As we move toward the second week of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, people are extremely stressed for a good reason.
For most individuals, life as we know it has been completely disrupted. People are fearful for many reasons.
When we need our immune systems to be functioning at their peak, stress, unfortunately, does exactly the opposite. Stress causes the body to enter into fight-or-flight, an innate response meant to help protect us. When we enter this state, our bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline in an attempt to keep us safe. In the process, these chemicals weaken the immune system. This is why it is vital to utilize stress reduction techniques and practice extreme self-care now.
Although it may be impossible for some to dismantle their stress entirely due to the circumstances, there is good news. It is not necessary to practice self-care and reduce stress 100% of the time to achieve positive results. Aa little as twenty minutes a day can make a huge difference in how you react and respond to the stress in your life. It also reduces the adverse effects that stress causes to your immune system. Shared below are a few ways that you can start practicing stress management and self-care today.
Here Are 10 Ways to Practice Crucial Self-Care During Stressful Times:
Take care of yourself
Be sure to perform basic immune system boosters, such as eating a healthy diet and getting adequate rest. Maintain an exercise regiment, and don’t feel like you can’t exercise while quarantined. Consider adding nutritional supplementation, especially a multivitamin and vitamins C and D. Find a meditation practice if you don’t have one or learn focused breathing. Focused breathing is a very effective method for shutting down stress in the moment. Both of these techniques can easily be found on the Internet, and you can access two free downloads on my website.
Limit your exposure to media, including social media
There is so much negativity and false information that’s being shared across the Internet. Find a valid source for news and commit to watching it one time every day to keep yourself informed and up to date with what is happening. Make a pact with friends and family that if they hear something of importance, they will share it with you and you with them.
Attitude is also an essential factor
This one can be tough, but it’s doable if you try. When you begin to feel panic, fear, helpless, hopeless, angry, or negativity of any sort, you are increasing your stress level. Do your best to change your focus and look for the positives. Focus on what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong.
Be sure you’re making well-informed choices
Right now, we all have tough decisions to make. Some will self-quarantine. Others will not. If you make sure you are knowledgeable, you can rest more comfortably with the choices you make regardless of the outcome. Knowledge is power.
Find fun things to do
Take at least part of your day to enjoy yourself in some way. If your children are home from school, try to find some fun activities to take the pressure off of everyone. Make no mistake; your children, regardless of their age, feel your stress. Remember that laughter is good medicine. If you are self-quarantined or temporarily dismissed from your job, it’s a great time to make a list of those little chores that keep getting pushed to the side. Taking time to catch up on these things can be a perfect distraction, and getting them completed will leave you with a sense of accomplishment. Focusing on anything positive will reduce your stress level.
Make sure you stay in contact with family and friends and allow them to help you if they offer
Sometimes we can talk through our worries and, as a result, we come up with our own solutions. Having someone who is an excellent sounding board can help. In turn, you can be a sounding board for some of your friends and loved ones. Just make sure that you don’t get wrapped up in a negative conversation that reinforces the doomsday mentality.
If you feel as though you can’t break the stress cycle, then try to create some preemptive measures
Learn to recognize what is triggering you and develop solutions for dealing with those triggers before they happen.
Be sure to take personal time away from everyone to focus solely on yourself
Recharge your batteries. Even if you can only get away for 10 minutes, do it. It will be surprisingly helpful. Every little bit helps.
Be present and look for solutions to the problems that exist
Remember that stressed people are focused on the future and are worried about the worst possible outcomes. Instead, try to stay focused on the present and look at what’s going right. Even though our schedules and, for some, our incomes are completely disrupted, you will find positives if you take time to analyze the situation.
Make sure you are not participating in unhealthy ways to manage your stress
These would include things like the use of drugs and alcohol, overeating, and chronic complaining.
If we all stick together and try to do the best that we can to support ourselves and one another, we will get through this much more quickly. No one can know exactly how things are going to turn out, but we can do our part by staying focused on the best possible outcomes, taking the proper precautions (check out the World Health Organizations’ (WHO) “Do the Five”), and managing our stress.
We’re all in this together – not just the US, but the entire world.
Let’s commit to doing our best!