The COVID-19 disease has caused the world to slow down. Many countries have imposed strict restrictions, rules and some have even called for lockdowns. All travel has been suspended and life, as we had known, has stopped. No more can we hand out in large groups, go to movies, have a drink at pubs or meet friends in large social gatherings. Many shops and businesses have shut down so that the disease doesn’t spread as fast and governments have time to manage the pandemic.
On top of this, is the fact that COVID-19 doesn’t have any known cure and it is taking lives rapidly while infecting people. News channels say that a person can show symptoms a few days after infection, which means that he/she could be infecting people unaware that they are carriers. Overall the outlook may not seem very bright for our future.
Hence, it is normal that you feel stress. Because of the glum present, things you can’t do, being stuck at home and not being able to see people who may matter to us. Then there is the worry about our jobs, food, medicines etc. You are unable to envision the future and not being able to predict what happens next is something that as humans is hard to digest. The worries have been piling on and may feel stressed. But worrying about things that you have no control over isn’t going to change anything. Hence you must try to focus on the bright side of things, even though they are small. Here are a few things you can try to deal with stress during this confusing time.
Now that you are most likely at home, don’t keep watching the news throughout the day. This can increase anxiety and cause more stress. Take a break from watching news or virus related information on social media. The best thing to do is unplug and do other things like watching a movie or some TV series. You can watch the news, but just watch important segments for a few minutes, a channel that talks about the crucial decisions and what is happening in the for a few minutes is good enough, then it is time to unplug. Do other things, but don’t go online too much.
Make a routine
Create a healthy routine so that is good for your mind and body. Routine can help you in keeping your mind on things to do. So, you can plan your day for things that you want to get done. Get up in the morning, workout, breakfast, get to work (if you are working from home), make lunch eat, catch up on hobbies, get enough sleep etc. Don’t think of things that you can’t do because of the lockdown, instead focus on things you can do.
Connect with other people
Although you need to practice social distancing, you don’t have to stop talking or connecting with people. Keep in touch with others through phone calls, video calls or chats. Spending time with family and friends this way can provide a sense of stability and comfort. Face to face contact can help you in dealing with stress. Small jokes or a laugh can help lighten the mood, making you feel better.
Care for your body
Take this time to focus on your body. Exercise, eat healthy food and try meditation. Get plenty of sleep and give yourself some slack to slow down. Do things you like – cook, clean, decorate, read, draw or do whatever you want to do while inside. Yoga and deep breathing techniques help in relaxation.
Do things that are in your control
Do things that you can do by yourself such as protecting yourself in ways you can. Wash hands regularly, cover your mouth when going out, sanitise hands and immediately contact your doctor if you feel sick. If you can help people in need then you must do that as it is one way that will make you feel better. Donate to food banks or help local volunteers in any way you can.