Managing stress and Anxiety in the Pandemic
Managing Stress and Anxiety in the Pandemic
Perception and Well-Being the Pandemic
This short guide discusses ways to mitigate stress and anxiety while navigating school, work, and life during the pandemic. Our guide is unique in that it focuses on shifting your perception of this moment (the pandemic) toward opportunity, restructuring, reprioritizing, and renaissance.
This is Happening...
The goal of this guide is not to candy coat, ignore, or minimize the very real threat of COVID-19, or the very real psycho-emotional detrimental effects of social distancing and social isolation. This guide is intended, rather, to show you how to refocus on what is good in life and what power you do have over your perception and well-being.
...But You Can Choose How You See It
The archetype for this moment is not the fire ravaging everything in its path, but rather the phoenix rising from the ashes. Nothing is certain in life but change, and out of change and dissolution comes creation and transformation. This blog will provide you the lens to seize what power you do have over this moment.
Enough Stability for Security, Enough Transformation for Vitality
Without stability: routines, structure, dependable social connections, we begin to feel lost and like we do not have a net. However, without change, the monotony wears down our sense of vitality, inspiration, and energy for life. The key is balance: enough structure to give you a sense of stability and security and enough change to enliven you. This is important for a healthy life in general. In this moment it is vital.
Seek Normalcy through Routine
Right now, social structures are shifting or have gone on hiatus: the job market; friends, family, and professional peers. The sources of social connection and stability through gatherings and interpersonal connection are no longer available. As a result, it has become paramount to seek and maintain what connections and structure is available. Seeking normalcy via maintaining (or creating) routines – especially consistent sleep, wake, and getting-ready-for-the-day routines – even when you are not compelled to by obligations, is absolutely necessary for well-being.
Cultivate and Maintain Social Connections
Cultivating and maintaining social connections (if only experienced virtually or via phone) is also essential. Social connections are more important now than ever. Even though you may not be able to spend face-to-face quality time with your family and close friends, regular virtual catch-up sessions or phone calls can go a long way toward reducing stress by giving you an outlet to decompress and making you feel connected and supported.
Explore New Pastimes
On the other hand, at this moment, for many, especially those who are home-bound, monotony is the word of the day. As important as it is to have routine and to trust that the social structures and connections that you depend on are and will continue to be there, it is equally important that you break from the banality of practical quarantine: where days and hours blend together and lose meaning. Finding a project or activity to get excited about – something that requires creativity and inspires you will enliven you and is vital to your well-being.
Build Healthy Habits
Beyond this, many have a unique opportunity to focus on building healthy habits. Many of us now have extra time (that we would have spent for example travelling to and from work) that can be used to take up new habits such as yoga and/or exercise. Finding time for physical activity is particularly important for students – especially those attending class remotely – as we could spend our entire day doing sedentary work if we do not incorporate physical activity in.
Four Keys to Well-Being in the Pandemic
In summary, the four keys to well-being while navigating the already bumpy waters of school, work, and life made yet choppier during the pandemic are: seeking normalcy through routine, building healthy habits, exploring new pastimes, and cultivating and/or maintaining social connections.
In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to seek, build, and maintain normalcy and structure and to cultivate and strengthen our social network. This is the glue that will hold our day-to-day life together and the net that will give us support. However, uncertainty and the shift from norms is also a unique opportunity to take stock of your life and habits. Remote or hybrid work and being homebound due to social-distancing opens up more mental space and time to incorporate those habits or activities into your life that you couldn’t find time for before.
As the saying goes, “perception is 90% of reality,” so shift your perspective to a reality that awakens you to vitality and well-being. Read even more tips on achieving work-life balance in the pandemic over at the Fancy Comma, LLC blog.
If you are struggling with mental health issues in the UK, visit NHS website for organisations and more tips on how to cope !