Being stressed is our body’s reaction in any situation that is difficult and threatening for our lives. It makes the body produce the hormone called adrenaline where it prepares us for a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response. However, with the new enemy that we cannot see which is the COVID-19, we are required to have a healthy mind, body and immunity.
Experiencing a little stress is good since it helps us to think faster and we tend to put extra effort in facing the challenges of everyday life. However, experiencing too much stress over a long period of time, especially if we cannot cope with it can lead to poor physical and mental health where we can experience fatigue and depression.
Here are the following essential tips on how to cope and handle stress, protect your mental health and well-being during this time of social distancing, quarantine and lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus across the globe.
1. Connect with your Family and Friends
It is very important to connect and seek support from the people whom you trust and love. You can connect with your family and friends with the use of digital technology if you need to stay at home. You can stay in touch with them through phone, text, email, video call and social media. It is healthy if you talk to them on how you are feeling even if you are feeling stressed and depressed. You should also be ready to listen to others if they need your helping hand.
2. Setting Changes you can Control
We cannot control the adversities that we are facing in our lives, but we can do something on how to cope with it. We can plan for the things we can control so we can have the mental energy to cope with various situations we can’t control like isolation due to self-quarantine, sudden death of a loved one and facing natural calamities. Feeling lonely, sad, or frightened is a normal reaction. Showing your true feelings can help you cope with it. We need to stay strong by supporting ourselves emotionally by taking care of ourselves physically.
3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Your wellness is a lifelong mood-lifter so it is essential for you to have a healthy lifestyle. In order to do this while you're at home, you still need to eat a diet that supports good health even with a limited access to fresh foods due to quarantine. You may also do indoor exercises on a regular basis. Also, get enough sleep and avoid smoking and drink less alcohol. You can depend on these healthy habits than depending on cigarette and alcohol to feel good.
4. Seeking Professional Support through Telehealth
Don’t be afraid to seek help from professionals using telehealth especially if you can't already manage your anxiety. Seeking help when you need it is a sign of strength and resourcefulness. You can look for a psychiatrist, psychologist, family counselor or social worker that you feel comfortable with and whom you can trust. They can give you professional advice about how to handle the things that trouble your mind.
5. Practicing Meditation & Relaxation Techniques
You can practice meditation and relaxation techniques that can help you manage your stress levels. You can practice deep breathing which can help quiet your body’s natural reaction to stress. When doing meditation, you need to close your eyes, calm down and think of a peaceful word or phrase that comforts you and say it repeatedly to yourself for 5 to 15 minutes.
When you feel stressed and frustrated because of the what's going on right now, it is very helpful to think about the reasons why we need to quarantine ourselves and practice social distancing. These actions can help slow the spread of the virus and protect the lives of our loved ones and many other people. Always remember, that we are all in this together and everything will be fine.
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