Is “Flattening the Curve” Increasing Your Stress?

With the country in the grips of what could be the largest public health crisis in over a century, our lives have instantly and dramatically changed. 

Plus, as stores are overrun with ‘panic buying’ and many essential items being on backorder for at least 7 weeks, the stress and anxiety we all feel now is through the roof. And, with ‘social distancing’ as our new way of interacting with each other, the question becomes: What has this pandemic done to your mental health?

You might already be feeling overwhelmed, scared, and frankly… depressed. Here are 3 ways to manage your stress amidst the nationwide coronavirus “quarantine”.

  1. Embrace the new reality. It’s completely normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed in this situation that seems out of your control. However, the more that you can come to terms with this new reality, the less anxiety you’ll start to feel. Also putting this into perspective and acknowledging that this is just a temporary shift in behavior and/or lifestyle will help you make the most of this time.
  2. Look for what you can control. There are lots of things that we can control, even in a somewhat uncontrollable situation. You can control your routine (or lack thereof), your eating habits, your exercise schedule, even when you reach out to family and friends. You’ll want to focus on the positives in your life to feel optimistic and empowered about the future. And, the more you feel empowered, the lower your stress levels will be.
  3. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Having connections with those you love is important for your mental health, especially during this time. You may need to keep six feet physical distance from those around you, but there are lots of online ways to stay connected. Whether you try FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts making time to check in with your friends and family is a great way to avoid feeling isolated. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to just pick up the phone and call – since we all have lots of newfound free time anyway!

Take this time why not learn something new or find an online community around your interests? There are lots of “pop up” groups on social media for music lessons, online sewing classes, even writers clubs to give you a way to connect with others around what you enjoy doing.

The key to maintaining your sanity through this pandemic is all about tapping into what makes you happy and looking for ways to do these things every day, whether in your home or online. The more you can stay in a positive frame of mind, the better you’ll feel throughout this uncertain time.

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