Ambiguity, uncertainty, and fear are taxing our mental state amid this global pandemic outbreak. The human brain is good at dealing with short-term stress. But it is not good at handling uncertainty and ambiguity. It wears us down and takes a toll on our mental health.
These days, the uncertainty has reached a different level. It’s not about the health of your family only. It’s also about their financial survival. Whether you work for an IT company, a hotel, a nursing temp agency, or you teach at a school, they’re downsizing about the looming economic crisis. Moreover, juggling family, work, kids, and home chores can easily overwhelm us.
Therefore, let's discuss some effective ways to unwind and reduce your stress levels.
Indulge in Robust Physical Activities
Exercise remains to secure the top spot amongst all the stress-relieving practices. Under stressful situations, the body produces increased amounts of stress hormones namely cortisol and adrenaline. Our brains are hard-wired to go into fight or flight mode with the release of those hormones to avoid any bodily harm.
However, in this prolonged state of uncertainty and anxiety, fight or flight mode is not the remedy. To combat this stress and metabolize the heightened stress hormones, indulging in physical activities is very important. Working out will help you achieve a calmer and more relaxed state of mind.
Choose the exercise of your choice. Go for Yoga, Pilates, brisk walk, jogging, cycling, aerobics, or swimming. The choices are endless. Just make sure you incorporate one form or the other in your daily routine. Working out regularly will also improve your sleep quality.
Cut Down on Coronavirus Coverage Updates
By now, people across the globe are quite enlightened about the dynamics, challenges, spread, incubation period, and symptoms of this novel coronavirus pandemic. Yes, researching it was important. But you don’t need to over-research and obsess over every news snippet.
Check the news update twice a day from credible channels and websites. And that’s about it. Don’t think about the virus constantly or it will take a serious toll on your mental well-being. If there’s a ground-breaking update, you will know it from your F&F on WhatsApp or social media anyway.
Also, don’t allow the barrage of stressful death tolls and news before bedtime. You don’t want a disturbed and haunted sleep after a long, stressful day.
Get Adequate Sleep
Inadequate sleep is a well-known cause of stress. And especially now, when people are staying home all day, without any physical activity and disturbing news updates, it’s hard to have quality sleep. To avoid sleep deprivation, aim to maximize your relaxation. Don’t let it go to the point of medication.
Try to make your bedroom a tranquil and serene place with no reminders of stress-causing things. Another habit to adopt is to avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol in the evenings. This will contribute to deeper and more peaceful sleep.
Avoid doing any mentally taxing work at night. This will allow your brain to go into the calm phase. We also have a disturbing habit of scrolling the news feed of our social media apps until we dose off. And social media these days is swamped with stressful news. Therefore, avoid it before bedtime.
Consider taking a warm bath and reading a few pages of an undemanding book. Also, stick to fixed sleep time. A predictable bedtime routine will allow your biological rhythms to work in harmony.
Shift Your Focus
The world seems dismal and we are all stuck at home with a mandated policy of work-from-home. Instead of constantly giving your brain these disturbing reminders, work on shifting our focus. Think of this time as an opportunity to finally spend time with your family and pets.
Try to appreciate the cozy corners of your home that you have adorned with hours of picking well-thought décor items. Do things and activities, which you always wanted to; do when you had “time!” Focus on energizing and positive activities.
Involve in a DIY project with your kids. Try baking together. Cook a delicacy. Water your plants and spend time gardening. Follow a proper skin care regimen. There’s a lot you can do if you shift your focus from the sad and depressing news updates. feeling trapped all the time will only increase your stress levels.
Try to Maintain Your Usual Routine
Staying close to your normal routine from the pre-quarantine will help you feel more normal. For people with kids, it will be easier to do so. However, telecommuting or working from home can tempt us to be more laid back and lethargic. Don’t let yourself be depressed and feel negative if this happens.
Whether you work for a Staffing agency or an IT house, try sticking to the same work hours. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time. don’t stay in your PJ’s all day long. Shower and slip on some presentable clothes like you used to. Keep Sundays dedicated to laundry and home chores as usual.