By Mary Pletsch 05 May 2020 no comment 269 Views

If you find our current circumstances to be stressful, you’re not alone.  We’ve collected some tips to help to manage stress during Physical / Social Distancing and in the future!

Set boundaries for media consumption

Many of us have discovered how easy it is to watch news all day or surf the net for hours.  We want to stay informed, but too much social media can have a negative effect on our emotional state.  It’s a wise idea to put a limit on your “news time,” like 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  Choose reputable news sources for information.  If you find yourself feeling angry, scared, or hopeless, log off early.

Spend the rest of your day focusing on your current circumstances.  What are the things you need to do today?  What is important at this moment?  Rather than worrying about the unknowable future, focus your attention on things you can do right now.

Support your body both during and after distancing

Firstly, eat healthy food at regular times throughout the day.  Nutritious food will make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to be at its best.  Eating approximately every three hours will help to keep your blood sugar regulated.  Healthy snacks are good for you!  If you find yourself forgetting to eat, use an alarm or timer to help yourself remember.

Secondly, if you don’t already practice meditation, this is an excellent time to learn.  Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress and give yourself a much-needed “brain break.”  It’s free to learn and all it takes is a comfortable area in your home, a few minutes of quiet, and a little practice.  There are excellent resources for meditation available online.

Thirdly, if you feel tired or need to sleep more often, you’re not being “lazy.”  Sleep is essential for good health.  Your body repairs itself while you sleep.  In times of stress it is natural to need to sleep a little more often.  For good quality sleep, keep a regular bedtime, keep your bedroom cool and avoid using screens like TV or phones while in bed.

Manage your connections with other people

Set boundaries for good health.  While some people feel isolated at this time, others feel exhausted by hours of virtual meetings for work, online family chats, and busy households.  Identify and communicate your needs.  For some of us, that might be solitary hobby time, while for others, it might mean reaching out for a larger network of people to talk to.

Stay in contact with others.  We all need a certain degree of connection with other people.  Check up on people in your family or neighbourhood who might need help with groceries and other necessities, particularly the elderly, single parents and people with disabilities.  Set up group chats with your co-workers to help you stay connected and “all on the same page.”  Reach out to your friends and to family members who don’t live in the same home with you.

Next week we’ll look at how routines can help to manage stress.

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