleeping routine by going to bed and waking up at the same times.
If you’re working from home start your working day same as another day, keep the same breaks, same work day structure, try keeping everything as close to your normal working day as possible.
Even if you’re not working from home add structure to your day. Start by writing a daily to do list, with timings and stick to it. Structure will add some normality and comfortability to your life.
Limit time and get facts from credible sources: “Facts minimize fear”
Yes, it is important to stay up to date with what is going on, however what you don’t want to do is over expose yourself to all the misleading and constant negative information out there. All this will do is cause you to overthink, become surrounded by negativity and lower your mood.
Instead set yourself designated times each day that you will check for updates on the situation. It’s important that you use credible sources and only focus on facts.
Social media is not a credible source.
Don’t stress the uncontrollable
This is something that should be done regardless of any situation, however implementing this in the present moment can really reduce your stress and free your mind to focus on more important situations.
No matter how much you think about it, lose sleep over it and get frustrated with it, if it’s something you have no control over then you have no power to change it.
Instead focus your energy on what you can change, this is where you can make a difference.
Staying connected with your friends and family via technology
Don’t think that you are alone, technology has allowed us all to stay connected. So reach out to your friends and family constantly, they are your support network as you are theirs.
Remember to always try to keep the conversations positive. Simply reaching out and asking someone if they are ok can make a huge difference to their mind set and yours.
We are all in this together, not alone
If you exercised before then keep it going.
If you didn’t exercise before then there is no better time to start than now. Not only will regular exercise help your immune system, it will help you sleep better, improve your mind set, add structure to your day, reduces stress, increase your energy and the list goes on.
I can’t tell you enough the benefits of exercising every day, so make sure it is on the top of your daily to do list.
There is no better medicine for body and mind.
Seek good nutrition
Much like exercise, good nutrition is super important.
Eating nutritious food will help strengthen your immune system, increase your energy and just generally help to make you feel better.
Try to add lots of fruit and vegetable to your daily diet and drink plenty of water.
If you’re going all in, why not find some recipes and start cooking? It’s a positive and productive way to use your time during lockdown and you can use your new found culinary skills when life gets back to normal.
Get lots of sleep
After exercise and nutrition, sleep makes up the ‘big 3’.
Sleep is important for your immune system and will reduce stress, so try to keep with your regular sleeping structure and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Take a moment in nature
Studies have shown that nature is great for dealing with stress. Just going for a walk in the park or country side can help reduce your stress and improve your mood.
This may be tough with current measures, but there are still a few options at our disposal – try watching videos of nature or lie down, close your eyes and listen to a ‘nature sounds’ podcast. This can take you away from your urban surroundings and give you some time away from reality, letting you calm your mind.
Research shows that meditation can reduce psychological stress and anxiety.
YouTube has many guidance videos or apps such as Calm or Headspace will ease you into it.
Meditation will clear your mind and help you handle the chaos outside.
Don’t use drugs or alcohol to deal
Exercise, good nutrition and sleep are big ways to help strengthen your immune system. Drugs and alcohol will have the opposite effect.
Having a strong immune system is crucial for fighting the virus, so focus on positive thoughts and actions and stay clear of short-term highs that weaken your ability to ward off attacks on your health.
This is how you can fight back.
Keep things in perspective and stay positive
Finally, stay positive. Search for positive media stories to watch and read, focus on the recovered virus cases each day and send positive messages to your friends and family.
Remember if you’re feeling too overwhelmed and self-help isn’t helping then seek advice from a professional to talk to and please don’t be afraid to ask for help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over 10 years of experience working in the Health and Fitness industry, Tommy is an industry leader in helping people make life changing decisions.
Read our ‘The Lowdown’ interview with Tommy here.