As the events surrounding the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak unfold before our eyes, it’s understandable to be feeling increased levels of stress. It doesn’t help that information on the virus is rapidly changing and can be very overwhelming – even scary. If you have noticed increased levels of fear and anxiety, there are a few things you can do to manage it.
Here are 5 easy steps to follow:
- Exercise regularly: While gyms are closed and there are rules about social distancing, you can still get in aerobic exercise by walking, running, hiking, and going outside to play with your children or pets. Releasing endorphins can help boost your mood and these exercises can be easily performed at home.
- Maintain a health diet: Stress can have a negative effect on your eating habits, as well as your metabolism. The best thing you can do during these times is to eat as healthily as you can. Stress can trigger overeating, so be ready to fight the urge and keep healthy snacks on hand. This can also help you regulate your blood sugar throughout the day, which is another great way to help keep your body and emotions stable.
- Take a break: It’s common for us humans to want to have control over our lives and when it comes to a situation like this, many of us will need to learn how to manage lack of control. It’s also a good idea to avoid excessively watching the news or reading articles online. This is important for you, as well as your children. Try to distract yourselves with board games, tackling projects around the hour, reorganizing a room or reading a new book.
- Connect with friends and family: It’s very important to connect to connect with people during this time of uncertainty and fear. Check in regularly with your parents, grandparents, children, siblings, friends, and even your colleagues.
- Don’t forget to rest: While it may seem ironic to rest while you must stay home, it is easy to not get enough sleep when you are stressed. Stick to getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. This will help you stay focused and manage your stress. You should also try to avoid consuming stimulants like alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
There are many other things you can do to manage your stress and help create a sense of normalcy. It can help you and your children. If you feel as though you are not able to manage your anxiety or depression on your own, reach out to a specialist for an in-person or over the phone visit. For you to be able to care for those around you, you need to take care of yourself too.