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Dealing With Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Self-Isolation

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Stress Awareness Month April 2020

As we continue to practice self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, stress awareness month is the perfect opportunity to learn effective coping techniques.

Stress Awareness Month April 2020. Dealing With Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Self-Isolation

April is Stress Awareness Month in the UK, and it seems it can’t have come at a better time for it than when we’re all feeling the stress of a global pandemic.

As the response to COVID-19 evolves in an attempt to flatten the curve, people around the world are getting increasingly stressed. This response is natural – we’re all scared of a virus the doctors don’t know much about, we’re facing the consequences of social distancing, and many of us are in self-isolation.

This is a lot for anyone to handle, and if you feel you’re about to buckle under the weight of it all, please read on to learn how to deal with stress during these trying times.

Make a Routine, Particularly For Your Children

When you’re stuck inside for weeks on end without any outside contact, your sense of time starts to slip away. You can start to feel lost as days and nights blur into one and, before you know it, you blink and the week is over.

If you’re wondering how to manage anxiety in this situation, the first step is to create a basic daily routine. This is even more important for those who are in self-isolation with their children.

Even though they may seem like tiny forces of chaos, kids are creatures of habit who need routines for the following reasons:

  • Routines can decrease anxiety and provide a sense of security
  • Helps alleviate stress
  • To help them cooperate better
  • Routines will help to get the tasks done as they’re supposed to
  • Helps build self confidence and establish responsibility
  • Routines helps to be better organised

Although you don’t have to structure every moment of their days, having set times to wake up, eat meals, work on school, and go to bed is often enough to give them (and you) the feeling of stability and normality everyone craves.

Maintain Connections With Others

The beauty of living in the era of social media is that we can still see our loved ones’ faces even when we’re under a lockdown order.

If loneliness is creeping in, start calling up your friends and family for a video chat once a day, It’s likely that they’re all starting to feel the same way.

There are many of these types of video platforms, some even allow you to play games at the same time!

Here are a list of Group Video Chat platforms:

Stay Active

Keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy is more important now than ever. We can’t afford to start ignoring things like healthy diets and exercise entirely just because we’re in isolation

Staying active is essential for stress relief and should be part of your daily routine.

That said, the approach you take might look a lot different than what you’re used to. Gyms are closed and, in many countries, people are not even allowed to leave their homes and flats.

If you’re able to leave the house for exercise, try going for walks to clear your head and get your blood pumping. Make sure to stay at least two metres away from others and take appropriate protective measures.

For those stuck indoors, try finding bodyweight exercises and yoga routines you can do with items around your home. Many trainers, athletes, and even celebrities are also offering online workout videos for free.

Here are a couple for you to try:

You also might want to check out ‘Sport England’ website for a list of useful apps and on demand content for staying in and working out in and around your home – a great website for resources where the whole family can get involved.

Take the Opportunity to Improve

Are you out of work right now and searching for a sense of purpose?

Now could be a good time to break out that painting kit you never used, read the books that are getting dusty on the shelf, or learn how to cook with the least-used items in your kitchen cupboards!

Don’t feel obligated to come out of self-isolation as a brand new person, though. It’s okay if you don’t master any new skills—we’re all doing the best we can.

Check out ShanSha for a list of 100 top eLearning websites.

Cut Back on News Consumption

We’re being bombarded with news right now, and it’s all on the same topic: coronavirus. It’s easy to get sucked into a whirlpool of new cases, death reports, and hospitals running out of equipment.

Staying on top of current events is good, but allowing yourself to centre on nothing but panic-fuelled reporting does a lot more harm than good.

Rather than scrolling through news feeds on your phone all day, try to limit your intake to once per day at most.

Also, don’t let the news be the first thing you look at before you get up in the morning or the last thing you see before you go to bed, as this can interfere with your stress levels and sleep.

Wait until you’ve gathered yourself and are in a calm, rational headspace later in the day.

Practice Meditation

Meditation is a brilliant way to achieve an emotionally calm and stable state of mind. Using techniques like mindfulness and focusing on particular thoughts, objects and activities, mediation can bring about more inner peace, well being and happiness.

For thousands of years Meditation has been practised in India for this very same reason and it was in the 1970’s that medical researchers at Harvard University began studying meditation and different forms of it. 

As their research progressed their studies indicated that mediation can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and stroke, can help relieve stress, depression, insomnia, sleeplessness, anxiety and worry, and can increase productivity, learning, happiness, well-being and inner peace.

Here are some videos on mediation you might find useful:

Here are some useful websites to learn how to meditate:

Here are some useful podcasts:

Take Advantage of Available Resources

The Stress Management Society understands how difficult this time is, so they’ve put together some resources to help you manage your mental health. There are videos, colouring pages, and even a stress-management challenge calendar. You can also take inventory of your stress levels with this quiz.

To cut down on exposure to the outside world, we’re also having to alter the way we go out for shopping. Many people now have to go out alone in nearly empty streets, which can make them nervous for their safety.

If you want a way to automatically alert your loved ones that you might be in trouble, download SAFE Global for iOS or Android.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

What happens when you try to follow all this advice and just can’t do it? Take a moment to breathe. You haven’t failed—you’re grieving.

We all are grieving around the world. We’re hurting for the loss of normality, of connection, of human touch. Many of us are even grieving the loss of livelihood, businesses, and loved ones.

Even if you haven’t experienced a dramatic personal loss, feeling gutted about the COVID-19 pandemic is a natural response. Allow yourself to grieve during this time and extend yourself the same grace you would a friend or family member.

When you have a rough day, don’t give up. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, acknowledge their presence, and resolve to try again tomorrow.

Managing Your Physical and Mental Health During Stress Awareness Month

National Stress Awareness Month is a great time to work on bringing your stress levels down to a healthy point. Take these next few weeks to focus on taking good care of both your physical and mental health and paying attention to what your body needs.

Your focus on health and safety doesn’t need to end with April, though. Even when the pandemic eventually passes, we’ll all have to work on navigating a new normal as the world adjusts to the aftermath.

For more ways to keep yourself and your family protected, sign up for our newsletter or register for the SAFE app today

Here’s a list of some of the best helpful resources for dealing with stress and anxiety during COVID-19 Self-Isolation.

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