Friday, September 11, 2020

Keeping Your Stress Down During The Pandemic.


Unfortunately, the pandemic is making life more difficult.  Where I live we had a couple of cases pop up at the beginning of August and then another couple of cases at the end of August but it's enough to make people nervous and worried.  The school district has told us, our school can go ahead and open up as if everything is normal except the students need to wear masks and observe reasonable distancing.  We could go straight yellow or even red if we get more cases.  

In addition, we can't travel anywhere unless we are willing to undergo quarantine for 14 days due to a shortage of tests.  All this uncertainty is creating a bit more stress than normal.  You don't know what will happen tomorrow, so it's important to do things to relieve stress.

In today's world, it is strongly recommended that everyone take care of themselves both mentally and physically.   To help one's mental health, the CDC recommends people take deep breaths, meditate, and/or stress.  They also suggest people work on eating healthy meals and exercise on a regular basis.  In addition, one should get enough sleep at night, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, or using drugs.  

I've settled into a routine at work where I walk around the gym for 20 minutes straight and then do more things at night like exercising, walking, yoga, or dance for another 20 minutes to an hour.  I'm finding, it helps me keep my stress down.  I also read a lot more than I have in the past and I've been trying new recipes that look interesting.  I've always found cooking helps me relieve stress.  Exercise, reading, or cooking are not for everyone.

Another way to relieve stress and help one's mental health is to sit down and think about four things you can see, three things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.  This helps one stay in the present which cuts down on the amount of anxiety one feels.  If you don't feel like thinking about physical things, why not create a list of things you are grateful for.  One doesn't have to make a list of 32 items.  The list can be of simple things such as being grateful for it being a sunny day, or you found a beautiful flower, or have a roof over your head.  Research indicates that people who are grateful for things, tend to have more feelings of well-being.

At meal times, slow down when eating.  Take a bite of food in your mouth, taste it, chew it slowly to experience all the flavors.  Close your eyes and savor it.  When you eat slowly, you are more likely to notice you are full and you are more likely to choose healthier foods which can improve your immune system.

Furthermore, many peoples routines have changed drastically.  Rather than fight the change, take advantage of it by establishing a new routine or at least a list of certain things that must be completed each day.  I have times scheduled during the day to read, to write, to walk, and relax.  In between those, I work, I clean house, I do other things but they are not on my to-do routine.

It is also recommended that one postpone any major decisions during this time.  When one has to make a major decision during normal times, it can be quite stressful but right now the stress is way more increased.  So if one can put off making the decision, it is better.  This why they recommend you shouldn't change your hair style or get a tattoo.  

As far as work goes, you might consider saying no to taking on the extra assignments you'd ordinarily accept, especially if you are trying to work from home and raise your children at the same time.  See if you can set aside specific times for work and do not do any extra work outside of those hours.  This helps cut down on the amount of extra stress.

If all else fails, take advantage of talking to someone such as a counselor, your minister, or even call one of those mental health phone lines to help you out.  Where I work, we have a couple of different people when can talk to when things get a bit too hairy.  I haven't used them because I'm one of those people who writes it all down to release my stress.  It is nice to know they are there, just in case.

I hope these things help you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment