When our health and that of our loved ones are threatened, it causes stress. When our source of income is threatened, and our lives have been turned upside down by coronavirus, the pressure, and anxiety feels like the new normal.
Our battle begins by staying safe from the highly contagious COVID-19. We battle to keep our homes stocked with food amid a pandemic, and a battle to find the right strategies to keep our businesses afloat. It is almost impossible not to focus on the uncertain future, and that has left many of us scared, frustrated, and depressed.
For many, it may appear impossible to shake off stress and anxiety at the moment. Experts argue that it is possible for the human mind to learn the resilience and new coping mechanism that is needed to soldier through this pandemic.
According to Shevaun D. Neupert, Ph.D., a psychology professor at North Carolina State University, people need to think slightly outside the box in order to alleviate stress during the ongoing quarantine.
Thinking slightly outside the box seems to be a stretch — particularly true because life as we know it has been so drastically disrupted right now. We’ve all worked on stress coping strategies — and they were working before the coronavirus hit. Is it just me — or are all the strategy is obsolete now?
With that in mind, let’s explore four out-of-the-box ideas that will help you feel less stressed during the quarantine.
Grocery shopping has been turned into a difficult, stressful, and sometimes traumatic experience. Don’t allow this change to disorient your mind. Accept that grocery shopping is no longer the ordinary errand you used to run by yourself and instead embrace online grocery shopping.
Instead of freaking out because you can’t cook and restaurants have closed down, why don’t you teach yourself how to prepare simple freezer meals through online tutorials? Freezer meals mean that you will not have to cook every day. Don’t overstretch your budget with online food delivery services, especially now that you aren’t sure of your financial future.
It is important to understand that we are all dealing with these changes together. No one has any tried-and-approved techniques of coping with the change, so you shouldn’t carry the burden silently. Join different communities online and try to figure out solutions together.
Maintaining a stable exercise routine has worked before for your troubled mind; it will work again this time. Exercising will get you off the couch and away from the stressful news headlines. It is your one chance to kill time and maintain your health and fitness status. Secondly, working out may help maintain a sense of normalcy to your schedule at a time when everything feels uncertain.
At a scientific level, exercise has been proven to facilitate the release of endorphins in the human brain. Endorphins are directly linked to increasing a person’s sense of well-being, boosting mood, and neutralizing stress hormones. These benefits are needed now more than ever because stress levels are building up unprecedentedly fast.
Because many exercises can be done at home, including some that don’t require you to have any exercise equipment, there is no reason why you shouldn’t add an excellent workout to your daily routine. You can even acquire a few motorized bicycles (bikeberry.com) for you and your family members. These bikes are great because they will give you a full-body workout, get your heart pumping, and get you sweating without stressing your knee joints.
Stop obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage. Switch off your TV and stop over-researching the pandemic online. All you need to know about this virus is how to protect yourself and the people you love. The scary statistics and daily updates aren’t necessary, especially if you struggle with anxiety. If you must research, ensure that you get all your information only from credible websites such as the official WHO website.
Avoiding chaos also means keeping your home organized and clean. Take this quarantine period to declutter your home and your life. Attend to your indoor plants, for example, just to make your living spaces livelier. Take better care of your pets and your loved ones now that you have the time. Use your time to improve your living condition.
You will also reduce your stress levels by trying to stick to your normal routine as possible. Try not to eat in bed, for example, and instead eat at the kitchen table or the dining area as you do on normal days. Instead of working from the sofa while wearing pajamas, work at your desk or home office, and be sure to wear pants. Loosening your normal routine can mess up your mind and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
One thing is certain: the coronavirus pandemic will eventually end. No one knows when, but it will end. Take your imagination to places where you cannot go because of the lockdown. Project your mind to the future- a future where you will party, travel, work, and make a better life for yourself. Learn a language or skill.
Don’t let this indefinite isolation dim your spirits. Don’t allow information overload to trouble your mind. Putting these issues out of your mind is how you will survive the spiraling negative thoughts that coronavirus uncertainty has precipitated. We are going to be okay. We are strong.