Mental health: how to manage stress in a post-Covid world
“Interestingly, it isn’t Fear of the Covid-19 virus itself, but the new normal that people have unknowingly embraced in order to break the chain of virus spread,” said Dr. Chawla.
Insecurity is one of the main causes of stress at all levels. Students and housewives were not left behind. Returning to school/college also burdened students and parents with anxiety and fear of catching the virus.
It’s important to understand the coping mechanisms of dealing with stress and managing it efficiently when you can’t eliminate it.
I. Dealing with the feelings
Acknowledge how you are feeling
It’s important to be honest about your feelings. Journaling might be one of the best ways to record your innermost thoughts and feelings.
When you write down your thoughts, label anything that is troubling you with negativity. Talk to your closest friend or confide in an advisor. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t judge yourself.
acceptance of uncertainty
Although we all like to be in control of every situation in our lives, this is not always the case. The pandemic was out of bounds in that regard.
No one knew it would leave no room for advance planning. Insecurities are part of life.
Preparing to have a calm mind through the ebb and flow, no matter how things are going, is key. Remember that it’s okay not to be in control of the situation.
II. Ways to keep calm
Get physical activity
Sedentary lifestyle can be the worst curse. Being a couch potato leads to stress, which aggravates or leads to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, suppressed immune systems, diabetes, obesity, problems sleeping, headaches, neck and back pain, and depression or anxiety, according to ACSM’s Health and Fitnessjournal .
Recommended physical activities include jogging, jumping, dancing, exercising, climbing stairs, playing with children/pets. Physical activity or exercise helps release dopamine and serotonin reduce stress, various sources suggest, including Exercise and Sport Sciences Review.
It can also strengthen the cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.
To eat healthy food
Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Cut down on unhealthy or fried foods. Include citrus fruits in your diet.
According to the book, titled “Post-Harvest Biology and Technology of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits,” due to their high levels of vitamin C, citrus fruits offer multiple benefits by boosting immunity against collagen build-up and reducing anemia and stress.
Six to seven hours of healthy sleep is very important to overcome stress. But ironically there is a connection between sleep and stress. When you’re stressed, it’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
And sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, other comorbidities, memory loss, poor concentration, and even driving safety concerns.
Getting optimal exercise and eating on time will certainly help reduce stress, which in turn will help get the right amount of sleep.
Basking in the sun for at least 20 minutes each day not only gives you your natural vitamin D, but also helps ward off stress and depression. Did you know that sunlight increases your serotonin levels and keeps Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at bay?
According to a study by researchers at Brigham Young University, “increased psychological distress was found during periods of reduced solar exposure.”
Stay in contact
With the lockdowns and resulting infrequent socializing, many felt cut off from their flock.
But you can still be part of online communities and communicate with friends and people via video calls or join online forums related to your area of interest – be it a book club or a hobby.
Spend quality time with family. Read, watch animation, cook, tidy up (did you know tidying up is a great stress reliever?), and play with kids or pets.
Get some time for me
meditate the little time for me gives you the window for introspection and connection with your inner self. Yoga and deep breathing work just as well with multiple health benefits. Keep your senses away from indulgence.
Too much TV or phone calls is a feast for the eyes! Journal to reflect on how you are getting better every day.
Limit digital activity
Limit exposure to news and updates. Use social media in moderation. Curb your thoughts and keep your rationale before you get too deep in your thoughts.
Get creative and use expressive arts. The pandemic has undoubtedly unleashed the side effects of stress around the world, but the cure is well within our means. With the tips above, you know that overcoming stress is never too difficult.
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