Have you been noticing a spike in your stress as a result of COVID-19? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Pandemics are not declared lightly, and an increase in your stress is actually a normal response. However, not only is stress unpleasant, it can also hinder your immunity. The World Health Organization emphasizes that preventative care plays a crucial role in fighting the COVID-19. It’s helpful to boost your coping in an effort to improve your overall well-being. Here are four strategies to help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Recognize your stress: Stress is a normal part of life. It is a natural response to an external pressure that disrupts your equilibrium. The first important step to managing these symptoms is to recognize that they are related to stress. According to the Four Branch Model of Emotional Intelligence, the ability to recognize your emotional state is essential in order to understand and manage your emotions. Therefore, if you skip the phase of acknowledging that you are stressed, you impede your ability to manage your stress. This notion may seem simple, but it’s often easier said than done. It’s common to miss the signs of stress early on, preventing your ability to handle them before they grow.
2. Manage what you can; release what you cannot: Once you acknowledge your stress, tracing the stressor can help you tackle the problem at hand. Understanding the issue can help you to problem solve. If used as a signal, your stress can motivate you to manage what you can. Taking action to combat a part of the problem can help you to reduce your symptoms. While the current knowledge we have pertaining to the coronavirus is increasing, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the virus. Recognizing this, it is important to manage what you can with the information you are provided but also release the need to control what you cannot. Instead of adding to your stress by trying to control elements beyond your grasp, try to follow expert guide to manage what you can and let go of the temptation to try to control what you cannot.
3. Know your limits: When you pay attention to your stress management, you will begin to notice a pattern that will signal your threshold of tolerance. While this may change over time, it is helpful to pay attention to trends of what makes your stress better or worse. As we have explored, ignoring your signs, overextending yourself, and delving into fictional sources may make your stress worse, therefore, these may be helpful areas to start building boundaries to protect your well-being. For example, perhaps you can benefit from creating a habit of checking in with your emotions in order to avoid overlooking your stress. Another example is to limit your consumption of news. You may do this by refining your information to reputable sources, setting a time for when you can check the news, and limiting the amount of updates you explore with the individuals in your life.
4. Practice self-care: Self-care is the active process of acknowledging and tending to your needs. Self-care includes practices that invest in your general wellness. This can include preventative measures such as eating nutritious foods, staying active, and getting adequate rest. When you are stressed, you require a specific form of intervention self-care: coping. Your coping mechanisms are the methods that you use in an effort to moderate your stress. Make the most of the reality that you are in. Instead of focusing on all the things you cannot do due to certain restrictions can you shift your focus to the coping mechanisms that you now have the opportunity to try.
- Play with a pet
- Read a book
- Call a loved one
- Watch your favorite movie
- Practice gratitude
- Take an online class
- Host a virtual gathering