In a period of about a month, our lives have changed in ways we have never seen. Stress has appeared out of nowhere. How to handle stress is a big question mark for many.
COVID-19 is a disease of pandemic proportions. Coming to terms with an enemy we can’t see, yet this enemy is causing so much peril worldwide. We are being called upon to help win the fight. To self-isolate. Practice physical distancing. Make essential trips only for food and medicine. Stepping up to the plate as never before in front-line jobs. For some, the closure of businesses and loss of jobs. Knowing how to handle stress will ultimately be a key in how well we adapt as the months move forward.
How Does Stress Manifest Itself?
Before COVID-19, we all probably felt like we had a pretty good life. We had the freedom to come and go as we pleased. Visit who we wanted. Attend whatever events we chose to. Go on vacations. Had a job to go to and a pay check to go with it. Suddenly, this insidious virus, which seemed so far away, was suddenly in our midst. Making people sick. Some unfortunately would not survive. All of this…and no vaccine to fight it off.
Stress comes with many questions. Will I get the virus? How will I survive? Will I get my job back? How will I pay the bills? What will happen with the kids’ school year? These questions create fear and apprehension. Stress can also come out with anger and frustration. Frustration from the limits being placed upon us with being isolated. Coping with boredom. How to keep the kids amused. The challenges of being inside.
How To Handle Stress (and Move Forward)
Just to say that we are living in unprecedented times. It is natural to have a (what I call a) “shock and awe” reaction. Getting our heads wrapped around this situation, in the beginning, is quite a normal response. So what is helpful for us to do in the present?
How To Handle Information
- Recognize the realities of the situation. At some point, there does need to be a change in the way you live. Decide how you will adapt to the changing times!
- We can only do, what we can do. Concentrate your efforts on what you can do. Dwelling on what you can’t change is futile.
- Follow your government and health agency recommendations. They will guide you regarding the latest developments and best approaches to keep yourself and your family safe.
- Develop a new routine for the times and have your other family members on board. Have a family meeting to discuss it.
- Be open to change. Some changes will need to occur. Accepting these changes as needed for the time being can help you move on.
- Stay informed…but live your life. It’s important to stay informed of the latest developments to know of any changes taking place. Recognize that hearing it over and over is not helpful and can increase your anxiety.
How To Stay Healthy
- Eat healthy foods to provide needed nutrients and vitamins to keep your body functioning at its best.
- Add immune-boosting foods to your diet. You can read more about this in my article, “5 Foods That Boost Your Immunity” and also download an entire list of immune-boosting foods through the post.
- Add stress-relieving foods to your diet and help watch your anxiety level drop. This article from Medical News Today gives you some good options and how it works to relieve or prevent stress from occurring.
- Get regular exercise. This keeps your body strong and in good physical condition. It can also alleviate stress. Be open to changes in your normal routine if needed.
- Get quality sleep. Set up an evening routine to settle you off to peaceful slumber. Quality sleep helps your body and mind to rest and recuperate from the day’s events. Also, prepare itself for the upcoming day.
- Give yourself some time for self-care daily. What you do daily not only protects yourself and your family, but also prevents possible transmission to people outside. Be kind to yourself. Appreciate the good in yourself and do something you enjoy, or is ultimately good for you-physically and/or mentally!
It’s Ultimately Up To Us
Life isn’t always fair. It isn’t even within our control sometimes. What is up to us is how we choose to adapt to it. Ultimately, how we deal with the stress that has resulted in our lives. Make the most of what we have control over and make the best of it under the circumstances. Taking a more positive approach will ultimately give us more positive results and a healthier outcome overall. These are the things that will determine how best we cope. It’s ultimately up to each one of us. Make the right choice!
Frequently Asked Questions
Although it is important to be informed of what is happening, the reality is there is a lot of repetitiveness in the media. These reports being heard over and over, can have a rather depressing effect. Instead, choose a time of day, and time length to listen to the latest news. Absorb what was said and act accordingly to any changes that need to be made. Living as normally as you can in the present circumstances will have the greatest influence on your mindset in the long run.
Develop a routine for your daily tasks at home. Do some long overdue projects around the house. Do some decluttering. Revive a hobby. Take a course online. Do things as a family. Get exercise. The list is endless!
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!