The Coronavirus pandemic has elevated stress and anxiety levels for everyone around the world. Although some people may be affected more than others, everyone can find some healthy ways in reducing their own overall stress and anxiety as well as helping others.
1. Take time to enjoy things
Take the extra time you have to do things you enjoy or start something you have always wanted to but haven’t had the time for. This may help to give your mind a break from any worries you may be having, even for a short while. This could include activities such as starting a new hobby or project, exercising or being more creative around the house with art and craft etc. You can write down some goals to give yourself more things to look forward to and achieve.
2. Avoid big changes
Unfortunately, no one can predict the future to plan for when the pandemic will come to an end so the world can return to normal. Although it can be tempting to make big life-changing decisions such as moving, changing employment or organising important events, it is important to remember that this is only temporary and taking risks will most likely increase your stress and anxiety. It is best to put off any big decisions until it is clear about the outcome when normal life resumes.
3. Take a break from social media/news
It’s not uncommon to turn on the news, look on social media or read the newspaper and find pages flooded with Coronavirus updates. When we are already feeling anxious about the situation it is best to avoid the constant negativity and fear of which the media focuses around. There are multiple sources of real and fake news coverage, so make sure you are only relying on reputable sources as others can make the situation appear more stressful and scary than it really is.
4. Focus on your own safety
Although we can’t control the outside world, we can look after our own safety for the time being. Following the correct precautions to take as advised by your state’s heath authorities will at least keep your mind at ease that you are protecting yourself and others.
Simple techniques to follow that will keep you protected:
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water or with a sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol before and after leaving the house
- When you are out, avoid touching your face as it can be easy to forget what you have exposed your hands to
- Stay home as much as possible
- Avoid any crowded places where you may come into very close proximity with others
- If you want to leave the house for exercise, stick to large open areas with low crowds, avoid non-essential outings
- Keep 1.5m distance if you are around other people
- Ensure your sleep, diet and water intake is kept in good health in order to maintain a good immune system
5. Keep in contact with loved ones
It can be easy to feel like you are facing everything on your own, especially if you live in an isolated area or far away from friends and family. We are so lucky to have the technology that we have during this pandemic, enabling us to talk to anyone, anywhere at any time of the day. It’s important to maintain some form of social normality even if that means doing so over the internet. Aim to stick to video chats rather than instant messaging as this will help you to feel less alone. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with those you trust is far better than keeping it hidden and it is important to remember that if you are struggling, never feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. This pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide both mentally and financially.
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