- Sharon Benzvi
Everything you need to know about stress in hard times!
I’ve gotten so many messages questioning why I have not written about the current global pandemic, COVID-19.
The answer is simple - the virus is a stressful topic and reading about it will do nothing but contribute to the stress level many are feeling. Simple as that. This applies to me as well, when the pandemic began, I read a lot of news, especially on social media, but now I limit myself.
When I read about it, it stresses me even more than the “natural” stress I should feel from a global pandemic (and btw - many of the things you see on social media are not even true…). Not to mention- worrying over fake news is a waste of valuable time!
But I take note of the stress that’s occurring, so therefore I decided to write about stress as a general topic.
Unfortunately, we don’t only experience stress during a global pandemic…
So, keep on reading about what should you do to avoid stress and how to cope with it…
1. I already mentioned this prior, but it’s so important to emphasize- SKIP THE NEWS. Skip all those websites, skip social media posts, skip it all. It’s good to be updated, but limit your news intake to 5-10 minutes a day. If you keep receiving texts and emails from friends with “the end of the world is coming” messages - just ask them politely to stop. Maybe they can still send you funny memes or puppy pictures…anything that can cheer you up.
2. Meditate. I have a whole article about it, worth the read: https://www.healthierbysharon.com/post/what-s-all-the-fuss-about-mediation
3. Eat healthy, work out, and get a good night sleep. Yes, I know, it’s hard! You’re so tempted to order all the junk food and do a Netflix binge. But that won’t help your mental health. At all. Actually, it can make you even more depressed. Work out! (and you can even Netflix binge while doing that…). Working out releases good hormones that will help you feel better! And everything looks better after a good night sleep!
4. Don’t compare yourself to others. Two aspects for that - The first is - you might see other people on social media or you hear it from friends - the kids are home schooled perfectly, they work out twice a day and they got a promotion… and you don’t… 1. Don’t look at other people and where they are now, maybe they’ve been struggling for years and now finally it pays off. You don’t know 100% of their life or what’s really going on behind the scenes of their “perfect posts”. 2. What can you do to achieve the changes you hope for yourself? The second one that is true to COVID-19 times is that you might see other people going out, seeing other friends and family, going to the gym and so on - either because they don’t obey the rules or because their country/state has lifted some restrictions. You know what can help? Don’t look at their social media page… (are we back on social media again?!). You need to obey the rules, we need to keep it together as hard as it is, and stay home as long as needed, it will pay off at the end.
5. Be Thankful. At the end of every day, write down at least 3 good things that happened today. It can be a hug you got, a delicious salad you ate, or your kid telling you a funny (or not so funny) joke.
6. Remember that to-do list? I have to admit- I love my to-do lists! LOVE them. But how about a different take on that list? How about - a done list? Instead of writing what you need to do today - write down all the things you’ve completed today. I cooked lunch, I worked out, I read 5 pages of a book and so forth. Next week you can refer to that list and remember all the things you’ve done! Wow! You are so productive!
7. Routine! I know it’s hard to wake up at 6 AM when your kids are not going to school and you don’t really need to commute to work (and honestly I mostly don’t wake up that early now either.. and I love my slow mornings!) but try to keep most of your routine. Dress up, eat your breakfast, attempt to do the most of what you normally would do.
8. Talk to someone. It can be a family member, a friend, a therapist. It’s always very helpful to talk with someone about how you’re feeling. Even hearing - “I feel the same” will make you feel less anxious. You’re not alone, it’s a GLOBAL pandemic.
9. Change the narrative. Instead of saying to yourself - “This is horrible”, “I can’t do this” and such negative words, change it to - “I can do this” or - “This too shall pass”, act the way you want to feel! Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it (of course you don’t want to be fake ALL THE TIME), but sometimes forcing a smile on yourself will turn into a real one).
10. Enjoy this time. If it’s corona time and you’re quarantined or you got laid off work and you’re just sitting at home for a little while - make the most of it. Maybe there’s a project you’ve postponed for ages, now is a good opportunity to make it happen. I know many people who decided to start quarantine with spring cleaning (I’m one of them) because - 1. It’s a great project. 2. I give so many bags to charity (the minute they’ll reopen) so you feel good about that. Your closets will be clean and organized and you make other people happy too! It’s a win-win. Also organizing and cleaning up can clean up your mind and calm you down - so it’s double duty. You have nothing to lose! But also - give yourself some slack!! You’re stressed, these are not normal times. Give yourself a break. It’s okay to binge watch as long as it’s not for the entire day… it’s okay to take a day off as long as tomorrow you’ll wake up recharged, it’s okay to eat that cookie (or 2 or 5…) as long as your other meals are healthy. IT’S OKAY!!!
Need some help? I’m a heath coach too! Mental health is a big part of your health.
Feel free to email me - email@example.com