The loss of many lives, frequent changes in SOPs, and extended lockdowns after another; it’s understandable to experience stress in this erratic period. As we struggle in our fight to keep the pandemic at bay, the prolonged lockdowns have added stress to our lives and wellbeing. During these times, it’s important that we learn how to look after ourselves and our wellbeing from home, as much as encouraging our loved ones to do the same. One of the first steps to doing so is learning the ways that we can manage our feelings of stress effectively during lockdown.
Everyone experiences stress differently, and so are the ways to deal with it. While there might be numerous ways about it, let's explore some of them here that could help manage and reduce stress from home:
1. Acknowledge your feelings
The first step to anything is to always be honest with yourself and your feelings. Disregarding it would seem like you’re invalidating your own feelings, and that’s the last thing you need. While the feeling of stress itself can be overwhelming at times, remember that it’s normal to experience these feelings, with other feelings like anxiety, racing thoughts, feelings of sadness, etc.; it’s perfectly fine to feel whatever you’re feeling. (The University of Melbourne, n.d.) In some instances, stress can be facilitative.
Giving yourself the room and space to notice your feelings helps you to understand yourself a little better too. Some ways to keep track of your feelings during the lockdown is to keep a journal that records your daily life, record a vlog, or even a TikTok video! Whichever that works well for you.
2. Connect with People
A lot of us are separated from our families and friends during the lockdown. The feelings of isolation and loneliness from it can be unbearable for some. The upside to the whole thing is that we’re living in an age where communications technology is global. Though we may be physically apart from our loved ones, we can still keep in contact with them via social media platforms. Schedule weekly or monthly calls with them using platforms like Discord, Skype, or Messenger video to maintain constant interaction with one another during the lockdown
3. Take breaks from social media, and from reading news
As much as we’re blessed to live in an age with smartphones and the Internet, too much of it can be detrimental to our wellbeing too. Being flooded with information everyday on the daily cases and death tolls, discovery of new variants, etc. can be too much for one to handle. It’s good to stay informed, but hearing about them too much can be disruptive. (CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021) Hence, think about setting yourself a daily limit on how much time you need to spend on your phone, television, or laptop. You can consider coming up with a fixed schedule of your daily use of these as well. Other than these times, consider taking a break from them altogether if you have no use of them aside from work.
4. Create new routines, and practice healthy behaviours
Routines are a way to organize and give structure to our lives. With that being said, they are known to be restorative, and a way to manage stress. (Northwestern Medicine, n.d.) They have been known to not only help reduce stress, but also with better sleep and health. Routines such as going to bed early and waking up on time every day is one example. Another is eating on time every day. These go a long way towards a better, managed life.
Also, routines don’t have to be boring; they can be fun, and you can tweak it from time to time as you like!
5. Go out for some fresh air, even if it’s just outside of your own porch!
Although the lockdowns mean we can’t go anywhere else, we all do need some fresh air from time to time! Consider taking a walk outside of your own home, or neighbourhood, in the evenings or early morning, when you have the opportunity to. If the local neighbourhood park is open, consider going for a walk there too whenever you can. Be sure to adhere to social distancing guidelines and the latest SOPs outlined by the Government; we all still want to beat this pandemic together!
With all that said, it’s important, now more than ever, to take care of ourselves and wellbeing. And you can count on Goobat to be at your side throughout this whole ordeal!
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CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, January 22). Coping with Stress. From CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronaviru...
Northwestern Medicine. (n.d.). Health Benefits of Having a Routine. From Northwestern Medicine: https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/... The University of Melbourne. (n.d.). Coronavirus (COVID-19): managing stress and anxiety. From The University of Melbourne: https://services.unimelb.edu.a...