The general uncertainty in these current times heightens our stress and anxiety. Usually, we like to feel in control and make plans for the future but it’s impossible to plan when there are so many unknowns.
We’ve never been in this situation before. We don’t know what the new ‘everyday’ will look like. And so we feel uneasy and worried.
Here are a few helpful pointers for maintaining a positive outlook.
Adopt an attitude of mindfulness
Stay in the moment, if you can. You can’t control the future so don’t even try. Just focus on the here and now. If you can improve your positivity, it will help boost your immune system, reduce stress and increase your energy levels. Changing the way you frame things can also help: for example, instead of viewing the situation as being ‘stuck indoors’ see it as an opportunity to finally tackle a long overdue project.
There are some great apps that can help with your mental fitness. Sign up for a free trial with Calm or Headspace. These are full of useful tips and resources on how to reduce stress, improve sleep and live better. Check out the meditation and mindfulness techniques. If you’re a business owner, the business version is also useful to help reduce stress at work and build up resilience among your teams.
Get a good night’s sleep – regularly
Lack of sleep is known to be a major factor in poor mental health. The body’s natural rhythm gets out of kilter if it is not being reset every day through a regular sleep-wake pattern. Perhaps not surprisingly, many people have been struggling to sleep properly since the outbreak of the pandemic. This is partly because their routine has been disrupted and their day lacks structure.
So try and go to bed at your normal time and avoid naps during the day. If at all possible, try and ‘park’ your stress at bedtime. Reassure yourself that there’s nothing more you can do for now. Tomorrow will be a new day. It’s a good idea to limit the number of news bulletins you watch. Unfollow accounts on social media if you find them unhelpful. You can also mute certain words on Twitter if they trigger anxiety.
Stay active (physically and mentally)
Make sure you get outside for whatever exercise you can. This will help you sleep better as your eyes will get the vital exposure to outdoor light they need. Your body will then produce the correct levels of the hormone melatonin, at the right time, to regulate your sleep and wake pattern.
Keep yourself mentally sharp too. Now could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to learn a new skill. There are a wealth of online courses at Learn Direct or Udemy, from traditional work-related subjects to topics such as reflexology, meteorology or even moon gardening! Time to expand your horizons even if you are at home more.