Managing stress at home during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 | Blog
As we adapt to life at home, many of us might be feeling more stressed than usual as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While long, reflective walks currently are not an option, there are some steps we can take around the home to reduce and manage stress. The following tips are in no way a replacement for advice and support from your doctor, but instead are intended to be used as everyday guidance to manage stress.
Maintain your typical daily routine
One of the simplest ways of maintaining positive mental health is sticking to your typical daily routine. Live your life as you would normally, just minus the going outdoors bit. Getting up, showering and making sure you are ready for the day ahead will help you get in a positive mindset.
Limit your news intake
Turn any news channel on right now and you’ll be bombarded with stories regarding the COVD-19 pandemic. While it’s important for these channels to broadcast information to the world, it’s not essential that you regularly digest it. Constantly digesting news can negatively affect your mental health and increase stress levels, which is why it’s important for you to take breaks from the news.
This could mean not watching news channels or even taking an evening off from browsing social media. Time spent away from the negative news cycle will give you an opportunity to focus on the things you truly enjoy, whether that is spending time with your family or a particular hobby that you love.
Also, have you considered taking up a new hobby while at home? There are lots of free courses available online, so why not learn something new during all those extra hours spent indoors.
Connect with friends & family online
With social distancing rules in effect, now is the time to take full advantage of the video calling software that many major social media platforms have. Would you normally meet up with friends in the week for food? Why not catch up over video chat while preparing dinner or watch TV together over a video call? It will give you a chance to vent any frustrations or worries you have, rather than you keeping them in and them building up over a long time. Whilst we all miss spending time with our close friends and family, this is the next best equivalent and is sure to help you manage your stress levels.
Plan ahead and split-up big tasks
Feeling overwhelmed by a big task or job is a common cause of stress, so learning to split tasks up into smaller chunks can make it far more manageable. One way to do this is to plan ahead of time, so that any big tasks that do appear feel much less overwhelming as you already have a great concept of your workflow and available time. This is obviously much easier said than done, and all of us have moments of panic and feeling overwhelmed, but learning how to manage it will certainly help your mental health.
With the country in lockdown and social distancing orders in place, exercising is a little more difficult than it once was, but it is still a great way to manage stress. Whether it’s yoga, a specific home routine, or simply a daily job, there are still lots of ways you can exercise in the home. Regardless or your routine and method, exercise produces endorphins which is your brain's way of making you feel better.
Maintain a healthy diet
This is certainly easier said than done, but consuming a healthy diet (which includes drinking lots of water) can help you manage your stress levels. Lots of fruit and vegetables can help you feel more energised and less sluggish, making you more prepared to face the day ahead. Purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables isn’t viable for everyone at the moment, but frozen produce can still have positive effects within your diet!
As we all adapt to this temporary new way of living, it’s important that we still manage our stress levels and maintain positive mental health. How do you manage your stress? Got any tips you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below.