It is easy to get caught up in the panic and uncertainty during this pandemic, but the important thing to remember is that there are many things still under your control. Here are some effective ways to manage stress levels:
1. Take Care of your Health
The one thing we learn from this pandemic is the importance of basic hygiene. It is essential to regularly wash your hands and keep things thoroughly sanitized to protect yourself and your family from the virus.
Moreover, a strong immune system can fight against the virus and the symptoms ensuring you stay safe and healthy. Therefore, focus on following a healthy diet that can help you consume the right nutrients and vitamins. Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, five times a week to maintain your fitness.
2. Create a Routine
Staying at home week after week can surely add to the stress. The best way to manage your anxiety is to stick to the same routine you were following before the quarantine. If you are working from home, then start and wrap up your work within the same time frame. Have your meals on a set time, continue your fitness routine, and even the binge-watching schedule on the weekends.
If you didn’t have a set routine before, now is the time to start. Having a proper structure for the day can help in reducing or even preventing the anxious thoughts. Start a big project and divide it into smaller goals for each day and so on.
Planning your days and setting goals can help you in staying motivated and getting things done, while also helping you cope with the stress.
3. Improve your Work-from-Home Situation
Count your blessings if the nature of your job allows you to work remotely during this pandemic. However, it is not easy to work from home with so many distractions. A task that you can accomplish in an hour at your office might take you double the time to finish. Your productivity is bound to decrease, making you even more anxious.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve this situation and manage your work deadlines. Here are some tips:
- Get up on time and get ready for work the same way you did before the quarantine. Get dressed and have breakfast to enhance and maintain your productive mindset.
- Don’t perform house chores during your work hours. It might be tough for many, but working from home doesn’t mean you have to clean up, wash dishes, and do the laundry all through the day. It will only distract you from work.
- Manage and schedule your meetings by consulting your partner or anyone else you are quarantined with who is working remotely as well. This will ensure that the meetings are not disrupted. However, if you are working in different rooms, this isn’t necessary.
- · Be sure to take breaks between work and stretch your legs.
Put your laptop away when you ‘clock-out’ of work. this will prevent you from stressing about work or prompt you to check your work emails even after work.
4. Stay Connected with your Family and Friends
Talking to your loved ones is another way of lowering your anxiety. It helps in sharing your concerns and worries with them during this ordeal. Staying in touch with your family and friends also reduces the levels of loneliness.
Call up or video chat someone everyday to manage your stress levels. Social media is another great source of connecting with people. You can also join discussion groups or exercise challenges that can improve your mental health.
5. Restrict Media Content Intake
Indeed, knowledge is power. You should stay updated and educated about the latest information regarding coronavirus to help you make informed decisions. However, constantly watching the news and consuming unnecessary and untrue content about the virus will only add to your anxiety levels.
Restrict your media content to a certain time and reliable news sources. Stay educated and informed, but don’t overload yourself with information. If there is urgent news, you will surely learn about it immediately. The more you look up content, the more stressed you will become.
6. Pay Attention to Things Under your Control
You can’t control the pandemic or the things that are happening around you. Fortunately, you still have control over plenty of other things. Therefore, keep your focus on the things you can improve for yourself and your family.
The best thing you can do right now is to follow the guidelines and advice offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers of Disease and Control (CDC). Here are a few things you can do:
- Thoroughly wash your hands
- Use a sanitizer if you are out and don’t have access to water and soap
- Keep a distance from others, particularly if they are sick
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your elbow when cough and sneeze
- Try not to touch your face, especially if you are out
- Don’t hoard face masks, and leave them for caretakers, medical professionals, and individuals with a weak immune system. You don’t necessarily need a face mask if you aren’t sick.
- Avoid traveling
- Maintain a healthy diet to keep your immune system strong
7. Perform Guided Meditations
Guided meditations can help in calming your mind and lowering your stress levels. Taking a few deep, slow breaths and allowing yourself to be in the present moment can do wonders for your mental health. Doing guided meditations for even five minutes a day can be effective in managing your anxiety.
Since the fear is mostly about the unknown future, worrying about what will happen next, or how long will the quarantine lasts, it is essential to gently stir your mind away from the uncertainties and in the present moment.
Be mindful of the moment you are in. Remind yourself you are lucky to be healthy and to have your family and friends just one call away. If you start feeling anxious, take a deep breath through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this a few times, and you will notice yourself calming down.
8. Do Activities you Enjoy
One of the most effective ways of keeping your anxiety in check is to keep yourself busy with things you enjoy. It will prevent your thoughts from spiraling out of control. Aside from paying attention to your everyday tasks, work responsibilities, and home chores, it is essential to add the element of fun in your day as well. Here are a few things you can try:
- Playing board games with family
- Solving a puzzle
- Knitting, painting, drawing, or other creative activity
- Bake your favorite desserts
- Binge watch a show or watch a movie
- Read novels
- Catch up on your beauty sleep