Global pandemic. Millions infected. Lockdowns. Social distancing … These are scary and uncertain times indeed. But remember that you are still in control of your thoughts. By choosing to have sensible thoughts, you’ll be able to take positive actions. So, here are the simple things you can do to manage stress and stay strong:
1) Avoid information overload.
Most of the news nowadays, whether local, national or international, is about the virus. Often the news is negative and therefore distressing. So, it is wise to limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching the news on this topic. A good idea is to assign a fixed and limited amount of time every day to stay updated on the news. For example, you may decide to keep up with the news from 7 to 8 p.m. daily. At other times you really need to focus on doing the other things in your life.
2) Let go of what’s beyond your control.
You need to rationalise that there is often little you can do to change the negative things that are happening around you. Leave the concerns and problem-solving to the relevant health and government authorities. Being overly concerned or worried is certainly not good for your physical and mental health.
3) Stay calm.
We are all different, and so you need to know what calms you down. Does listening to soothing music help you to relax? Does talking to someone who understands helps you to feel better? Does taking a walk outside make you feel relaxed? Regularly doing what calms you down is so very important. Learn more about how to cope during these stressful times here
4) Set aside time for breaks and hobbies.
Even when you have things to do and deadlines to keep, plan your time carefully to achieve a balance. Taking breaks helps you recharge your energy and become more effective in your study, work and other tasks. Having hobbies you enjoy lets you focus on the things you like doing and makes hobby time pleasant and enjoyable. Reduce stress and enjoy life with these 100 free or frugal activities. Be good to yourself.
5) Stay healthy.
Looking after your health well is so very important in these uncertain times. Make sure that you have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Need ideas? Here are 42 cheap and healthy recipes you can try.
Stay healthy by taking regular breaks and setting aside time for your hobbies. Stay in touch with those you get along with.
6) Stay in touch.
Most of us cannot meet face to face with others due to social distancing. But you can still stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues through Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp or other means. Talking about how things are going and what’s happening can often help you to feel better and more connected with others.
7) Be kind to yourself and others.
You need to be more understanding with yourself and others. Many people are having to manage their lives and also to remain safe during these times. Do not expect too much of yourself – it is alright to feel concerned about the situation, as long as you take steps to prevent things from overwhelming you. If the people you know and others are not quite themselves, remain calm and be understanding. You do not know what others are going through. They are also trying their best to get through the day.
8) Count your blessings.
Avoid becoming preoccupied with the global health, social and economic crisis.
Don’t forget the positives in your life. Remember to always count your blessings. Make a list of all the good things in your life. A positive thing can be as simple as having good health. Having a job that pays your bills. Having a lovely pet that makes you smile. Living in a pleasant neighbourhood. Having some good friends who understand you.
As you can see, it is not difficult for most people to make a list of what’s positive in their lives. Look at this list every day, and add to it. This will remind you of what is good – it gives you the perspective to better manage any worries or stress that you are facing.
There is certainly more to life than the pandemic. When you begin taking one or more of the above actions, you’ll be able to keep stress to a manageable level. Kia kaha!