11 Tips on How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety During this Pandemic
There’s NO DOUBT about it, it is a scary time. Last week I found myself going down the wrong path. Like so many I found myself feeling scared and helpless. Something that has helped me with all of the things that I have been through is knowing-YOU can’t control everything that happens to you, but you CAN control the way you respond. And in your response is your greatest power. So I readjusted some things to get back on course. I thought I would write about some tips and practices that I have learned over the years to help with all of the stress anxiety so many are feeling during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Get Enough Sleep
Too much stress can make us tense and anxious and can cause sleep problems. A good night’s sleep makes you able to tackle the day’s stress more easily.
Many are home in self quarantine or practicing social distancing-and according to social media, a lot of you have more time on your hand! Make sure that you get adequate amounts of sleep. Right now it is so important to keep your immune system as strong as possible. While more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skimping on it could adversely affect your immune system. It is recommended that you get 7-8 hours a sleep at night.
If your sleep schedule is interrupted by certain factors, try to make up for the lost rest with naps. Taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each —one in the morning and one in the afternoon—has been shown to help decrease stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.
Move your mass!! According to the Mayo Clinic, any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management.
Start small and increase what you do every week. Even if you start your day with stretching followed with walking, you’ll feel better. And if you can get outdoors for a walk, that’s even better!
Looking for some inspiration? Many fitness or yoga studios are offering online sessions. There are even FaceBook groups that list links to various instructors classes.
Plan Your Day
Right now many are dealing with so much change and feelings of uncertainty. I think the lack of structure or normalcy can be stressful. I have found that if I try to de disciplined in getting some of the things I want to get done, I feel better!
It helps to list three things that you’d like to get done that day. Very simple, just THREE main things, not a dozen! Hey if you want to miss a few extra, go for it, but those are extra credit. Focus on the three main things and when you get them done you’ll feel better. You can even just list the three and if you end up getting more done, list them at the end of the day-that you got them done. I heard this recently on a podcast and I like the idea of that!
Get Ready for Your Day
So many have been longing around in their pajamas for the last week-any hey there’s NOTHING wrong with that, but I just know for me, it makes me feel a certain way after awhile. I am fortunate enough to have the ability to do most of my work at home so I feel like a pro at this! I encourage YOU to pay close attention to yourself right now. Skincare and makeup are small, but powerful ways to make yourself feel better! It doesn’t have to be a lot, just do something!
After on back to back zoom sessions & calls ALL last week, I was overwhelmed and my brain was on overload. I was in my yoga pants and barely had time to wash my face-and didn’t feel good at all.
This week I’m changing that, I will get back into my routine. Get up, exercise, go through my skincare routine, and put some makeup on, even if it’s a little.
Listen to Something That Makes you Feel Good
I almost ALWAYS start my day listening to some kind of audio or podcast. I usually pick something that is inspiring, or pertains to a subject that I like, or I am learning or improving on. There are so many amazing podcast or even YouTube videos out there! If you need some suggestions, just let me know and I can share my favorites.
Once I am done with my audio, I like to play music that I like. I let my mood decide on what I want to listen to that day, and it’s usually background music, but it helps with stress.
Use an Essential Oil Diffuser
Studies have shown that specific essential oils used in aromatherapy can help relieve stress, relax the body, and promote better sleep. There are so many different ways that you can use essential oils, and one of my favorites is diffusing them. There are many oil diffusers on the market. I prefer to use one with water. My favorite essential oil to diffuse is Lavender.
Take Your Supplements
I have personally used supplements to help with my own anxiety and have seen an amazing difference. I recommend that everyone take their daily essentials, but in addition during times, like this pandemic, you may need to add a few in.
There are a few that I could recommend, but the one that has helped me tremendously is Bliss.
Why? Just look at these benefits:
- Promotes relaxation without drowsiness
- Helps maintain healthy levels of both serotonin and dopamine
- Helps enhance and stabilize mood
- Helps the body adapt to stress
- Promotes mental clarity
Limit Your Media Consumption
Remember when I said I felt myself going down a wrong path last week? I realized that I had the news on way too much! It was stressing me out and I felt my anxiety going through the roof! Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow and be informed. What I am saying, is choose what you watch or read wisely. I actually prefer to read articles from legitimate sources. I feel like reading lets you decide instead of you hearing what they decide.
What’s the magic amount? Only you can decide this. I just know what it does to me.
Seems so obvious, right? We all breathe automatically without even thinking about it, but most people take short, shallow breaths into their chest. This can actually make you feel anxious and zap your energy.
Take a deep breath in. Now let it out. You may notice a difference in how you feel already. Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular routine.
Have an Apple Watch? It has a breathe app that reminds you to take deep breaths throughout the day.
Check in on Your Friends
We are all in this together and EVERYONE is having a hard time. We need to lean on each other more than ever. Call or FaceTime your friends and family. Check in on each other. Even if it’s been awhile, it’s time to catch up!!
Have a ZOOM Get Together
If you are missing human connection plan a virtual get together. Zoom is a great platform for a bunch of people to get together. You can see each other and all talk. You can pick a fun theme and virtually party! It’s not the same but as close as you can get!!
Honestly, there are probably more that I could write! Do you have any that I missed that have been helping you? I’d love to hear them!!