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May 1, 2020

             Stress Reducing Ideas for Difficult Times

Telling people not to get stressed out while we’re in the throes of a

global pandemic that’s having an effect on every aspect of our lives is

not going to be helpful. Of course, you’re going to be stressed out,

and there’s not even the option of getting your usual stress-busting

massage or facial treatment booked in because, you know, social

distancing. Even so, there are things that you can try to reduce the impact that COVID-19 stress has on your daily life. Here are a few tips to try…


Acceptance

This is a new situation for the vast majority of us. We feel compelled

to do things through fear and stress, like hoarding toilet rolls and

trying to find ‘useful’ things to do with our time. You don’t have to

be busy, or productive. Let yourself just BE.

Psychologists promote the idea of ‘radical self-acceptance’ this

means just accepting everything about yourself, your situation, and

your life without question or blame. It’s the best way to let some

calm in – nobody knows how to navigate this situation, because we

haven’t been here before. There is no ‘wrong’ way to do this. Once

you accept this, things start to get easier.


Shut Out the Constant Bad News

Everywhere seems to be drowning on COVID-19 related news and

information at the moment, even your social media feeds will be full

of it. Take time out from the constant stream of negativity and have

social media days off, limit the time you spend reading/watching

news. Turn off your phone’s news app notifications.

The information we get, especially online, is often sensationalized.

Much of the time it also focusses on the negatives. Decide on your

own trusted sources and check in with them just a few times a day,

for a few minutes. It’s also important to limit talking about the virus

and any negative impacts or concerns in front of children. They may

already be feeling unsettled by the things they see going on around

them and their changes in routine, so keep COCID-19 related

conversations out of their earshot. Kids soak up information like little

sponges and they can get very frightened, picking up on your own

fear.


Try to Notice the Positives, The Good People and

Helpers

This is related to the last point – while the media focuses on what’s

wrong with the world, take the time to notice the good people, the

positive actions and the ways people are coming together – albeit

not socially – to cope with the problems the virus has thrown up.

There is a ton of stories around that showcase the ways people are

helping each other, uplifting each other and more. Individuals are

supporting their community, donating time and other things and

coming up with a whole load of ways to get themselves and each

other through these hard times. It’s so important to try and balance

the heavy news reports with the optimistic and life-affirming

information.


Take It Moment by Moment

Nobody knows how long this is going to go on for, and thinking long

term is likely to make you feel depressed and powerless. The only

way to avoid this is literally, taking it a day, a week or even just an

hour at a time. This is our new reality, but it’s not our forever reality.

Focus on dealing with the next day, or whatever time feels

manageable to you, and try not to think about the ifs, whens and

maybes of how long this is going to last.


Focus on the Things You CAN Control

When this thing seems overwhelming and you don’t know what to

do, find something in your day your day life that you CAN control. It

could be as simple as making sure you have your daily shower and

get up at the same time as normal to restore a sense of routine.

Maybe it’s time you cleaned out your kitchen cupboards, organised

your bookshelf or cancelled all the payments for things out of your

bank account that you no longer use. These little jobs are the things

that will help to absorb your brain and ground you when it feels like

life is in chaos and it’s way out of your control.

Be kind to yourself and take care