Pandemic has stirred our lives in many ways. Most of us are working from home, attending online classes, staying in touch with friends and family through video calls. And, all of this is creating an impact on our physical and mental health. The instructions from doctors like maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, staying at home, etc., are essential as they will help us stay safe. But, they have also increased a feeling of isolation and loneliness among many. So, the digital world is the only option left. These conditions can increase stress and anxiety. And can harm our mental health in many ways. But, here are few tips for managing pandemic stress and anxiety. Pandemic stress and anxiety are natural, and the first step is to accept that you have it. And, don’t worry, we all are together in this.
What is pandemic stress and anxiety?
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. And, it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. And, stress is a feeling of emotional and physical tension. The stress and anxiety triggered due to pandemic is pandemic stress and anxiety.
With all these going around us, it is normal to experience pandemic stress and anxiety, but we can manage them with few changes. All the tips here are from personal experiences. Always feel free to consult a mental health professional if the problem increases.
Ways to manage pandemic stress and anxiety :
We know how challenging are the situations around us, but we can give it a try.
- Ditch social media for a while: Social media has its pros and cons. It played a huge role in connecting friends and families across different parts of the world. It is essential to stay in touch with others and know what is happening everywhere. But, too much information can sometimes trigger stress and anxiety, especially if social media is the first and last thing you see in your day. It is essential to stay informed to follow all the guidelines, and do your part to stop the spread of the virus. Follow the authentic sources like WHO and your doctor. As there’s a lot of misinformation, it is vital to follow correct sources. Also, focus on what you share on social media and how true is that, as it’s our duty as responsible citizens to avoid spreading rumors and creating unnecessary panic. If you find it challenging to deal with anxiety, avoid social media entirely.
- Follow a proper routine: This may not sound like a piece of practical advice, but it is. Believe me. Having a good routine can help you manage stressful times as most people working from home or attending online classes lack the motivation to stick to a proper routine. And, this makes it more difficult for them to deal with stressful days. So, make a proper plan and stick to a routine for exercise, sleeping, mealtimes, and work.
- Stay connected with your loved ones: We are all together in this, and we can pass through these challenging times by encouraging each other. So, stay in touch virtually through video calls, chats, phone calls, etc. Human connections can lower stress and anxiety levels.
- Workout: A small workout session of 30-45 minutes can help you deal with all that stress and anxiety during the pandemic. And, we can understand that it is not always possible to stay motivated. But, try to find some time out for different exercises, yoga or breathing exercises for few minutes in a day. Also, the release of feel-good hormones- endorphins will make you feel calmer. Endorphins play a significant role in reducing stress and anxiety. So, exercise for at least 30-45 minutes and make their best use. Still, if you can’t find time for exercising, try to spend some time doing a household chore. And, the importance of exercise increases, especially if you’re working from home. Because of reduced physical activity and interactions with colleagues, you might end up feeling isolated and lonely.
- Sleep well: Stress and anxiety can trouble your sleep. And, then, the lack of sleep can amplify the stress and anxiety. And this cycle continues. Try to get proper sleep of at least 7-8. Sleep is a powerful stress reducer and calms the mind and body. Ditch the digital devices for some time before you fall asleep. And, try relaxing activities like reading, journaling, or listen to soft relaxing music. Do something that calms your mind. And wake up fresh every day.
- Journaling: Journaling can reduce stress by serving as an escape or emotional release of negative feelings and thoughts. Pen down your thoughts and feelings, make it easy and write whatever you feel. You can do this even on your smartphone or keep a pen and paper handy. Write whatever you feel.
- Practice Gratitude: Be grateful and write the things you’re thankful about and do this practice every single day. Focus on good things in your life. Practicing gratitude also activates dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel good. And, it can help you reduce stress as well. So, why not spend some time being thankful for what we have.
- Meditate: Meditation, breathing exercises, or mindfulness can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. Keep few minutes aside for this practice and try to do it every day. There are guided videos available on youtube, apps, etc. Choose the one you like. Meditation will help you focus at present, increasing self-awareness, managing stress, etc.
- Eat good food: Food, mood, and anxiety are closely related to each other. So, try to consume something healthy and follow a well-balanced diet plan. Beans, berries, fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc., can be a part of your anti-anxiety diet.
- Please consult a doctor: If you’re not able to deal with all that stress and anxiety during a pandemic, please feel free to consult a doctor. Mental health is as important as physical health. Talk to your loved ones. Almost all of us are going through the same problems. So, it is much easier for us to understand each other and support.
There’s always someone who can help. 🙂
We have mentioned some of our best tips to deal with stress and anxiety during a pandemic. They are easy to follow and can help you deal with them better. Nevertheless, it is essential to follow all the guidelines to stay safe.
But, all these tips and their results vary from person to person. Pick one and check yourself which suits you the best. We urge you to consult a healthcare professional if the problem increases.
Also, drop down the ways you are handling pandemic stress and anxiety. And let others know. There’s nothing wrong with having them, and we can manage them well.