Managing stress during COVID-19 pandemic

Managing stress during COVID-19 pandemic

Managing stress during COVID-19 pandemic

The current crisis, caused due to the COVID-19 virus has brought drastic change in our lives. The uncertainty of this outbreak has made the health experts unsure about when the crisis may abate. The rapidly changing information about the disease, increased death tolls, and new case stories about the spread are both confusing and scary. So whether it’s dealing with work from home, homeschooling kids (since the schools/colleges are closed), taking care of one's own health as well as of their family members or simply adjusting to the new and unfamiliar situation, can induce huge amount of stress which can impact your physical and mental health both.

Stress during this outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your health and the health of your loved ones.
  • Difficulty in managing time and constant worrying about the time being wasted.
  • Disturbance in the sleeping patterns.
  • All the stress leading to increased use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and much more.

Since everyone goes through the stressful situations in day to day life also, everyone reacts differently when exposed to such situations. From last 3 months, every newspaper contains different stories about the pandemic on its front page, every radio and TV channels have back to back coverage on latest death tolls and the spread of the pandemic. As experts have suggested that this constant exposure to news, results in heightened anxiety and stress levels with immediate effects on one’s psychological well being. During the current situation, it has become mandatory for us to manage stress to live a normal, healthy and stress-free life. Several steps are suggested to manage stress:

1.Regular exercise: While gyms are closed and social distancing guidelines are in place, it’s still possible to do some aerobic exercise like walking on the rooftop, doing yoga, stretching, running indoors, and playing with your kids or pets. All these help in releasing endorphin that makes us feel better and manage a positive attitude.

2.Healthy diet: Numerous studies show that the food we take, impacts our body and mind. Someone feeling stressed may crave for junk food or switch to bad eating habits. So it’s not suggested to comfort yourself with such unhealthy food items. It’s also advised to avoid excessive caffeine and sugar. A healthy, nutrient rich diet helps in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Healthy carbohydrates from sprouts, fresh fruits and vegetables are good in stabilizing mood.

3.Connect with others (Family, relatives and friends): Since due to this pandemic we are not meeting friends, not going out with family for a movie or lunch etc. we might feel sad and stressed. So we should keep a regular check on our loved ones through phone calls, text, video calls or through any other virtual platforms.

4.Get enough sleep and rest: Increased phone usage time, scary news and a dip in the physical activities may create a lot of stress but its even more harmful when we are not taking enough sleep. So it’s advised that not to expose yourself with blue screen, one hour before going to bed (Mobile, TV, Laptop etc). Listening to some relaxing music and making your bed room dark and cool, aids in sleeping.  Seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended for the well functioning of the body since sleep provides the body and brain to repair, restore and rejuvenate.

 

As this epidemic is uncertain and a long time exposure to stress can result in several health problems as well, limiting your exposure to news and phone also helps in reducing stress and fear. Being positive and mindful is the need of the hour. Reframe your thinking; see the glass half full not half empty.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

About the Author

Praveen Sharma
N/a.

Mr Praveen Sharma has done a research project on "A study on the impact of peer pressure on the psychological well being

Leave a Reply

Related Posts