Managing Covid-19 Stress- Tips on looking after yourself 18/4/2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed life for all of us very quickly, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling worried, sad or anxious. But there are ways to help ease these feelings.
To help you, we’ve put together 5 tips for handling stress during the coronavirus pandemic. Try them for yourself and share them with your friends and family…
- Limit your news intake
If you find that you’re more stressed or worried after reading the news, then try to reduce the number of times you check it.
You shouldn’t block out the news completely, but it might be better for you to limit the time you spend reading articles on COVID-19 or watching news bulletins. It might be helpful to turn off any breaking-news alerts on your phone, too.
It’s also worth remembering that not all news is trustworthy. So try not to read information shared on social media and only stick to sources that are credible such as;
- Speak to your nearest and dearest
When you’re feeling low or worried, talking to your family and friends can help to brighten your mood. If you can’t see them, just pick up the phone, arrange a video chat or drop them a text.
Now might also be a good time to reconnect with old friends or colleagues that you’ve lost contact with over the years—talking to someone that knows you can help to comfort you.
The world is a small place nowadays with the advent of technology and most of can make use of smartphones to keep in contact via Whataspp, Facebook, Instagram and even newer video conferencing apps like Zoom. I had my first Zoom call with my school pals the other night and it was thoroughly enjoyable and really lifted my spirits. We have even pledged to keep it up post-Covid!
- Exercise at home
Although gyms are closed and social distancing rules are in place, you can still work out. There are loads of online classes that you can try from home including PE with Joe Wicks and Yoga with Adrienne (my personal favourite!) and cosmic kids yoga for the kids!
Plus, as long as you’re fit and healthy, you can still leave your house once a day for exercise within 2km of your home. You could go on a walk, run a 5K or ride your bike near your home. Just remember to keep a safe two-metre distance away from other people. You may take in exercise with members of your family living under the same roof, and we have passed away hours up our local boreen taking the kids on a nature trail. Sometimes the simplest things are the greatest-my kids found great fascination in a tiny ladybird climbing an ESB pole the other day.
- Get enough sleep
A restful night’s sleep can make all the difference to your mood and experts advise getting around seven to eight hours sleep every night.
If you’re finding it tough to switch off before bed, you could try taking a bath, reducing your screen time, and drinking herbal teas like Chamomile. If you can, try to go to bed at a similar time every night to help maintain a good sleep pattern. Daily exercise will greatly help your sleep cycle also.
- Start a new hobby
Doing things you enjoy can help to take your mind off the current situation—even if it’s only for an hour or two. So pick up a book, start a puzzle or try a new recipe.
You could even use this time to develop a new skill. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, for example, there are loads of online classes and apps that can help you do this.
And if you’re missing your old social life, there are loads of ways for you to stay connected. There are online pub quizzes you could take part in or free theatre performances you could watch online.
Need to talk to someone?
Samaritans are a free 24/7 helpline available at 116 123, or email email@example.com
Pieta House – Call 1800 247 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Childline ISPCC – Free phone 24/7 1800 666 666, text TALK to 50101 or go to www.childline.ie
Alone – Call 0818 222 024 or email email@example.com