There’s no getting around it; the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for everyone. These are unprecedented times, and it’s normal to feel upset about what’s going on in the world.
Getting the virus or knowing someone who has it can cause anxiety. Worrying about your job, your child’s school and what the future holds can impact your mental health. Even going to the grocery store can be stressful.
Many people are living with anxiety right now, and you’re not alone in wondering what can help you feel better. These useful tips may make it easier to cope.
Stay social… but from a distance
Keeping six feet of space between yourself and others is essential for slowing the spread of COVID-19. But one thing you actually don’t want to do during the pandemic is stay away from other people — emotionally speaking.
It’s important to contact friends and family daily. Call, text or email them. Stay in touch over social media. Video chat on your smartphone. Visit outdoors from a distance while wearing face masks.
It’s also important to reach out to people who you know are having a hard time. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who can’t leave the house. Drop a meal off on their doorstep or send them a copy of your favorite book with a nice note.
Turn off the news
It’s important to stay informed, of course. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed when the information feels less-than-positive. Hearing about the pandemic over and over can cause stress and anxiety.
Every so often, take a day off from watching the news. Don’t read about what’s going on, even on social media.
Maintain healthy habits
While it’s tempting to turn to comfort food, it’s important to eat a healthy diet.
It’s also helpful to continue exercising. Go for a walk. Check out free workouts on video sites like YouTube. Order some new exercise equipment or accessories for your home gym that you’ll look forward to using.
It’s important to get a good night’s sleep, too. Keeping up your healthy habits will make you feel better overall.
Whether the weather is warm, or you need to bundle up against chillier temps, heading outdoors can improve your mood. Sit on your porch. Plant those container gardens you’ve always wanted on your deck. Visit a local park and walk the trails. If an outdoor space is crowded and you feel uneasy, go with your gut and find a different area.
Do something fun
This pandemic is a serious situation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to enjoy yourself.
Take a mental health day from work. Plan a family game night with your household. Utilize your outdoor space for new things such as watching a movie or show on your laptop, doing puzzles, or giving yourself a manicure.
Sometimes just stepping outside or changing up your everyday process helps to break what feels like monotony. Tackle that home project you’ve been putting off. It’s especially important to have some fun if you have kids in the house — they can feel the effects of all these big changes, too.
Have a plan in place for protecting yourself
One reason you might feel stressed is that you’re afraid of getting the virus. Having a game plan can help ease your anxiety.
Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time. Wear a mask when you’re out and about. And if you do get sick with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home contact your doctor to learn more about what to do.
If you focus on what you can control, it may ease some of the stress.
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