Managing Stress in Uncertain Times
During times such as these, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and confused. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it is especially important that individuals and families look for ways to stay mentally and physically healthy, reduce stress, and stay connected.
So, how does this work?
First, take care of yourself physically. We have all heard the list of to-do’s by now:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with others by keeping a distance of 6 feet
- Stay away from others if you are sick
- Stay home as much as possible
The CDC also recommends that you take a break from reading and hearing about the pandemic to decrease feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Turn off the TV or computer
- Sand up and stretch
- Go outside and get some fresh air
- Make healthy food choices to keep up your strength and to boost your immune system
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs
Take care of your mental health. This one can be challenging since folks are being encouraged to stay home. Many people are finding that their social connections are harder to maintain. Because staying connected is important to both mental and physical health, it is important to connect with others even if you are not mobile. Call, text, or write a friend and connect to loved ones through social media-remember they are probably feeling as unsettled as you are. Check your faith community’s website for inspiration and encouragement. Plan ways for those in your household to emotionally connect during quarantine such as playing card or board games, watching a favorite movie, or going for a nature walk in your own backyard!
If you are working from home, try to stick to your daily routine. Get up at your usual time, dress, eat breakfast, and make your bed. Connect with co-workers by email or text to maintain a sense of work connection and bonding.
For those in recovery, it is especially important to stay connected to your systems of support. Cornerstone’s Facebook and website (www.facebook.com/cornerstonegema or www.cornerstonecares.org) both have information about on-line resources and meetings that are available. Stay in touch by phone or video chat with your sponsor, small groups, and supportive family members. Stay focused on your recovery plan by staying proactive. Avoid temptations by posting your recovery goals where you see them daily, connect with on-line meetings, keep a journal, or do any of the things that help move you toward your most joyful and healthiest self.
Last but not least, get creative! While quarantining at home is probably not anyone’s first choice, use this time to nurture yourself and your household with meditation or relaxation activities. Learn new skills like gardening, sewing, or baking. Watch instructional videos or make your own and share with others. Ask your family members to vote on a book to read out loud after dinner each evening. If you are still looking for things to do, put on some music and have a dance contest in your living room.
Most of all, keep in mind that we are all in this together. Do not hesitate to reach out for support if you need it or to offer support to someone else.