It has been almost a year since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Nearly 60 million people have been affected because of it, and 1.5 million people died after acquiring the deadly virus. For the majority of people, especially teens and young adults, COVID-19 has disturbed the everyday routine, work-life, education, outdoor activities, friends, and family gatherings, mainly due to the lock down to contain the virus’s spread. The normal routine changes mentioned above and overall uncertainty have instilled feelings of fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress, and depression in every other individual.People are feeling difficult to cope-up with stress and anxiety .It is not at all unusual for you to feel:
- That you and your family will run out of food supply
- Anxious, specifically about staying distant from your loved ones
- Concerned or worried about your safety and that of your elderly at home
- Afraid of getting sick
- Uncertain for how long will you have to stay at home
- Bored or isolated
- Nervous about losing your job
- As if you are not able to fulfill your responsibilities as an employee, parent, or taking care of the people dependent on you
- That people will stigmatize you, blame you, or label you if you get sick.
“You never know how strong you are unless being strong is the only choice”-Bob Marley.
Hard times make you a stronger person. If you don’t face any hardships, you will never figure out your capabilities. Difficult times are often a blessing in disguise. Go with the flow and let life empower you. No matter how insanely difficult it may seem right now, but you will get through this, so don’t give up. In this write up, I will walk you through several ways to relieve stress, so continue to read.
Manage Your Routine to Cope-Up With Stress
Quarantine is like a never-ending weekend. And what do we do during the weekends? We procrastinate, sleep late, wake up late, and delay the tasks that we need to do since we feel uselessly tired throughout the day. When we don’t do anything on time, we naturally tend to get stressed and depressed. So what to do? How to stop feeling lethargic throughout the day? FIX YOUR ROUTINE! Go to bed by a maximum of midnight and wake up as early as 8-8:30 am. You will feel a dramatic reduction in your stress levels. Studies have suggested that you feel more energetic when you wake up early and take less time to carry out a task. You stay happy, active, and optimistic throughout the day, and you will also be able to make better decisions, make plans, and achieve the desired goals.
Learn A New Skill to Cope-Up With Stress
Staying locked at home and not being able to go out, meet people, hang out, shop, or party can be incredibly dull. So how to deal with that? Well, you can always learn a skill and master it. I mean, why not? It can serve as a way to deal with stress. Your educational institute likely gave you access to learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, etc. If not, you can always visit YouTube and learn stuff from there. I enrolled in a course on Coursera offered by Duke University (Introduction to Psychology), and it was an excellent utilization of time. It feels like an accomplishment, so do try it.
Work From Home/Freelancing
Lost a job? Unemployed? Or running out of money? I know it must be tough and one of the major causes of stress for those working tirelessly to make money to pay the tuition fee of college/university or run a family, but don’t lose hope. Don’t get disheartened. You can work from home, or you can do freelancing. If you know any skill, for example, content writing, or graphic designing, you can sell your skill at a reasonable price. How to do it? First of all, join all the freelancing groups on FaceBook. Almost every day, there are companies or people who post job ads. You can apply for any job that works for you and pays well. In this way, you can start earning from home, and it can be an effective way of stress management.
Workout/Meditate to Cope-Up With Stress
This pandemic and lockdown have depressed and frustrated almost everyone. Exercising or meditation are ways to stay active and relaxed. It is one of the most effective ways of coping with stress. Exercise not only improves your physical and mental health, but it also boosts your immune system, sleep pattern and prevents unnecessary weight gain. It is not as if you cannot exercise if you cannot go to a gym or a nearby park. You can workout at home as well by setting up your mini gym in a separate room, or you can practice meditation in a calm and quiet corner. Daily invest 30-45 minutes in some kind of a physical activity to stay fit and enthusiastic as exercise releases a chemical in the body called “serotonin”, which is also known as a happiness hormone.
Read New Books to Cope-Up With Stress
We usually tend to ignore ourselves completely amid the hassle of work and education, but now is the time to reflect on ourselves, our personality, and groom it. Figure out your strengths and work on your weaknesses. How can you do so? Well, a perfect way of doing this is to grab some motivational and transformative reads from a nearby store and start reading them. A daily book reading habit can also reduce stress, strengthen the brain, improves vocabulary, aid sleep, and lengthens the lifespan. Here are a few books I bought that helped me work on myself and release stress:
- 10 Success Secrets
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
- Milk And Honey
- Attitude Is Everything
- 100 Things Successful People Do
- How To Unleash The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind
- 11 Life Lessons
- How To Win Friends And Influence People
- Mind Platter
- The Nectar Of Pain
- The Secret
- 13 Things Mentally Strong People Do
Connect With Friends And Family
To be honest, we are so busy with our lives that we barely get time to sit with family (immediate or extended) or speak to our friends, especially our childhood friends. This pandemic has blessed us with an opportunity to strengthen our family members’ bond and reconnect with long lost friends. Of course, you cannot go out and visit any of them, but technology has made it so easy to connect with those living thousands of miles away. You can always video-call your relatives, cousins, and friends. It feels as if they are sitting right in front of you, so physical absence doesn’t make much of a difference. Spend time with your parents, chit chat with them, have lunch or dinner with them, listen to their childhood stories, and make memories with them.
The Bottom Line
Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. This, too, shall pass. I know this time is difficult, but it won’t last but trust me, once you get through this, you will realize how beautifully it has transformed you into a person you always wanted to be but only if you choose to work on yourself in the ways I discussed above. Happy quarantining!