You are not alone in feeling stressed and uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. These are challenging times and your emotions are understandable. There are ways to shift your energies now, though, that can help you feel better about yourself and your situation. You can learn how to focus on your well-being during the pandemic, so you regain your confidence and optimism.
A Mix of Emotions
The stress that you are experiencing during the coronavirus outbreak can leave you with:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- A temptation to use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs – which will only worsen your situation.
New Normal State
It is perfectly normal to have a low motivation level and to be distracted now. Even though the pandemic has been in everyone’s lives for several months, it is still a new and different environment and it is taking everyone time to adapt. In the meantime, go easy on yourself. Be realistic in the goals you set, for yourself and for those around you. Take steps to lay a solid foundation for your mental health. Focus on what you can control instead of what you cannot.
Establish and Keep a Routine
During the pandemic, routines have been disrupted. You may no longer drive to work every day. You may have kids that are attending school remotely. Even going to the grocery store looks and feels different. Work on establishing a new routine, given the changes in your life. Maintain that routine each day to give yourself a new sense of normalcy.
A routine will help you manage anxiety and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Create clear distinctions between work and non-work time, ideally in both your physical workspace and your head space. Find something to do that is not work and is not virus-related that brings you joy. Working in short bursts with clear breaks will help to maintain your clarity of thought.
Go for a Walk
Physical exercise, outdoors in a healthy and safe space, can help you reduce stress. Find a trail in a park or just take a walk around the neighborhood where you can maintain social distances from others and enjoy the fresh air. Focus on the positive as you walk (or run), noticing the sunshine, the birds, and the flowers. Yes, it really will help you to focus on your well-being during the pandemic if you stop and smell the roses along your way!
During the pandemic, more people are preparing their meals at home. This is a great time to try out some new healthy recipes as you become more mindful of how you nurture your body. Although it is natural for you to crave snacks and junk food when you are staying home and stressed out, when you become more aware of how you’re feeding your body, it can go a long way toward helping you focus on your well-being during the pandemic.
Check Your Online Time
Many people are staying home all day, working from home, and attending school from home, which means they are online most of the day. When you need to focus on your well-being, you need to take breaks from your online time.
It is especially important to reduce the time you spend on social media and on reading the news, which will only stress you more. Go offline and read a book or watch an entertaining movie, to take your mind off the pandemic for a while.
Stay in the Present
The practice of mindfulness can help you focus on your well-being during the pandemic, as it helps you manage uncertainty. Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and surrounding environment. Practicing mindfulness means that you pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them and that you tune into what you’re sensing in the present moment instead of rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
Keep a Journal
When you write all your fears and uncertainty in a journal, your anxiety level will drop as you do so. The very act of putting everything in writing can help reduce your stress level. Start by making a list each day of what is going well. Focus on the positive things you’ve been able to enjoy while staying home, for example, but know that your journal is a safe place to record all your emotions and feelings.
Contact South Miami Recovery for Help During COVID-19
At South Miami Recovery, we offer you evidence-based therapies to help you in your recovery, including mindfulness therapy. We know that your well-being is of the utmost importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. South Miami Recovery offers HIPAA-compliant telehealth services so you can get the treatment you need now. Contact us today for help. Call South Miami Recovery at 305.661.0055.