As the stress we all feel from dealing with COVID-19 and all of its implications is continuing, here are some healthy ways to cope with that stress.
“It’s important to recognize the seriousness of the public health challenge facing our community and be mindful that reacting from a place of panic and fear is usually unhelpful, especially in the long-term. Looking after our wellbeing in times like this can help to reduce stress, and is crucial in enabling us to still take calm and effective action in the midst of this global crisis,” said the Unversity of Melbourne in an article “COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety."
The University of Melbourne offers the following suggestions:
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Whatever you are feeling right now, know that it’s okay to feel that way. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be through journaling, talking with others, or channeling your emotions into something creative (e.g., drawing, painting, poetry, music) Mindfulness meditation exercises can help us stay grounded in the midst of an emotional storm. You can learn how to witness and let thoughts and feelings come and go in their own time, without getting overwhelmed by them.
Try New Activities
During this time of change, it's natural for our minds to think of all the usual activities we may not be able to do at the moment. Make a conscious shift to focus on the activities we are still able to do or those that we may have more opportunity to do if we're at home more often. Some ideas could be to:
- Try out a new hobby or skill (e.g., cook a new recipe, play an instrument, learn a language, learn how to sew, gardening).
- Listen to a podcast
- Start a new exercise routine
Stay Connected in New Ways
- Start a virtual book or movie club
- Schedule a workout together over video chat
- Join an online group or peer forum
- Share quick and easy recipes
Showing care towards friends, family, or vulnerable people in our community can be all the more important during times like this. It can foster a sense of hope, purpose, and meaning. Some ideas can be to:
- Volunteer virtually
- Send someone you care about a message of encouragement or affirmation
- Cook, pack and deliver a meal to someone in your neighborhood