COVID-19 has impacted each of us and continues to change our lives every day. The constantly changing news and disruption to our lives has caused us to confront a primal emotion we do not often feel: fear. Fear has forced us into survival mode and increased our stress levels. Practicing self-care is one way to reduce your stress and respond to it in a healthier way. The truth is, we are all trying to cope the best we can. Sometimes, stepping back to work on our mindset is what we need to get through the hard times.
These tips and tricks can help you respond positively to stress throughout your day and empower you to take care of yourself during social distancing.
It is a natural response to view the situation surrounding COVID-19 from the perspective of what it has taken away from you. This may be your senior year sports season, your job, or your last roll of toilet paper. It is much harder to recognize what you do have during times of stress. Exercising gratitude, even if for minor things, can encourage happiness.
This means to be kind to yourself. You are human and you are coping the best you can, just like everyone else. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and speak kindly to yourself. If you are having a lot of feelings that are difficult to express or understand, try journaling or mindfulness meditation. It is normal to have a lot of feelings right now. Stay positive and be kind, especially to yourself.
Start making a schedule or list of tasks to accomplish each day. This is an opportunity to get creative and clean out that closet that has been a mess or the junk drawer littered with napkins and take-out menus. Small tasks like these will add purpose to your day and help you stay on track. Stress has also been known to change sleep and eating patterns, so it is important to keep these activities routine.
When we are under stress, it is easy to be short-tempered. We are facing an invisible enemy, so it is easy to direct our unease towards those around us. It is important to be patient and understanding of others and remember that they are also coping. You may be confined to your living situation for a while, so try to remember that we are all facing this together.
Connect with your friends and family through social media, video chatting, or phone calls. Have conversations with people outside of your living situation. There are many ways to video chat: Facetime, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Facebook Messenger, to name a few. Watch a movie together (and maintain social distancing) with Netflix Party. Eat dinner together but apart. Get creative!
Remember to do something for yourself. Staying mentally healthy is difficult but can be achieved by participating in activities that make you happy. This could be reading a book, taking a shower, working on a home improvement project, cleaning, journaling, meditating, exercising, or yoga.
Stay active. There are many professionals who are doing workouts or yoga sessions over video chat. Movement is good for our physical and mental health. It allows old toxins to leave the body and releases built up tension. This could be a walk, mini workout, set of pushups, or walking up and down the stairs. Again, get creative!
You know that thing you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time to try it? Well, you have time now! Personally, I have started cooking more adventurously and baking bread. Trying new things generates excitement and prevents stagnation.
Take a break from the constant stimulation from Facebook, news outlets, and work. Close your laptop at the end of your workday. Make sure you have time to decompress.
Your value is much more than what you do or do not do on any given day. Love yourself every day, simply because you deserve it.
At Athletico, our team is passionate about helping you through all areas of your life. We’re more than physical therapy: we’re your partner in your healthcare journey.
Athletico is now offering appointments in-clinic or virtually through telehealth. Request your appointment using the button below.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.