This is a stressful time. There really isn’t any way around the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic tension. It exists because of the fear and anxiety over our own health, that of those we love, and of the people around the world. There are financial tensions, challenges with changing lifestyle habits and social isolation, among many other factors.
Learning how to cope with this stress will strengthen you and those around you.
Tips to Control Your Stress Before It Can Control You
Emotions are high right now but dealing with those emotions and the stress that comes with them can help you keep on top of things and feel better at the same time. Use these tips to help you control your stress levels throughout the outbreak.
- Be prepared but don’t over-prepare. Get what you need without hoarding
- Practice self-care
- Be a good friend
- Occupy your mind
- Express yourself to someone you trust
- Focus on healthy eating habits
- Get exercise every day
- Get some fresh air (whether you go for a walk, stand on your balcony or just step out the door)
- Try new things and/or learn how to do something new
- Choose times to inform yourself, then turn away from the news
- Designate a ten-minute time for worry every day, let your thoughts out, then focus on other things. Lighting a candle for this time then blowing it out can help.
Stress Control Tips When You Have Kids
- Include kids in self-care
- Encourage participation in stress-relieving hobbies
- Share age-appropriate information with your kids, sticking to the basics
- Express the importance of careful and proper hand washing without using fear
- Motivate children to practice social distancing and hand washing out of co-operation to keep everyone well instead of out of fear of catching the virus
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. For example, don’t tell your kids that the family won’t get sick. Instead, reassure them that even though many people catch COVID-19 and do get sick, the vast majority recover.
- Let kids talk to family members and friends on the phone or over video conferencing
- Have a regular, predictable daily schedule
Bonus chill tip: Try the free Headspace COVID-19 stress-control guided meditations.