It’s been a hard, unusual year dealing with COVID and the lasting effects of the pandemic. Things aren’t normal and even though there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine, there are many new stressors that you’re subject to everyday. It’s more important than ever to stay on top of your mental health and manage your stress due to COVID. Here are the best ways you can manage your stress to benefit yourself and those around you.
Find Ways To Stay Connected
Part of the stress that comes with COVID is the isolation. There are friends and family who you haven’t gotten to see in a long time because of travel restrictions or personal preferences. This may leave you feeling lonely, but socially distancing yourself doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself off from the outside world. Schedule times to talk or video chat with your friends and family. Check in more than you usually would since you’re not getting the normal face to face time. Not to mention if you share your thoughts and concerns you will probably find that you’re not alone which will make you feel more connected at a time when you need it most.
Monitor Your Media Consumption
It’s good to stay informed but constantly tuning into the news can make you hyper focus and stress over things you don’t have control over. It’s especially not a good idea to tune in to the news right before bedtime as you may not be able to fall asleep.
The same goes with social media. There are thousands of different opinions swirling around on Facebook and Instagram and sometimes it’s best to turn it off and not engage.
Hot or cold, going outside and connecting with the world can be a major stress relief. You are already staying at home more than normal and on top of that, you may even be working from home, so getting outside is imperative. Go for a walk, catch the spring flowers blossoming, maybe even visit a park or have a picnic.
Add Some Creativity To Your Day
Doing activities like puzzles, coloring, journaling, painting, playing games, cooking a new recipe, or watching a funny TV show can effectively help manage your health, happiness, and ability to manage stress. Add different activities in your week to break up the monotony and give your brain a break from constantly firing on all cylinders.
Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day can elevate your mood, help you focus your energy on something positive, help you sleep better, and even decrease cortisol production which will burn away your stress. If you’re not used to exercising you can start out by going for a walk, run, or bike ride and then eventually work your way up to strength training.
Know When To Get Help
It’s been a hard, unusual year dealing with COVID and the lasting effects of the pandemic. Here are the best ways you can manage your stress to benefit yourself and those around you. Here at Blue Oak Counseling we’re more than happy to help you and create change in your life. We even have online and virtual/phone counseling available for some states. Schedule a free consultation