The COVID-19 outbreak is causing a variety of challenges for everyday Americans. Health worries, fears about job losses, financial hardship, and even finding what you need at the grocery store can amplify stress.
Left unchecked, long-term stress can be incredibly harmful. It can lead to feelings of anxiety or exacerbate existing mental health conditions. It can manifest as physical symptoms and cause negative mood changes that influence how you act and think. Sleep patterns can be interrupted, chronic health conditions may worsen, and alcohol, tobacco, or drug use may increase.
As a result, finding ways to deal with your COVID-19 stress is critical. That way, you can lead a healthier, happier life during these uncertain times.
If you aren’t sure how to effectively handle stress during the COVID-19 outbreak, here are some tips.
Avoid Media Overload
While gathering a bit of information about the current state of the outbreak is a smart move, you don’t want to bombard yourself with details 24/7. A constant influx of COVID-19 news and social media posts can actually increase your stress levels. You may start to feel as if there’s no way to escape the bad news and upsetting stories that may keep you in a bad mood.
To avoid this, make sure to meter your media consumption. For example, only check news reports twice a day, once first thing in the morning and once in the evening. When you get on social media, focus on the accounts of your friends and family members, and avoid unnecessarily scrolling through your feed. You could even set media- or device-free hours, where you can’t look at any of it for a specific period.
Again, the goal isn’t to stick your head in the sand. Instead, it’s to prevent bad news from becoming the background of your life, ensuring that you have room for pleasant activities and thoughts instead.
Self-care can be excellent for combating stress. A few deep breaths and some light stretching can be incredibly calming. Similarly, meditation is often cited as beneficial for stress management.
You also want to make sure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. With proper nutrition, you are fueling your body to be at its best. Along the same lines, getting the right amount of sleep is essential, especially if your stress levels are high.
Connect and Unwind
Whenever you have the opportunity, use it doing something you enjoy. Reach out to friends and family members on the phone or through video chat so that you can remain connected and avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness. Spend time doing activities you find fun, like hobbies or games.
By adding enjoyable moments to your day, you can take better care of yourself. In a bit of time, your stress levels will likely fall, making them more manageable.
If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively deal with stress from COVID-19, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today and see how our stress management expertise can benefit you.