It’s been almost a year since the lockdown was imposed nationwide due to the pandemic. In this time, we went through a roller coaster ride of witnessing complete lockdown, social distancing, wearing masks, restraining self into the four walls of the home, not partying or meeting loved ones, to standing in queue to buy groceries, and most importantly work from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.
Well, irrespective of so much progress in Covid-19 spread management, thousands of cases are still reported. Hence the anxiety of contracting the virus always remains with the addition of new anxiety and struggle on how to get used to the “New Normal?”
It has become imperative to carry a mask, and a sanitizer, along with following social distancing norms. This has created a strong emotion among people like anger, sadness, anxiety, panic, tension as well as stress amongst people.
Everyone copes with stress and emotions in their own and unique way — people can show difficulties in their sleep, appetite as well as concentration due to heightened anxiety and stress levels.
Below are the top tips to help deal with the stress and anxiety related to Covid-19
1.Talk to someone you trust
Your support network is not there just for you in good times – your loved ones are there to lean on when you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, sad or angry. If you’re not comfortable speaking to a friend or family member, or if it’s not possible, a mental health professional is also a great option. Whoever you talk to, it is important to be open and honest so you can receive the support you need.
2.Stay connected with people
Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing. There are lots of different ways to stay in touch with friends and family when you cannot meet in person. We all need to feel connected still, so keep in touch – whether it’s with people you normally saw often or reconnecting with old friends.
3.Find positive distractions
Distract yourself from things that cause you stress and anxiety by focusing on something else. Try to do an activity you enjoy or find a new hobby. Try searching online for ideas for free activities to do around your home, see if one of your favorite musicians is playing a free streaming concert, or go outside for a walk.
4.Create a self-care plan
A self care plan is a long-term investment that should include things you enjoy doing. Many find journaling is a great outlet, but if writing isn’t your thing, try listening to music to boost your mood. If the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor exercise, have a dance party in your living room! Think about things that will boost your mood and go from there.
5.Talk about your worries
It’s normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it’s OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.
If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.
6.Set limits on your media consumption
Tuning into media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading, or how many people are getting sick, will increase your anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of articles.
While it’s helpful to stay informed, it’s also important you don’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day.
7.Find new safe activities
This is the perfect time to try something new. Something that you may not be good at, but want to improve on (hello, Sudoku) or do something around the house that you’ve been meaning to do but didn’t have time. There are also plenty of things you can still do outdoors with safe social distancing, such as a walk or outdoor workout!
Increased feelings of anxiety and stress aren’t uncommon right now, so remember that if you’re feeling “off,” you’re not the only one. Getting the support you need should be a top priority. There are resources available to you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Speak to your primary care physician or a mental health professional to discuss coping strategies or reach out to community organizations that may be able to help.
You deserve to feel supported and using these tips can help you #BeTheDifference for yourself.