Calling daily life in the age of COVID-19 stressful would be an understatement. With the ongoing pandemic affecting virtually every facet of our existence, keeping one’s stress at acceptable levels is liable to seem like an uphill battle. Furthermore, if you were prone to high stress before the pandemic hit, there’s a good chance you’re currently dealing with more than you can handle. While there’s no denying that we’re living through a supremely stressful period, there are a number of simple and effective ways you can keep COVID-19 stress to a minimum. So, if manageable stress levels are what you’re after, the following pointers are sure to prove useful.
Maintain a Routine
In some instances, a lack of structure can pave the way for elevated stress levels. So, if the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up your daily routine to the point at which there’s no discernible structure, why not take it upon yourself to create your own schedule? This isn’t to say that every single aspect of your day needs to be carefully plotted out, but setting designated hours for sleeping, working and other important facets of daily life can help alleviate stress and stave off depression.
With this in mind, make a point of going to bed and getting up at around the same time every day. This will help keep your internal clock running smoothly and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the stress of poor sleep habits. Furthermore, make sure to get between six and eight hours of sleep every night. The more rested you are, the better-equipped your brain will be to tackle whatever challenges the day may bring.
Devote Time to Personal Fulfillment Every Day
With the threat of the novel coronavirus coloring everything we do, pandemic-related stress can seem relentless at times. Many of us spend so much time worrying about the state of the world and other things that are largely out of our hands that we seldom devote time to personal fulfillment. This is particularly true for people who devote large amounts of their time to raising families and working demanding jobs.
In order to function properly amidst such stressful, unpredictable circumstances, you’ll need to make personal fulfillment a priority. While there’s nothing wrong with tending to the wants and needs of your loved ones, doing so shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental health. As such, devote at least an hour of time to personal fulfillment each day. Whether this time is spent working on a passion project, exploring a new creative outlet or just chilling out in front of the TV, all that matters is that you feel fulfilled and sufficiently de-stressed.
Reducing Unnecessary Risks
For many of us, a lot of the stress relating to COVID-19 stems from the very real risk of contracting it. Additionally, due to the virus’s highly contagious nature, there’s no shortage of circumstances under which people can become infected. Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways we can effectively reduce the risk of infection. In addition to masking up and donning assorted PPE whenever you leave the house, avoid going to establishments that don’t have masking rules in place or refuse to enforce them. Secondly, make a point of not interacting with non-masked individuals – and by maintaining a distance of at least six feet when interacting with anyone outside of your immediate household. Thirdly, avoid going into crowded stores by shopping online or taking advantage of the free contactless pickup options being offered by many retailers and restaurants.
Eat a Healthy Diet
If you’ve been stuck inside for the better part of a year, the temptation to give in to junk food cravings can be overwhelming. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, sticking to a healthy diet can improve your physical health, general outlook and stress management skills. When shopping around for healthy foods, make sure to stock up on fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains. You can also complement healthy meals with delicious shakes made from protein powders.
It can’t be denied that we’re living through a particularly stressful chapter in world history. A once-in-a-century pandemic coupled with a staggering number of people who refuse to take this threat seriously is enough to send even the most collected individuals’ stress levels spiraling. Although the threat presented by COVID-19 is very real, it’s entirely possible to keep one’s stress levels in check throughout this difficult period. If stress relief is what you seek, taking the measures discussed above can help you get the relief you’re after.