Life in 2020 is different in ways that most people have never had to deal with. The fear surrounding this virus and the general uncertainty of the future has led to tense times and economic disruptions around the world. As a result, many people are operating in an overwhelmed and anxious state. Whether you’re unemployed due to business shutdowns, dealing with children who can’t be in school, or worried about the health of older family members, you’re likely feeling this stress in one way or another.
While the virus might be new and scary, you must remember the importance of acknowledging and coping with your stress. Consider these points to find healthy ways to deal with this new way of living.
Focus on What You Can Control
The long-term impact of anxiety caused by coronavirus is difficult to measure at the current time. Still, it is easy to see how widespread fear and frustration over this unprecedented pandemic results in a person feeling helpless. When you feel like you don’t have any control over a situation, you might notice it is easier to feel afraid, anxious, and generally fatigued. To counteract this, focus your attention on what you do have control over. A great way to achieve this is through your diet. What and when you eat during this time will dictate your emotional state.
While eating healthy and well-balanced meals can be a practical approach to controlling your diet, it is also fine to allow yourself comfort food when you’re in a bad emotional place. This isn’t “business as usual,” after all. Don’t feel guilty if you need to indulge in buttery or fried foods to feel calm. As long as you balance these moments with meals that are nutritious and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, you’ll learn to take control of your life through rituals like eating.
Sleep and Strengthen Your Immune System
It might go without saying, but strengthening your immune system is definitely a great way to help you feel a bit less stressed. The easiest way to do this is with sleep. Proper sleep is essential for your immune system to operate at its best. Right now, you might find your normal schedule of sleep has been completely thrown in the blender. You may not be able to get back in your “usual” routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish a new pattern that works for this period of isolation.
Getting proper rest helps you have more control over your emotional state and will ease some feelings of stress. This is important because stress and relapse are interconnected. When anxiety takes physical form, it can compromise both a person’s immune system and overall sense of control over his or her life. This means the more you stress, the more likely it is to get sick or give in to the impulses related to addiction. Listen to your body when it tells you that you need to rest or you could put your health in a dangerous position.
Digitally Connect With Friends and Family
Many people are having a difficult time with quarantine because they are not able to gather together with friends and family members. Thankfully, the internet has made it easier than ever before to connect with those you care about at a moment’s notice. Take advantage of Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other apps designed for video conferencing. Just because you’re not allowed to be physically close with the people who matter most does not mean you can’t call, text, or find a number of ways to stay present for each other.
Explore Your Creative Side
If you’ve always wanted to take up a creative hobby, you could not ask for a better opportunity than quarantine. Whether you’ve always been curious about playing guitar or you’ve got a set of colored pencils collecting dust in a drawer somewhere, discovering a hobby or creative pursuit can give you a better way to focus anxious energy while isolated from others. You can do this purely for your own enjoyment or share your creations online and connect with others who have the same interests in order to strengthen your skills.
Though the current state of the world is odd and frightening, there are still many ways to manage your stress throughout the ordeal. Find what works for you and do what you can to keep yourself sane in trying times.