Tips to Cope With Stress During the Pandemic
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected all of us. Millions of people have switched to remote work, and millions of children are learning from home to slow the spread of the virus. We are being asked to wear masks when out in public and social distance to keep the people around us safe. While these health recommendations and guidelines are for the good of everyone, there is no denying that all of these drastic changes have affected our mental health. Stress is a natural response to drastic changes and unknown situations. We do not know when this pandemic will end, so we must learn to manage our stress levels to continue to live our lives despite the challenging situation. Thankfully, there are things you can do and steps you can take to manage your mental health during this pandemic.
Do Not Bottle It Up
Many people follow the adage of suck it up and keep going, but this mentality can cause severe problems over time. Bottling up your stress or emotions might work for a time, but it will come back to bite you eventually. Feeling stress is normal, but suppressing it is not healthy. As unpleasant or uncomfortable as it might be, you should let your emotions out and talk through your stress.
If you don’t have a friend or family member to talk to, talk therapists use telehealth to help patients remotely. Telehealth therapists use secure HIPAA compliant apps, practice management software, and most insurance plans cover telehealth sessions so you can safely talk to a professional about your pandemic stresses.
Take A Break
While it is essential to stay informed and up to date on current events, always reading the news can contribute to your stress. Set limits or restrictions on how much you look at the news every day. Check-in once or twice a day to get the big stories, but do not spend hours refreshing and scouring for news that will only make you more stressed. Find a healthy balance between being informed and being obsessed with the news to the point it is doing you more harm than good.
Self-Care Is Critical
Many people forget to take care of themselves when they are stressed. Most people still eat, drink, and sleep enough to stay alive, but they neglect other aspects of self-care. Taking breaks is essential; relaxation and leisure time are critical aspects of self-care. When you feel stressed, just take a break. Sit down with a good book, watch a movie, play a game, call a friend, take a long bath, focus on your skincare and beauty routine, try new products, dye your hair with organic hair dyes, or do anything else that helps you relax. Self-care is not selfish and is actually an essential part of your wellbeing.
Your Overall Health
Even though you are eating, drinking, and sleeping enough to stay alive, that doesn’t mean you are doing it right. Your overall health is a serious matter and how you take care of yourself affects your overall health, including stress levels. While the news or your situation might not be improving, you can reduce your overall stress and ill feelings by managing your overall health.
Thankfully, the ways to improve your general health are simple, even if they are not the answers we want to hear. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and getting the recommended amount of sleep are the easiest ways to improve your overall health. Avoid processed or overly sugary food in favor of fresh and organic foods. Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if it is just a walk around the walk on your lunch break or following an online yoga session at the end of the day. There is an endless supply of different workout programs online, so you will never be lacking for choice or get bored with doing the same routine each day. Sleep might feel like a reward at the end of the day, but it is actually a core part of your health. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep every night; do not fool yourself into thinking four hours is enough. While you can technically function on less sleep, you will not be performing at your best without enough sleep. A lack of sleep affects your appetite, judgment, decision making, energy levels, and more, so do not skip sleep.
Everyone is stressed right now. Stress is a natural reaction, but living under constant stress is unpleasant and damaging. Learning how to manage your stress is crucial, so you are not held back or damaged by the burden. Do not bottle up your stress as it is far healthier to let it out either to friends and family or a professional. Take a break from the news, so you are not overwhelmed by it. Practice self-care by taking a break to relax and unwind. Work on your overall health by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and sleeping enough.