Tips For Managing Stress During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Perhaps the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but the reality that the impact from the virus could linger. There is the added stress that you or your loved ones can potentially still get COVID-19. There may also be the financial strain that may have come as a result of the virus. Moving forward, it’s important to have some stress-reduction skills handy. You’ll want to use these skills regularly, so you won’t become overwhelmed or so stressed that you become triggered.
The following are some helpful stress-reduction tips to help you during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Take Time Each Morning To Center Yourself
Be sure you take time each morning for a morning ritual to get your day started in a peaceful way. It’s tempting to jump right out of bed and get busy on your phone, computer, or watching television. Instead, take some time to center yourself. Do some slow, deep breathing or meditation. Sit in silence or journal. Offer gratitude for the day. Find a morning ritual that helps you set a happy and harmonious tone for the day.
Limit Time Watching The News
It’s great to keep informed, but limit the time you watch the news. Some people sit for hours and hours watching various news stations, and this tends to stress them out. Granted, learning about current events can be helpful, but staying parked before the television screen for long periods of time has been known to increase stress. Therefore, limit the time you watch the news.
Maintain Social Support
Social distancing is currently the norm, but this doesn’t mean you have to isolate entirely from your support system. You can use technology like FaceTime or Zoom to video chat with others. You can also call them or send text messages. Having a solid support system can help curb anxiety and stress. It can also help you feel less triggered to reach for a drink or drug.
Even when times are tough, offering thanks has been known to calm the nervous system. It may be stressful times we’re living in. You may be going through some tough circumstances right now. Try not to focus solely on the negative things. Rather, make the intent to offer thanks each day for the good things in your life. You may even want to make a gratitude list, writing down everything you are grateful for. By focusing on what’s good in your life, you should be able to feel less stressed and more hopeful about the future.
Keep Yourself Safe
Practice good hygiene habits so that you limit your risk of getting COVID-19. According to the Center for Disease Control, you should:
- Wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer as necessary.
- If you must sneeze or cough, cover your mouth. If you don’t have a Kleenex, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
- If you’re not feeling well, stay home.
- If you know someone who is ill, do not go around them.
- Quarantine if you have COVID-19 symptoms or go get checked by a physician.
- Keep yourself educated about COVID-19 by trustworthy news sources
Managing Stress Takes Practice
It’s easy to let stress build and build if you’re not used to paying attention to your stress levels. However, you can learn to identify your stress levels and manage them if you intentionally go about your days with a focus on your health and safety. Take a few minutes to think about your current stress levels. Do you think you are carrying a mild, moderate, or severe amount of stress? If so, what can you do starting today to manage or eliminate it?
Make some time to create a stress-reduction plan. Use the tips mentioned here to intentionally create a plan that will help you feel more at ease. A plan that you can follow daily; that will help decrease stress levels so you can feel more peace and harmony.
Reach Out For Help
If you’re dealing with circumstances that you feel you can’t manage on your own, know that it’s alright to reach out for help. If you’re feeling triggered to reach for a drink or drug, make that call to someone you trust for support. It could be your sponsor, counselor, online support group, or an alcohol or drug treatment center.
You don’t have to struggle alone.
Managing stress is important, so if you need help, feel free to reach out for that help today.