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Stressed Out About the Pandemic? Here's How to Overcome Stress and Find Peace

Updated: Apr 11, 2023



The pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety throughout the world. With social distancing, job loss, and other disruptions to our daily lives, it can be difficult to find any sense of peace and security during these trying times. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to reduce stress and find peace in spite of the pandemic. In this blog post, we'll explore how to overcome stress and find peace during the pandemic.


Acknowledge Your Feelings



It’s important to recognize that what you’re feeling is natural and normal. Everyone is facing unique challenges with the pandemic, and it’s okay to be feeling a range of emotions such as depression, anger, loneliness, isolation, and fear. It’s also important to remember that these feelings aren’t permanent. You can take action to improve your mental health and find peace.


Developing the habit of acknowledging your feelings can help you manage them better. By recognizing how you feel, you can start to work through your emotions and develop strategies for dealing with them. It is also important to remember that everyone experiences different emotions differently, so what works for someone else may not work for you.





Create or Join a Support Group



The current pandemic has led to an increase in feelings of loneliness and isolation for many people. Creating or joining a support group can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety during this difficult time. By connecting with others, you can express your worries and receive comfort from the community.


Finding or creating a support group is relatively simple. Start by looking into local organizations that offer mental health services or support groups. You may also be able to find online forums where people can share their experiences and support each other. Additionally, many virtual networking events are now available, providing a safe space to connect with like-minded individuals.


You can even create your own support group with friends or family members. This is especially beneficial if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your feelings with strangers. Set up regular meetings where you can discuss your struggles and provide encouragement and support to one another.


The key is to remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Connecting with others in a support group can provide an outlet for your frustrations, reduce feelings of loneliness, and help you stay positive during this challenging time.




Seek Professional Help



If you are feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with the stress and lonliness caused by the pandemic, it may be beneficial to seek help from a professional. Professional counseling or therapy can provide you with the tools and skills necessary to manage your stress in a healthy way. Talking with a mental health professional can help you develop effective coping strategies, gain insight into your emotional responses, and provide support during difficult times. If you need help finding a mental health professional in your area, your primary care provider or local health department may be able to provide referrals.





Take Breaks from the News



It can be difficult to turn off news notifications, especially when so much is happening in the world. But it is important to step away from the constant stream of bad news and breaking stories about the pandemic. Taking breaks from the news can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, giving your mind and body a much-needed break from the seemingly never-ending cycle of coronavirus news.


When you feel like you need a break, try stepping away from social media, TV, and other sources of news for an hour or two. You could use this time to focus on something else – try reading a book, listening to music, doing some exercise or going for a walk.

It’s also important to stay informed, so once you’ve taken a break, you can find reliable sources of information on the pandemic. Make sure to check the World Health Organization website or other trusted resources to get the facts.


By taking regular breaks from the news, you can protect your mental health and reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Taking time out to focus on something else can help bring balance to your day and provide a much-needed break from all the news about the pandemic.





Practice Relaxation Techniques



The effects of the pandemic can be overwhelming, but there are several relaxation techniques that you can use to help relieve stress. One of the most effective relaxation techniques is deep breathing. Deep breathing can help you relax by slowing your heart rate and calming your mind. It is also a great way to practice mindfulness. Other relaxation techniques include progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and yoga.


Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. This can help to release tension and promote relaxation. Guided imagery is another great tool for relieving stress. You can use it to imagine a peaceful place or scenario that can help bring calm and serenity. Finally, yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on connecting the mind and body. Yoga helps to promote mindful awareness, relaxation, and overall well-being.


Whichever technique you choose to practice, it’s important to give yourself some time and space for relaxation each day. This could mean taking a few minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing or practicing yoga for 30 minutes. Make sure to set aside time for yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, to take a break and focus on reducing stress. By practicing relaxation techniques, you can learn to better manage the stress of the pandemic and find moments of peace.





Journaling

Journaling is an effective and natural way to release stress from the pandemic. It can also be used to document your feelings, explore your emotions, and reflect on your experiences. Journaling can come in many forms, but the most common type of journaling is expressive writing. Expressive writing involves taking the time to express your thoughts and feelings about a particular event or situation in a structured way.


When engaging in expressive writing, it is important to focus on your innermost thoughts and feelings and be honest with yourself. This means that there are no rules to follow, and you should feel free to write without judgement. The goal of this type of journaling is to clear the clutter from your mind so that you can better understand how you feel and how to best cope with stress.


It can be helpful to set aside some time each day for journaling, whether it's for a few minutes or for an hour. You can use pen and paper, or even create a digital document for your writing. No matter what method you choose, make sure to write down your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and reflections related to the pandemic and its impact on your life.

Journaling can help reduce stress by providing an outlet for your emotions and creating a sense of accomplishment and control. By taking the time to express yourself in writing, you can gain clarity, understanding, and perspective on what’s going on around you.





Eat a Healthy Diet



The foods you eat can have a huge impact on your stress levels and overall mental health. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is key to staying healthy and strong. Eating junk food and processed foods can lead to spikes in your stress levels, so be sure to limit your intake of these items.


Instead, focus on eating nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Eating a balanced diet can help to boost your energy levels and mental clarity. Additionally, try to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day by eating small meals at regular intervals.


Drinking plenty of water can also help to reduce stress and ensure that you stay hydrated. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. And if you need a little pick-me-up, try having a cup of herbal tea or coffee. Just make sure to limit your caffeine intake as too much can lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety.


Making healthier food choices can go a long way in helping to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Aim to incorporate a variety of healthy foods into your diet and stay away from processed and sugary foods. Eating a balanced diet can help to provide you with the necessary nutrients needed to cope with stressful times.





Get Regular Exercise



Exercise is an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health, especially during times of high stress. Exercise releases endorphins which can help reduce stress and improve mood. It also can help regulate your sleep cycle and provide you with a sense of accomplishment.


If you are new to exercise, start by doing activities that you enjoy like walking, jogging, biking, or swimming. You can even take online classes or use apps to get started. If you are already a regular exerciser, add in a few more days or increase the intensity of your workouts.

If you're having trouble motivating yourself to exercise, find an accountability partner or join a virtual fitness class. This can help keep you on track and motivated while also providing social interaction.


No matter what type of exercise you do, be sure to keep it consistent and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Exercise can be a great outlet for stress relief and it’s important to take the time to incorporate it into your daily routine.





Get Plenty of Sleep



Sleep is a crucial element for good physical and mental health. During times of stress, sleep can be particularly difficult to achieve. That’s why it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene and create an environment that supports quality sleep.


First and foremost, establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Avoid any caffeinated beverages before bed, as they can interfere with your body’s ability to relax and fall asleep. Similarly, try to avoid using screens (phone, laptop, TV, etc.) at least 30 minutes prior to your desired bedtime. Instead, engage in a calming activity such as reading or listening to relaxing music. Also, make sure that your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable – ideally around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


In addition to practicing good sleep hygiene, it’s important to pay attention to your body’s needs. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise during the day, as this can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle. If you find yourself lying awake for more than 20 minutes, it’s best to get out of bed and engage in a calming activity until you feel sleepy again.

Remember, quality sleep is essential for managing stress during this challenging time. So try your best to establish a regular sleep routine and follow the tips outlined above. Doing so will help you maintain both your physical and mental health during this trying period.



 

Are you having challenges recovering from the emotional effects of the pandemic?


Explore your wellness with the Post-Pandemic Recovery Workbook. This workbook is designed by professionals utilizing the best of the clinical literature on self-improvement to assist you in achieving your wellness goals.




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