Take A Break From Coronavirus Stress!
In our last post, we talked about how you can reframe your thinking about the state of the world in order to reduce some of the anxiety you’re feeling. Now we want to talk about our favorite ways to take a break from what’s going on.
Taking breaks is an important part of self-care. It acts as a pressure release valve on your overloaded mind. It’s not irresponsible. You aren’t failing. You don’t have to keep the sky from falling by being the perfect superhero right now.
Chase a little happiness where you can!
Enriching Your Life And Distracting From Coronavirus Stress
Let’s say you’re starting to feel particularly anxious and you remind yourself that you’re only one person who can do the best you can. Your behavior doesn’t control the outcome of any situation and that’s not your responsibility. It isn’t your job to police your neighbors. It’s ok to feel out of control, and you’ve tried grounding yourself with some breathing and mind/body connection exercises.
Once you’re in a less frantic state, how do you stay there? What can you do to keep this more relaxed feeling?
Here are some tips and strategies we’re using right now.
Healthy Redirection Is A Good Thing For Coronavirus Stress
Avoid social media, take breaks, mute people as necessary. You don’t have to be consuming content about the virus every moment of the day. Taking breaks where you let yourself potentially forget this is happening is a good thing. It relieves your overtaxed mind. Just don’t check out completely.
Set aside defined blocks of time to check in with the news. Try not to stay glued to every update because that’s a lot like riding Instagram or Facebook 24/7. You’ll just constantly remind yourself about things you can’t control.
Listen to your favorite music, maybe in the bath. It’s ok to indulge yourself a little. That’s just self care!
If you’re still able to go out for necessities, keep an eye on unusual areas of the grocery store for potential new hobbies. Maybe grab a plant to care for. Many grocery stores also have yarn and you could take up knitting, crochet or even macrame. These sorts of repetitive and creative tasks take your mind into a meditative space and can be rewarding and relaxing.
Participate in some of the games people are playing online when you do log on. We’re seeing a lot of ‘eye spy in our photos’ games and little ‘getting to know you’ quizzes. They can be good silly fun.
Find a book, movie, video, or podcast that fascinates you and consume it. A little distraction is a healthy part of weathering this storm.
Support Each Other Through Coronavirus Stress
Reach out to friends through technology and talk about how you’re feeling. Support each other and remind your loved ones that nothing lasts forever.
Get involved in some way to help others. This could be investigating a permit for a community garden to help feed your neighbors once restrictions are lifted. It could be about offering to lend an ear to friends and family who are feeling badly.
If you’re able to leave the house and know people in a risk group, maybe you can drop off supplies outside their door on your next run. Try reaching out to your local aging care facilities and see if you can talk to residents on the phone to help their loneliness. There are many things you can do to help without putting yourself at risk.
It’s Ok To Feel And To Take A Break!
If you’re still struggling with feelings of anxiety about taking a break, consider this: what benefit does your stark and serious approach have on your life and the world? Taking precautions to stay safe is necessary, but we can perform these tasks and then mentally release them until it’s time to do them again. If it helps, make a list that you can check. Try not to consult it obsessively, but instead a couple of times each day to make sure you’ve covered your bases.
You may find that once you think about it logically, staying stressed, sad, panicked, and afraid is not really helping anything. It feels wrong to enjoy ourselves while danger lurks around every corner, but it’s actually a healthy thing to do. Moments of fun and release balance our lives and create more harmony.
Do Your Job And Recognize What Isn’t Your Job
Our overall hope is that this post helped you realize that you can give yourself permission to step away from your vigilance for a little while. It isn’t your responsibility to save the world. It’s ok to balance your safety procedures with a little mindless fun.
Remember that if you burn out, you won’t be able to keep yourself healthy or help support others!
There is light at the end of this experience. We don’t know for sure what it will look like yet, but keep your hope alive by remembering that in any moment, anything can change. A better day is just around the corner.