Stress. A word that has been taken to a whole new level during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all suffering from different types of stress. Many are out of work. Others are trying to work from home while also homeschooling children full-time. Some are sick and suffering. And others are caring for or worried about those who are sick and suffering. While the cause of our individual stress may be different, there are simple steps we can all take to reduce the amount of stress we feel on a daily basis. We’ve found some great articles (bottom of blog) with tips on combatting stress, here are a few of our favorites:
1. Think positive thoughts/Practice deep breathing and meditation.
How many of us have that nagging voice in your head constantly reminding you of everything you’ve yet to accomplish today? Tell that voice to lock it up! No really, start talking to yourself about all the things you HAVE accomplished today and all the good you have done. The power of positivity can be life changing. We also recommend meditation apps like Apps like Headspace (which is currently free for US healthcare professionals, who work in public health settings, through the end of this year) provide you with guided meditation. The App Dark Noise provides a variety of calming ambient sounds, is usually $3.99/month but currently free to everyone during this time.
With gyms closed and people stuck at home working and with kids it can seem like a daunting task. But you can always keep it simple. Take the stairs a few extra times. Do a few squats holding a package or a case of water bottles. Even a 5 minute exercise can help to reduce your daily levels of stress. Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health, but your mental health as well. Here are fitness studios that are currently launching free online classes during the outbreak:
o The Nike Training App offers a variety of free workouts designed by trainers.
o Barry’s Bootcamp is offering free 20-minute total body workouts through their Instagram.
o CorePower Yoga is providing a variety free online classes through CorePower Yoga On Demand
o Planet Fitness is offering free online classes through their Facebook page.
o Down Dog Yoga: Live streaming classes here.
3. Get Outside/Change Your Surroundings
If you’re able to do this while exercising - bonus points for you! But even if you’re unable to go outside for exercise just a few deep breaths of fresh air and a little sunshine on your face can be a real pick-me-up. If the weather isn’t ideal, just get up and go to another room. This can help to get your mind off of your problems and focus on something new.
4. Socialize while social distancing!
While we are social distancing ourselves, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep in touch! Take advantage of facetime, skype, and zoom so you can still stay up to date with family members, express how you are feeling with those you rely on, or have those much-needed virtual happy hours with friends.
5. Take a break from technology
Since “Stay-at-Home” orders were issued the amount of time we are all spending in front of screens has skyrocketed and can certainly be a trigger for our stress and anxiety. Take time for yourself. Meditate. Listen to some relaxing music. Take a nap (see #5 below!). Separate yourself from the technology that’s become a constant reminder of all the crazy in the world.
6. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Easier said than done. But make it a priority. Turn the TV off in the evening, put down your phone (TikTok will still be there in the morning), and allow your body to wind down so you get the best sleep possible.
7. Speak to a medical professional
Many therapists are holding sessions via phone or video calls. This is a great resource to use as a way to talk through your concerns.
Be kind to yourself and remember, we will get through this.