If you are feeling stressed out during Covid-19, then you aren’t alone. Because it’s a time of uncertainty it’s easy to predict the worse case scenario. That will only make things worse.
As human beings we want to know how things are going to turn out. You don’t want to hear that this is a time of uncertainty, or a time of change. But, realistically, things are always changing. This means that this will also eventually change.
Breathe in – Breathe out, and Reduce Stress During Covid-19.
It’s true, we don’t know how long this is going to last. It’s important that you stay safe during this time. Respect the social distancing protocol and wash your hands. This is what you know you can do to stay safe.
Pay attention to your thought process. Don’t believe everything your mind tells you. That will send you down a rabbit hole. This is known as catastrophic thinking. You will get through this, and it will become a learning experience.
Here are 7 tips to reduce stress during Covid-19:
- Make sure to ask for help when you need it.
This can be difficult for many people. If this is the case for you, there may be an underlying fear. Like fear of rejection or being a burden. What I have found is that most people want to help. Allow your support system to help. Let your mother-in-law pick up some groceries or your partner take the children to a friends house.
- Use reliable sources to stay informed.
The Centers for Disease Control would be the best place to start. Take the news seriously, and stay away for fake news. This will only make you feel more stressed out. Limit your time to the news to one hour a day. Avoid negative remarks on social media.
- Focus on what you can do, and let go of what you can’t.
Understand that social distancing is not meant to be a punishment. It is meant to protect you and your loved ones. You are going to have to face Covid-19. This means you are going to have to follow some rules. Don’t take it out on others, especially those that are trying to enforce the rules. That will only make matters worse.
- Write it out.
Studies have found that journaling is a great way to cope with stress. When you keep your feelings in, you will feel stuck. You can do the one page dump and just get all of your feelings and thoughts out. You can also write to Covid-19. What questions would you like to ask it? You can keep it simple, if you’d like. What’s important is that you get it out.
- Explore ways that benefit your mental health.
You are not a machine. You can’t keep going without taking a break. Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s alright to take some time off. You may feel like you need to stay in. But, you can still get out and go for a walk, or get out in the evening and watch the beautiful sunset with a friend. Take a bath or stop and breathe for 10 minutes. Mindfulness is a great way to take a break. If you have a hard time getting started with it, there are apps that can help you. Take a few days off from work and get out and have some fun.
- Focus on the positive and be kind.
I know this may seem impossible, given the circumstances. But, it is possible if you get creative. Text someone that you know may be alone and feels isolated. You can also send them a nice card. Write positive messages on social media and post positive pictures. Make it a point to pay attention to the good that is happening in the world. Rather, than stores are running out of toilet paper. The next time you are on the internet run a search for “tell me something good.” Share the news that you get.
- And, remember you aren’t alone.
This is a time of uncertainty. It’s natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed. But, when have you ever been able to predict the future? Try not to obsess about it. Remember, you are doing everything that you can. It’s important to stay connected. The next time you are out on the street smile and make eye contact with a stranger. You can also make small talk on the elevator. Continue to keep in touch with family and friends through phone and video. This will help you feel better.
This may seem like it will never be over. It’s important not to get trapped in your negative thoughts. Make sure you talk to your friends and family about it. This will help you feel better, and so will watching a funny video. This will help keep your mind off of the uncertainty.
If you liked this article there are more in, Reducing Stress. There are lots of helpful tips to get you through Covid-19.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.