The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives on so many fronts that it’s almost impossible to anticipate its total effect. After spending more than a year in a lockdown situation and fearing the virus, there’s still no respite. With India almost crossing two lakh cases each day, the stress has reached a threshold. With many households having coronavirus cases and many fearing the virus might catch them soon, how can one deal with an enormous amount of stress and fatigue?
Pandemics are not something common, and dealing with them can rob anyone of mental peace. In this article, we discuss seven ways to cope with stress in difficult times.
Nobody is spared, including children; they too are facing a rollercoaster of emotions due to the obstacles of limiting their outdoor activities. While important measures like social distancing are vital during such times, however, one cannot negate the baggage of isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety, etc., that such circumstances bring along. With the pandemic not ending anytime soon, it has become more vital to figure out ways to be more resilient to the ill effects of such changes.
Stress Causes The Following Common Factors:
Did you know stress can lead to several health problems that most of us are not aware of? Yes, stress can induce one or many of the following issues:
- Difficulty in concentration
- Increase in mental health conditions
- Increase in already existing health problems
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Increase in cases of addictions like smoking, drinking alcohol, and other substances
- Headaches, body pains, skin rashes, etc., due to stress and overthinking
- Loss of appetite and energy
- Increase in heart rate
- Avoidance of favorite activities
How To Deal With Stress In A Pandemic?
Let’s find some healthy ways to cope with stress in our everyday lives:
Make Break-Time Mandatory
We all need breaks in between monotonous activities, and it is essential to realize when it’s time for a break. Social media has consumed a lot of our time, and hence, breaks are even more important to provide the much-needed space our brains need. Even when we perform daily tasks, like reading, writing, watching TV or computer screens, etc., we need to keep a tab on time it is consuming and when appropriate breaks are required. Like an engine in a car that requires rest after running continuously, our brain also needs a pause.
Be mindful of the pause. Don’t overburden that time with more screen time, especially social media. Just keep all the distractions at bay and breathe as you look out of the window.
Limit Your News Consumption
Consider limiting news to only watching headlines or facts if you cannot give it a total miss. Nowadays, there are a lot of news channels providing opinions and bias in journalism. Make your own opinions after reading the headlines, and that is how a lot of negativity that comes with spreading false news can be controlled. When you forward news articles which are created to produce hype, you not only affect your mind but also spread it to others. So yes, limit your WhatsApp forwards and do not believe everything you receive in such forwards.
It is important to get adequate sleep which acts as a reboot to your system. It not only helps you remain fresh for the entire day but also helps in fighting stress as you increase the productivity of your brain.
Meditate & Do Deep Breathing
Take deep breaths during the day, or better, try meditating for some time. The benefits of meditation are innumerous in calming the brain. It is anxiety that is causing most of the stress as we are not aware of what will happen. To deal with such surplus tension, consciously take deep breaths and calm your mind. One tip that can help your brain remind deep breathing is that clock in your room. As an hour pass, pause all your work and take five deep breaths. Continue it throughout the day for a better and relaxed state of mind.
In such a pandemic situation, one cannot emphasize enough the importance of eating right. Maintain a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Build on working your immunity so that your body is prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Stay Connected Digitally
While social distancing measure is a must, it is essential to be at least connected via phone with your friends and family. This way, you will be able to express yourself and let it out rather than overthink and keep it bottled up inside. Once in a while, schedule video calls for fun and party.
Learn New Skills
Now that most of us have time due to the on and off lockdown, it is best to invest in a hobby. A hobby that you always wanted to learn but kept pushing away due to lack of time. Make a lifestyle change by incorporating a new skill in your daily life and keep building on it. This will relax you and keep you engaged in a mindful activity, thereby reducing stress. One example could be to learn to play chess or a musical instrument, like a guitar.
Find out what are your triggers when it comes to stress management. We all are prone to different triggers when it comes to stress which is why it is important to analyze what exactly causes you to take tension. Work on eliminating the same.
Suppose after watching the news in the morning or reading a newspaper; you feel drained out. Then work on dealing with this trigger. It may sound silly, but a trigger could be anything; a simple act of washing your hands, again and again, might depress some. Therefore, it is crucial to know your trigger and work on dealing with it calmly.
Managing stress is important in our everyday life to ensure that it does not harm our health overall. It becomes unavoidable during pandemic times. However, finding ways to deal with it assertively is very important. The idea is to understand the situation and take time from our busy schedule to work towards it.