This year has been full of challenges and we’re only halfway through. It is safe to say that no one expected things to take a sharp turn. With a pandemic looming in our minds and a long list of circumstances that may be causing you stress, we thought it would be a good time to help you focus on your physical and mental health. So many factors can cause stress, especially fear of the unknown which has become the new normal for a lot of society during this pandemic. We thought it would be a good time to share some tips to help you reduce stress and proactively adjust to regular life during this difficult time.
Keep an eye on your physical and mental health
By now you are probably aware of COVID-19 symptoms, but if you aren’t, we recommend you check out the CDC’s official website. Check with a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms outlined by the CDC. If you feel ill with symptoms unrelated to the current pandemic, you still should try to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your physical health is important; no pain should be ignored so make sure to contact your primary physician to schedule a check-up. Pandemic related or not, your health is extremely important and if you feel something is off, make sure to seek medical attention. Many physicians are still scheduling appointments over the phone and can bring you in for a physical examination if needed. Your mental health is equally important, you can check if your psychologist is available for online appointments. There are new services that connect you with licensed psychologists for an online appointment.
Given the circumstances, gyms are temporarily closed. It is probably not easy to continue your exercise routine, but even without equipment, there are plenty of activities you can try. For example, if you live an active lifestyle you can try running or HIIT workouts. Or, if you prefer to try something relaxing you can try yoga or going for a walk. You can also purchase some small pieces of equipment without breaking the bank like dumbbells, yoga or workout mats, resistance bands, an ab wheel, or a jump rope. Staying active can help ease your nerves or keep your mind off stress during the pandemic, physical activity can contribute greatly to your mental health.
With all the crazy events going on, you are probably stressed. Many of us have a tendency to stress-eat, and oftentimes we choose to eat unhealthy snacks because it’s the easiest option. We recommend you focus on what you’re eating, make sure that you are consuming balanced meals that keep you full of energy and healthy. Eating nutritious foods will help you to keep your immune system strong, an important factor that contributes to your physical health.
Keep your mind busy
Find a hobby that keeps you busy but that also makes you feel happy. Like we mentioned your mental health matters greatly, especially now that we are confined to the same space all the time while we’re isolated from our loved ones. Seek to keep yourself busy and With access to the internet, you can find an infinite library of ideas. You can find free tutorials and purchase the items you need to get started with your project all online. Try something small every day like painting or it could be a long project like building furniture. Whatever you choose, make sure you choose something that makes you feel happy and excited.
It’s ok to have negative feelings
We all have felt stressed or upset at some point in our lives, but during this pandemic, mental health is extremely important to remember. It’s okay to have negative emotions and feel down, especially during this stressful time. Sometimes small but positive habits can help put your mind at ease. To start, make a list of the things you are grateful for and then write another list of your goals for the next 5 years. With your goals list, make a list of the steps you have to take to accomplish your goals. Keep both your lists in a place where you can see them every day, to remind yourself that even in difficult times you have things to be grateful for and that there’s a lot of good waiting for you in the future. Things don’t always go as planned, but having a road map will give you more confidence in yourself and help you feel safe and in control during unknown times.
Learn a fun or useful skill
Now that we do not have to commute to work, many of us are saving many hours a week and have extra time. Suddenly, your days seem to last longer. We recommend you take advantage of those extra hours and try to learn some new skills that can help you in times of need like cooking with limited supplies, car maintenance, or household repairs. Or maybe you finally have time to learn a new skill that can help you advance your career such as learning a new language or how to use software like excel. Any new skill that can help you in the future either professionally or personally will be a win for you.
Explore free online resources
Starting any project or learning a new skill can be difficult, especially during a pandemic. Luckily, there are so many online resources to explore that can help with your next creative project or hobby. If you’re looking to ignite that creative spark, Pinterest is a great spot to find inspiration for art and D.I.Y. tutorials. YouTube is also another great resource for how-to and fitness videos, plus it’s all free! For those of us who are missing the gym, the MyFitnessPal app is another place where you can access workouts and nutrition information to keep you on track towards your goals. Other apps like Stitcher for podcasts and Libby for audiobooks, are great for those who want to listen or learn something new but may not have time to set aside to read a book or watch a video. Even though current times feel uncertain, these few free resources are a great way to start that new project or take care of your mental health!
Stay in touch with your loved ones
We might not be able to visit our loved ones in person, but we can call them, video chat, or text them. Even small things like sharing funny memes can always brighten someone’s day. Part of keeping good mental health is to stay in touch with your friends and family. Be sure to regularly check in with your friends and family to see how they are doing emotionally and physically. A quick talk with your parents or your best friend will surely make your day better and keep you feeling close to your loved ones.
It is a difficult time for millions of people who have lost their jobs and if you’re one of them, take a deep breath and focus on becoming a problem solver. Set a goal to apply for a new job daily or set time during the day to work on other career prospects in a quiet area of your home. This is also a great opportunity to work on courses that can help you learn skills that will land you the job you always wanted.
Never forget that we are all in this together
People and businesses are struggling during this unique and difficult time. If you have a network of people that can help you find a job, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Everyone is facing difficult times and now more than ever we are seeing wonderful examples of people being kind and helping others. If you can offer help to someone, reach out and support those in your community.
When your body and mind are healthy, challenges are easier to overcome. We hope this list helps you navigate through this strange time.