The pandemic has upended the lives of people across the country. It forced many businesses to close while others asked their employees to work from home. The situation not only affected the jobs of many people, but it also had an impact on their mental health.
While the situation has improved compared to the start of the pandemic, some people continue to cope with their anxiety due to the health crisis. If you feel the same, there are some things you can do to reduce the stress you’re feeling due to the pandemic. Here are some strategies you can use to cope with the situation.
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Manage Fear Through Accurate Facts
A lot of information has emerged after the pandemic started. Unfortunately, many of these come from questionable sources and can become scary to anyone who has no idea about the situation. This fear can lead to negative thoughts that result in stress. Too much stress can weaken our immune system, which we need to avoid at this time.
To deal with this situation, you need to focus on accurate facts from reputable sources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These agencies provide verifiable statistics and figures about the situation. They also provide recommendations that you can follow to keep yourself safe from the virus.
Studies have shown that exercise can help in the treatment of depression. Physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel good and boosts your spirit. So, you should find time to exercise every week. For example, you can jog or bike around the neighborhood. But you still need to follow health protocols in case you are not yet fully vaccinated.
Getting a good massage can also help relieve the stress you feel at the end of a workweek. The rubbing and pressing of your muscles and tendons can enhance relaxation, lower heart rate, and reduce your feelings of anxiety.
Regulate Social Media Use
Around 80 percent of adult Americans are using social media. Due to this, social media platforms are among the best ways for people to connect with long-lost family and friends in different countries. But these platforms have also become a way for misinformation to spread.
Due to this, you should control your social media use. This is particularly true if you get easily affected by any news that comes out on social media. You should also avoid sharing unverified information to prevent hysteria among your contacts.
Additionally, if you do not control your use of social media, your productivity will suffer since you’ll focus on what you saw on your social media account. Excessive use of social media can also lead to impulsive behavior that is not easy to control. This is particularly true if you access your account using your smartphone.
Even as stress can drive people to consume their comfort food, bad nutrition can also increase a person’s levels of stress. Eating too much junk food is associated with an increased risk of anxiety and stress. On the other hand, people who have diets focused on whole food also have lower stress and anxiety levels. With this, you may want to check your diet and start eating healthy to reduce the stress you are feeling during the pandemic. It’s fine to eat your comfort food every so often.
But you should also make sure that most of your diet is made up of nutritious food that helps build up your immune system and improve your mental health. One thing that you can do to ensure you eat right is to avoid skipping meals. If you work from home, you may be tempted to focus on work rather than your scheduled meals. But if you skip your meals, it will be challenging to balance your sugar levels. So, you should eat regularly and avoid skipping meals.
Do a Good Deed
The pandemic has compelled people to practice social distancing and connect with others virtually. But this does not mean you cannot help others. While social media contributes to an increase in stress levels, it also allows you to stay in touch with people who live in another state.
A quick video call allows you to check on someone whom you know needs help. And when you help this person, you’ll also feel good about yourself, which is good for your mental health. This is particularly true if the person you helped expresses gratitude for what you did. In this instance, you’ll feel good and motivated to help more people.
The pandemic may have affected the mental health of people across the country. But you can reduce the stress that you are feeling through simple yet effective activities.