We’re all familiar with feelings of stress and even anxiety. The coronavirus has made the world a pretty different place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed by it all, be assured that this is a normal response. But it does mean that you need to make sure you look after your mental health. Learn to navigate through tough times and become your own problem solver to overcome your challenges, both big and small. Here are some of our tried and tested ways to look after ourselves in times of stress.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Self-care means making sure that the stressful stimulus is something genuinely important to you. The underlying reasons and motivations for becoming stressed might not actually have anything to do with the facts at hand. Find out if what you are stressing about is something close to your heart or if there are other factors that are triggering you. You’ll be surprised how often you allow yourself to stress over something that deep down isn’t really that important to you.
CONTROL YOUR NEWS NARRATIVE
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself ‘what is helpful now’? You have the power to choose what information you take into your mind and thoughts. This can actually help you to become a more productive human being. The idea is that information is all around you but it’s at your discretion what you take in. Choose what is most meaningful, not what happens to appear in front of you. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, notice what’s making you most stressed, and do your best to avoid it. Choose reputable sources of news and pay attention to how the information affects your stress and anxiety levels. The position of not knowing is often less painful than the stress of too much information.
SLEEP A FULL 8 HOURS
Sleep is one of the best ways to lower your stress. If you aren’t sleeping well or are going to bed late often, it’s probably one of the reasons why you’re getting stressed easily. Sleep is the best way to recharge your mind and body and prepare for the next day, so try not to deprive yourself of something you need so badly. Work towards a regular sleeping schedule with a full 8 hours, particularly in times of stress.
Another way to practise self-care is to spend time on a creative hobby. You don’t have to be a great artist to do this. A mindful colouring book is an excellent way to calm your mind. Pop one in your bag along with some coloured pencils and you have instant access to a relaxing activity rather than scrolling through your mobile .
Keeping your stress all to yourself isn’t going to help it go away. Sometimes just hearing yourself say aloud what’s bothering you can offer new perspectives and help you deal with your stress.
FIND A QUIET PLACE
Find someplace quiet where you can unwind. This can be really hard if you have a noisy household. Set a time where you can go somewhere on your own, and leave your phone at home. You could try going to the park, library or a coffee shop when you need to get out of the house.