It Is A Stressful Season- Tips On How To Deal
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
It's no secret that everyone in the world is a little on edge with the COVID-19 situation. I'd be lying to you if I said that I wasn't experiencing high anxiety, forward thinking and dark thoughts. I, as well as yourself, have a responsibility to stay informed but also stick to a routine during this high stressful time. While it does not help that we have been told inaccurate information by select persons at the National level, we can do our part to stay informed by listening to trusted, healthcare professionals.
It is at a time like this that I felt it would be helpful to group information together in one place that may assist in keeping stress and anxieties down.
First off, we need to know that COVID-19 does not discriminate among young children, teens, young adults, adults, and the older generation.
Symptoms from the CDC website:
If you do not exhibit any of these symptoms, that's good news. (Something to take note of is that I did read someplace that there are individuals that carry the virus but don't exhibit any symptoms and then go on to spread the virus.)
If you are experiencing any one of them, remember that it is flu season as well as allergy season. Do some research on what you're experiencing and use common sense in determining the best course of action for yourself and the people around you.
If you're fairly healthy, let's work on staying healthy. Keeping our immune systems strong is super important. That means taking our vitamins daily, eating large amounts of vegetables at least two times every day, eating a moderate amount of protein to stay full and satisfied at each meal and drinking plenty of water. Reducing stress and anxiety, junk/processed foods, sodas, as well as getting the right amount of sleep each night (7-9 hours) is equally important.
Eating a healthy amount of plants/vegetables, proteins and a little processed fun foods, for me, has become a habit that I intend on sticking to during this time. I went grocery shopping yesterday and picked up extra frozen chicken breasts, whatever canned vegetables that were left on the shelves, frozen veggies as well. I also picked up minimal amount of processed fun foods because whether it was before the pandemic, during, or after, I will be eating like this to keep my sanity and to avoid binge eating.
When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, it is a battle for me during tough scenarios like when a lot of change is happening around me, or for example when it's really busy at work and in my personal life where I can't seem to slow down. During this season, I have started to recognize the thoughts in my head and that is a sign that I'm beginning to spiral. I have managed to delay spiraling by reaching out to loved ones and staying busy. I'm determined to not repress my feelings because doing so only makes living with anxiety worse. I'm sharing my worries with others, planning to limit time scrolling on social media, and I've created a list of activities that make me happy. I'll be keeping it on my coffee table as a reminder to take action on the things that ease my mind.
My recommendation to you are 2 things:
Eat healthy. If you don't normally eat healthy, start small. You don't want to do a complete overhaul of your diet because you'll most likely become restricted, burnt out, and it will lead to a binge. Do you drink a shit ton of pop? Start swapping a can of pop with water. Do you eat chips with your sandwich at lunch? Swap the full bag of chips to a half bag and add in baby carrots, mini bell peppers, or any vegetable you like to eat.
Take care of your mental health. Stress decreases the strength of your immune system. You can reduce stress by: talking to your loved ones daily and remember to share your worries, look at pictures of puppies, go out for a walk or do a workout (keeping your distance from people), make a list of activities that make you happy (i.e. coloring, listening and dancing to music, watching a comedy special on Netflix, exercise, learn a new skill like crochet, read a book or magazine, limit social media scrolling). Write out a list of activities and put it somewhere you will see every single day and start now!
Finally, 5 more tips on taking care of your mental health when facing uncertainty from AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).