How to Cope with Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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There’s nothing wrong with feeling anxious right now. You’re not alone. There is a common fear of acquiring COVID-19. It is easy to succumb to fear in the face of uncertainty and fear, yet experts insist there is always room for a bit of optimism.

Remind yourself that all of us are in this together!

Remember the famous saying, ‘this too shall pass’. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal. In the meantime, it is important to have confidence that things will improve and will get back to normal.

Symptoms of prolonged stress

  • Increased irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Lack of motivation
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Wanting to be alone often
  • Increased alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive worrying or feelings of sadness or despair
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness

Did you know? We, humans, dominate the planet because of our unique neurology. In these tough times, our brains right now cannot see a certain future: what will happen, when will the pandemic end, when will life be back to normal? All these questions linger on our minds. Let’s dig in for some positivity!

Some ways to manage stress during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Get adequate sleep – ensure you’re getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night
  • Take your daily dose of Vitamin C – citrus fruits are the best way to boost your immune system.
  • Eat well-balanced nutritious meals – staying on track with healthy eating habits is a great way to manage stress and anxiety.
  • Go for the facts — even difficult ones as anxiety escalates and fantasies flourish in the absence of true information.
  • Meditate. Even 5 minutes of meditation a day can have positive effects on your mental and physical well-being.
  • Move. Take a walk around the neighborhood with proper social distancing protocols. Fresh air and sunlight are great for your immune system and can decrease your anxiety levels.
  • Socialize –Use alternative methods to socialize and check in with friends from afar and stay connected.
  • Take up hobbies – crafts, coloring, and puzzles or just catch up on that great TV show you’ve been promising yourself you’d watch.
  • Seek practical, credible information at specific times of the day. Limit the news time to a minimum.

Practice applying these techniques to balance your stress equation. When we only focus on what is beyond our control, anxiety can feel worse. Instead, shift your attention to the steps you can take to help respond to the virus, including practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing protocols, refraining from touching your face, and staying home if you feel unwell. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm and keep things in perspective.

Keep up your routine

Maintaining regular schedules and routines is a good way to keep your anxiety levels at bay and feel normal. Even if some changes need to be made, maintaining an overall routine is helpful. Exercising regularly and practicing habits that you enjoy and find relaxing.

Practice mindfulness

Manage your mind through different stress managing techniques like meditation and relaxation techniques of breathing in and out. Using online mindfulness techniques is an effective way of dealing with stress. Accept that there are events you cannot control – when you know there are times when you have given all that you can to a situation, it allows you to expend energy where it can be more effective.

Get crafty

Using your hands and your creative brain can be a great way to relieve stress. It helps you focus on the present and create something new. If you have arts and crafts supplies on hand, use them to create something special.

Practice self-care

When times are uncertain, it’s never a comfortable feeling. Stress, fear, and anxiety are normal. Making time to practice self-care can help you find some relief. Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever, so have fun changing up your routine. Find a new yoga or cardio video online that you can try at home.

Talk to the kids

As a parent or an adult around children, you can help the little ones by being supportive. It is natural for them to feel angry, anxious, and clingy during these stressful times. Be mindful of listening to their concerns and respond in a supportive manner to keep them at ease.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help!

While fear and anxiety are natural and completely normal emotions to experience, there’s no reason that fear over the coronavirus should completely consume your life. If your stress is causing you to feel more anxious or depressed, don’t be afraid to reach out. At Prashanth Hospitals, our experts provide you with the best virtual support during these uncertain times. Reach out to counselors and the best mental health professionals in Chennai if you need advice or just someone to speak to. Our doctors are also available for online medical consultation. Our psychiatric consultations in Chennai start with a comprehensive initial assessment. All you have to do is set up an appointment with us. Once booked, we will look after the rest.