It’s so easy to get caught up in the anxiety and stress of what’s happening, especially when it’s a rapidly changing situation without clear and consistent guidelines.
I hope this list of ideas and tips will help you as you manage this new (temporary) way of life. You may have seen some of these already but give it a read – there might be something new to you here or perhaps, just the reminder you need right now.
And remember – we will get through this!
Establish a routine for yourself and your family, especially if you have kids. The consistency of your days will help give you a feeling of normalcy plus making sure projects and homework get done.
Limit your news. Check in to a regular broadcast once or twice a day to find out the latest but resist the temptation to have your favorite station running in the background. This will just feed into your anxiety.
Stay connected with others, even if you’re self-isolating or if we’re in full lockdown. Social media is the easiest and fastest way for most of us but not everyone is on Facebook. Try a phone call, email, text or video chat.
Move. Take a walk, do jumping jacks, practice some yoga. We know being sedentary isn’t healthy for us. Getting the blood flowing will boost our mood.
Make time for yourself. Not everyone has a large house where they can find space for themselves. If that’s you, arrange a schedule with your family or housemates so that everyone has access to a common area or shared bedroom to themselves.
Control your monkey mind. Even if you don’t think you can meditate, take a few moments to sit quietly and practice focusing on your breath. Extending your exhale a bit longer than your inhale brings the parasympathetic nervous system – the ‘rest and digest’ system – into play.
Eat right. It may be harder to continue to eat healthfully. Stress and anxiety may make us want to eat more, or more junk foods. Try some of the other coping tips listed here for managing your stress or find an accountability buddy to call upon.
Take it one day at a time. This is new territory for all of us and no one can know what is going to happen. Projecting into the future only feeds our anxiety so stay focused on what you can control rather than on what you can’t.