Have you felt your stress levels increase due COVID-19 and on top of this another lockdown? You are not alone.
Most of us are experiencing increased anxiety about self-isolating from our loved ones, getting tested, and possibly being diagnosed with COVID-19. Meanwhile, clinics have kept open, and most people are back working from home while juggling more responsibilities. Anxiety over COVID-19 is the last thing you want to add to the mix.
If you’re finding it all a bit too much at the moment, you may need to combat stress and care for your mental health as well as your physical health.
Staying at home, staying safe, and staying well is most important at this time. Here are some helpful suggestions for you:
o Limit your screen time
Have you been scrolling through social media or news publications and see nothing but an endless stream of COVID-19 news, figures, and fears? The best way to “beat the feeds” is to step away, in moderation, from it. When it comes to the news, it’s important to stay informed of restrictions and the impact the virus is having on your community, but it should not to consume you.
o Get some fresh air
When we were all staying at home in March, we were blessed with bright days and longer evenings to ease us into lockdown life. More people took advantage of the spring weather and went to parks etc. We all know that walking daily is good for your mental health. You can even use apps that record your daily steps or ones that keep you fit and focused.
o Eat well
Some of us may be picking up bad eating habits during lockdown so why not rediscover the joy of cooking healthy, comfort food. Fresh, wholesome dishes can make you feel well and also content!
Whether you prefer to make classic dishes or turn to a selection of one-pot dinners, you can boost your mood and strengthen your immune system by eating good food. As a bonus, you feel better and won’t be restricting yourself like a New Year diet.
o Practice Mindfulness
We all have COVID-19 in our thoughts, so let’s use this to our advantage, and turn it into a sign for how to address stress.
C – Check in. We could check in with ourselves as often as we check our phones. How are we feeling today? Take time to notice and act.
O – Observe. What helps to ease stress? If we ignore how it presents itself and what triggers it, we are much less likely to be able to act appropriately.
V – Validate. You are allowed to feel a broad spectrum of emotions, including fear, anxiety, and sadness. Validate your feelings and remove the layers of stress associated with trying to ‘fix’ them.
I – Initiate. Is the issue something within your control, or outside of it? Charles Swindoll once said:
“We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”
D – Determination. It is all well and good to follow the above steps, but you must then be determined to take action and manage your stress. We tend to forget that baby steps still move you forward.