This is not a suggestion to abandon your methods of preparation, but to do so in an informed manner. Instead of adding to your stress by trying to control elements beyond your grasp, try to follow an expert guide to manage what you can and let go of the temptation to try to control what you cannot.
3. Know your limits
When you pay attention to your stress management, you will begin to notice a pattern that will signal your threshold of tolerance. While this may change over time, it is helpful to pay attention to trends of what makes your stress better or worse. As we have explored, ignoring your signs, overextending yourself, and delving into fictional sources may make your stress worse, therefore, these may be helpful areas to start building boundaries to protect your well-being. For example, perhaps you can benefit from creating a habit of checking in with your emotions in order to avoid overlooking your stress.
Another example is to limit your consumption of news. You may do this by refining your information to reputable sources, setting a time for when you can check the news, and limiting the number of updates you explore with the individuals in your life. Your limits may vary based on who you are, how you handle stress, and the level of stress you are experiencing. It may be a process to attune the boundaries you need, however, creating these limitations is certainly a helpful tactic to reduce the amount of stress you let into your life.
4. Practice self-care
Self-care is the active process of acknowledging and tending to your needs. Self-care includes practices that invest in your general wellness. This can include preventative measures such as eating nutritious foods, staying active, and getting adequate rest.
When you are stressed, you require a specific form of intervention self-care: coping. Your coping mechanisms are the methods that you use in an effort to moderate your stress. Therefore, if you pay attention to the symptoms that arise when you are stressed, you may find clues into the right coping mechanisms for you.
Let’s say you are showing signs of confusion, body aches, and fatigue. From this acknowledgment, you may gather that you may need ample rest. Then, you may tailor your self-care to include a break, stretching, or sleep in order to meet this need.
Want to know more about how you can indulge in self-care for coping with Coronavirus stress? Read 12 Self-Care Tips to Take Better Care of Yourself
Another way to deduce which coping skills work is by reflecting on your past. Think about another time that you were stressed, what helped to ground you at that time? Past coping practices that have been deemed successful may be helpful in the present as well.
When it comes to self-care, the more strategies you have in your toolkit, the better. The coping skills that work for you may vary per context, and having a plethora of options allows you to be better equipped to handle your stress. Say for example you have learned in the past that going to a yoga class helps you to reduce your level of stress. If you rely on this sole option and your area experiences a lockdown you may find your coping hindered.
If your go-to coping skills are difficult to use in the context of COVID-19 precautions, be creative. Take the opportunity to explore related skills. Using the example above, perhaps you can use a workout app, follow a guided meditation, or practice deep-breathing from your home.
Make the most of the reality that you are in. Instead of focusing on all the things you cannot do due to certain restrictions can you shift your focus to the coping mechanisms that you now have the opportunity to delve into?
Here are some examples:
- Play with a pet
- Read a book
- Call a loved one
- Watch your favorite movie
- Practice gratitude
- Take an online class
- Host a virtual gathering