COVID-19 has been doing nothing, but cause stress and anxiety, not to mention keep us cooked up in our house for the last several months. During this time, we need to explore a few options that can help us get through these times, and keep us positive as we wait for things to recover.
- Limit media exposure. Now, I know that we all need to stay up to date on everything going on, but it is not necessary to go out of your way to find out whats going on when it does not directly affect you. We need to stay level headed in these times, and it doesn’t help to hear about what’s going on halfway around the world when you should be paying attention to your kids, your families, your friends and careers.
2. Understand who you’re listening to. Stories and talk shows and reports are coming from all over. The thing is, a lot of the time, these reports are geared towards a certain audience, or are trying to spark an opinion that leans towards their ideals. Point being, factual and accurate news reports( the WHO, the CDC, etc.) are the reports that you should be listening to if you want an accurate idea of what’s going on.
3. Limit social media activity. This is pretty important, especially in times where we find ourselves roaming the halls of our own homes. Social media usage has gone up exponentially since we were told that we couldn’t leave the house, unless for absolutely essential reasons. So, we are left to fiddle around on our phones, updating the latest in the life of home isolation, and keep up with the Kardashians. Point being, all of this information is going to produce more anxiety than we already have due to the pandemic. Undue stress because of social media is already a problem in our society, and now, continuing to overuse it will only make things harder to deal with in the long run we see people relaxing in their mansions or in a hammock on their private beach.
4. Give yourself a break. We are all in a panic and stressed beyond what are minds are used to handling. We owe to ourselves to take a mental break. I am not saying to stop what you’re doing all together, but ease up on yourself. Any undue pressure is not worth it. If it does not have to be done, then don’t make it something that can ruin your day if it is not. We all have to take care of ourselves, and our families, first.
5. Accept what you’re feelings as normal. This can’t be said enough. We are all in this together. What we are all experiencing is a very unique and dramatic time that can make life stressful, and has brought a lot of us down. But, we have to remember that it is normal to feel this way. When things get sad, it’s okay to be sad. When things become more positive, we have every right to have a smile on our face. So, don’t try and mask your feelings. It’s not worth it.
6. Disconnect emotional from rational thinking. Emotional thinking can sway two different ways: positive and negative. We usually associate this with the current circumstances, the trend that follows, and how we compare to it all. Right now, everyone is worried that they will catch COVID-19. It’s a reasonable fear, but we have to make sure we aren’t basing this all off of publicity and media. Pay attention to what your current health status is, what the current laws in place are for your state and country, and how you can best practice healthy habits during this time. And get any additional information from accredited sources, not Instagram influencers or Facebook ads. Factual, reliable sources. If you do decide to continue to follow certain pages that have to do with health standards during this time, make sure they are backed by this as well. Your emotions can get the best of you. Make sure you get the facts before you let them take over.
7. Meditate. So, this idea is one that might not be your thing, but don’t skip on this section. Meditation in itself is an art of self reflection. I’m not saying that all of you need to break out a yoga mat and light candles and all of that, even though this can be quite soothing, but take the time to really just try and relax. Like actually relax, try not to think about what’s going on, and take some time for yourself. Think of the positive things you have in your life, and what plans you have after this all blows over.
8. Block out toxic people. Everyone should try and do this, regardless of the circumstances. These people will only bring you down more. Period. Cut all ties. It is not worth your time or effort. You have the ability to be positive, and these people don’t want that. So say goodbye, and good riddance.
9. Know what you need to be, and stay, happy. Who knows us best? Ourselves, right? So we know what we need to be happy. If that has been temporarily taken away from you, then find something new that has that same potential. This time is a time for learning, for curiosity, and for self reflection. Don’t waste this time focusing on the negatives. Find new ways to give your happiness a way to express itself. Whether that’s by learning a new skill, working towards your education, or focusing more time on your relationships and families, make this time work for you.
10. Self care. Take care of yourself. Don’t let the fact that our everyday workout routines, or our sleep patterns and social statuses changing affect you. Do everything you can to stick to your plan, even if you have to switch it up a little bit. Maintain as normal a routine as you can, and stick to it.