Lowering Your Stress During the COVID Outbreak

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There is no denying that what is happening in our world right now is a stress-inducing situation. During these times, when we are surrounded by so much uncertainty, it seems like our only option is to give into the panic and lose control of our emotions.

It’s true there are aspects of life right now that are absolutely out of our control, but it is of the utmost importance that we focus on the things in our life we can control. If you let your mind run away with the panic, the toll it could take on your system could be severe.

While there is no relieving the stress completely, there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and the byproducts of the stress in the world right now:
    1. Follow your morning routine. Whether you are working at your workplace, working from home, or are currently laid off, continue to follow your daily routines. These routines give us a feeling of consistency and safety, helping ease the stress of the unknowns. Still wake up at the same time, get dressed, and follow your normal routine as if you’re going into the office.
    2. Make a daily plan. Productivity does not just happen. It comes about from careful planning and hard work to make your success a reality. What do you want to accomplish today? What would make this day feel like a success? What is achievable today? Decide on your goals for the day and go get them! Checking off your to-do list is a great way to feel in control of your life.
    3. Take time to exercise. Exercise relieves stress and releases endorphins and dopamine into the brain. This means that moving makes you happier! Even if it is just walking the dog or walking around the block, make sure to get some exercise each day. (Just make sure to keep a 6-foot, or “Llama Length”, space between yourself and anyone else passing by!)
    4. Honor your work time. Whether you are spending your day working or job searching, stick to the time frame that you normally would work. Work-life balance is important, even now when you probably need to separate your at-home job from your home life. Focus your entire work time on the tasks at hand, but when the end of your day or your lunch break hits, make the commitment to put work out of your mind.
    5. Meditate. Meditation is a great way to de-stress your brain, and there is a whole school of research to prove it. If you feel like you need help learning how to meditate, there are many FREE apps out there to help you get started, such as Headspace or Insight Timer.
    6. Turn off the news.  It is tempting at this time to stay glued to the newest update coming out, but staying in that mindset can really mess with your ability to calm. Watching nothing but the reports of current events can put your brain into fight, flight, or freeze mode and keep it there. Commit to only reading, listening to, or watching the news for a set amount of time and set a timer. When the timer goes off, be done until tomorrow.
    7. Take time for things that make you happy. It is okay to take some time and spend it on things that make you happy right now. Read that book you’ve always wanted to, grab that guitar you have been wanting to learn, start drawing again, or write a short story.

 

Whatever fills your soul with bliss, do it! And if you don’t know what that is, now is the time to find out. Being socially distanced means there is no one to see it if it goes wrong.

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