Mitigating Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic
Stress and anxiety are to be expected during this time, with this pandemic. We can’t let it get the best of us. When many things feel uncertain or out of our control, one of the most effective ways we can manage stress and anxiety is to focus on the actions that are in our control. Here are some ways you can take intentional steps to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing during this challenging time:
- Use strategies like mindfulness to stay positive while unable to see family and friends.
- Go back to basics: eating healthy meals, physical exercise (i.e., walking, stretching, running), getting enough sleep, and doing things you enjoy. Even if you're in self-quarantine, or working from home, there are many ways to develop new routines and stay healthy.
During this time of change, it's natural for our minds to think of all the usual activities we may not be able to do at the moment. Make a conscious shift to focus on the activities we are still able to do, or those that we may have more opportunity to do if we're at home more often. Some ideas could be to:
· Keep learning, take a class, many new free options are being offered at this time
· Read a book
· Listen to a podcast
· Finish that household project you've been putting off or start a thorough spring cleaning in/around your house
Stay connected. Receiving support and care from others has a powerful effect on helping us cope with challenges. Spending time with supportive family and friends can bring a sense of comfort and stability. Talking through our concerns, thoughts, and feelings with others can also help us find helpful ways of thinking about or dealing with a stressful situation.
Remember that physical distancing does not need to mean social disconnection. There are many ways we can use technology to stay connected, and both give and receive support (remotely). You could:
· Call, text, or video-chat with friends and family
· Share quick and easy recipes
· Start a virtual book or movie club
· Schedule a workout together over video chat
· Join an uplifting online group or peer forum.
Contribute. Showing care towards friends, family, or vulnerable people in our community can be all the more important during times like this. It can foster a sense of hope, purpose, and meaning. Some ideas can be to:
· Send someone you care about a message of encouragement or affirmation
· Pack/deliver a meal to someone in your neighborhood who may be less fortunate or have trouble getting out to shop for food.
· Donate to a cause.
Keep things in perspective. In a situation that’s uncertain, it’s natural to have many ‘what if?’ questions in our minds. In the absence of information, our anxious mind will often fill in the blanks with worst case scenarios, which can leave us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, or vulnerable. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to shift your thinking from catastrophizing to a more helpful mindset:
· What are the things within my control?
· Am I overestimating the likelihood of the worst-case scenario?
· What strategies have helped me cope with challenging situations in the past that will serve me well during this time?
· What is a small helpful or positive action that I can take now?
Seek accurate information. Finding credible sources you can trust is important to avoid the fear and panic that can be caused by misinformation. Follow sources like the CDC, or the local Department of Public Health, for up-to-date information and facts. Local and cable news can be informative. It can also have bias.
Set limits around news and social media. It’s understandable to want to keep informed and prepared. At the same time, constantly reading, watching, or listening to upsetting media coverage can unnecessarily intensify worry and agitation. When you get the urge to check updates, see if you can pause, notice the urge, delay acting on the urge, and let it pass without judgement. Schedule a specific time to check in with the news instead. It's also okay to take breaks from conversations with others about COVID-19 and suggest talking about other topics.
While we are not operating out of the office or providing training services at this time, we will be keeping in touch via blog and social media to share positive, uplifting, information and advice. We at Mobile Medic CPR, care about your physical and mental health. We want our customers, friends, community members, and family to BE WELL.