With the novel coronavirus crisis and current events filling up the news, it can be tough to keep your mental state in check. For most people, their predictable and structured routines have been completely turned around in the last few months. As the uncertainty of the future looms, it’s important to be able to relax and manage your stress.
Giving yourself space and opportunity to keep calm can make all the difference in navigating life in the “new normal.” Here are some ways you can stay calm and manage your mental state.
Connect with people you care about
Due to restrictions on non-essential travel and the call for self-quarantining, you may find yourself isolated, literally and figuratively. Thankfully, with digital tools available to the public, it’s possible to connect with friends and family despite the distance.
Organize a video call with your loved ones—whether to have virtual dinner together, play games, or simply chat. Additionally, consider taking time each day to call up the people important to you and check up on with them. Other people are feeling isolated, as well, so taking the initiative to connect can help everyone in the long run.
Take media breaks
While it’s important to keep up with the latest developments in the current crisis and recent events, it can get overwhelming. The best way to avoid this is to limit your information intake by taking a break from the news.
Give yourself a specific amount of time dedicated to catching up with the current situation on news sites and even social media. Once that time has passed, log out and give yourself time to process or take your mind off things.
Exercise more often
Stress affects not only your mental state but also your physical state. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to be holding tension in your body. This can cause all kinds of aches and pains that can hinder your day-to-day movements. To counter this, make it a habit of being more active each day.
While self-quarantining may limit your options, physical activity can range anywhere from a few minutes of gentle stretching to a few hours a week of yoga or simple aerobics. Other activities you can consider are walking around the house, cleaning, or playing with your pets.
Try fun and relaxing activities
One of the best ways to get your mind to relax is to indulge in something you enjoy. Set aside some time during the week for an indoor hobby like cooking or writing. You can even use this time to try new hobbies like painting or learning an instrument. If you’re looking for something more laidback, you can create a staycation at your home or give yourself a “spa day.”
Not only do these things help bring some peace and calm to your life, but they can help motivate you through your new routine, too. Things can feel less difficult to get through when you know there’s a reward waiting for you at the end of the day or the week.
Focus on the constants
Being in this crisis can all too easily sway you into a spiral of uncertainty, anxiety, and panic. In light of this possibility, your mental well-being must reframe the way you view the current situation.
Instead of dwelling on what has changed, it’s better to focus on what you have and what hasn’t changed — it may be the presence of your loved ones, the routine you share with your pets, your job, and work tasks.
It can even be something as simple as your progress on a book, your daily rituals and habits, or the plants you grow in your home. Grounding yourself in the things that remained constant despite the crisis will help you stay calm and collected in the face of current events.
Understand what you can and can’t control
It’s natural to feel fear and anxiety over what’s happening in the news, and it’s healthy to acknowledge the feelings that arise from it. After all, it’s part of human nature to experience emotions depending on the situation. However, processing your emotions should not stop there.
Once you’ve accepted the feelings you have over what is happening here or across the globe, the next step is to understand what is within your control. There’s no use dwelling on things you can’t change or contribute to at the scale needed to make the change. Once you’ve established this understanding, you can identify the things you can control and take charge of them.
At the end of the day, it’s understandable to feel all kinds of upset feelings during this time of crisis and uncertainty. The more important thing is to be able to bounce back from these feelings by managing your stress and staying calm when it counts.
Written by Oscar Florea
About the Author
Oscar Florea is a content contributor for Avida's lifestyle blog Pursuit of Passion. He is an engineer by profession but a multipotentialite by destiny. Just like a normal dude in a basketball-crazy country, one of his passions is shooting hoops.
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