Don’t lose yourself to the rabbit hole of fear and worry. Just follow these 10 steps to keep calm.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Yes, we’ve all got reason to be concerned, what with the chaos of Covid-19 swirling around us. Your eyes are probably glued to news updates. Perhaps you’re more wary of others around you. You may have even guiltily hoarded an item or two. But hear us out – before you spiral into anxiety or give in to mob mentality, here are some tips to ease the stress and help you stay calm. Along with trusty advice like getting a good night’s sleep, adding immunity-boosting superfoods to your diet, exercising and taking care of your body in general.
Take it slow
Don’t jump to immediate reactions or conclusions. Just be patient, gather all the information you have access to, and take a step back. Let loose your fears (so they’re not bottled up), but make sure they don’t overburden you. Give yourself a break if you feel you’re on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Press pause on your daily activities and just have a minute or two to be quiet and empty your mind of nerve-racking thoughts.
Focus on the good stuff
It’s easier said than done, but don’t let the negativity overwhelm you. Bad vibes can be contagious, too. Once you start giving in to that, you’ll realise you can’t control everything, and the hole you’re digging will grow. To lift your spirits a little, try thinking about what you’re grateful for (even the small stuff!), talk to loved ones who can help you see the bright side of things, or find a cheery distraction in the cute corners of the Internet (read: adorable animals and all things fluffy). It’s all about staying positive!
Step away from the screen
Toss aside all your devices. We mean it. The more you read, the more anxiety can build in your body, causing you to tense up from all that stress. So take a breather; the news isn’t going anywhere. Just avoid social media (or those mass forwarded texts) for an hour or so, and let your mind calm down after reeling from the avalanche of coronavirus articles. It’s good to do a digital detox and just be present for a moment.
Create your new normal
In a time of uncertainty, all our routines have been completely overhauled. Now that most of us are telecommuting, it’s important to establish a proper schedule just to give you a sense of normalcy and help with work productivity. You may be home more often, but you should still continue on with your socially-distanced life, doing things that help you to relax.
Yeah, we know it’s not the best idea to mingle with any kind of crowd right now. However, if you’re feeling panicky and nothing’s working, sometimes a spot of fresh air can work wonders. Even if it’s just stepping right outside your door and taking a deep breath or two. Exercise can fill your body with happy hormones and feel-good chemicals, too. Need a recommendation for home workouts? We’ve got free online fitness classes and apps for you to try.
Let go of what you can’t control
There are countless things in this world beyond our control. But to fret over every single matter would easily drive even the strongest person off the cliff. So, prioritise, we say. Zoom in on what you have influence over and simply surrender the rest. Dealing with the present is tough enough without having to dwell on what the future brings.
Find things that bring you joy
It can be as simple as a rainbow after the storm. A smile on your partner’s face. A particularly good home-cooked meal. Be aware of the little things and celebrate the small victories.
Help out a neighbour
Sure, it’s tempting to think of yourself and your loved ones only. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, after all. Self-preservation is understandable. But take a minute to think of people who aren’t as fortunate or privileged – and consider how you can lend a hand. We’re to practice social, not emotional or relational, distancing. Offering a supportive shoulder to someone else – be it family, friends, coworkers or even strangers – can give you a sense of purpose and help you stay calm, compassionate and connected to the community.
Do a little meditation
We admit, it’s not for everyone. Still, there’s something to be said for mindfulness and easy exercises that help you clear your mind of all the clutter. All you need to start is a quiet space to focus on your breathing.
Change the subject
Clearly, the hot topic on everyone’s minds these days is Covid-19. Yet there are plenty of other things happening around the world. If you’re not up to discussing news headlines, grab a friend over the phone and rant or rave over the latest show you binge-watched, music celebs and their home concerts, or mobile game apps you can play together. Travel may not be an option right now, but you can still explore tourist hotspots and vibrant city streets across the globe with virtual tours.