Stress in the Age of Lockdown

Who knew that eliminating most of our daily distractions would result in so much stress? Most of us no longer have a morning/afternoon commute and those that do encounter less traffic. Work wardrobes are obsolete. We’re saving money on entertainment and gas. The world is encouraging all of us to take this time to relax, listen to our bodies and minds, and focus on the people we love. So why do some of us still feel so stressed out?

Maybe it’s the pandemic.

But COVID aside, if you’re one of the people that does not feel refreshed with the extra confinement, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate your anxiety. It takes a little time and effort, but what else do you have going on?

Construct a morning ritual – It may sound cliche, but how you spend your morning sets a tone for the rest of the day. If you live with others, try to wake up before everyone, or designate yourself some private space to do what YOU want to do. It could be anything that sets your mind at ease: recreational reading, meditation, stretching, journaling, etc. Taking time for oneself without outside distractions helps us get in tune with our feelings.

Sweat it out – Whether you worked out before the lockdown or not, a good sweat session works out frustrations and the feeling of being trapped. You don’t need a lot of space for push-ups, tricep dips, and lunges. You don’t even have to commit to a full workout to get the adrenaline rush. While you’re watching the latest 80s movie on TBS, get the body moving during the commercial breaks. You’ll feel the natural high almost instantly.

Get some vitamin D – In other words, go outside. Grab your mask and explore the neighborhood, layout in the backyard (use SPF!), or get in the car and drive. We need to remind ourselves that the rest of the world still exists. It’s easy to forget that we’re all just doing the best we can, and getting out reminds us that the world is still spinning. Plus, a good dose of the sun’s vitamin D will kickstart your energy.

Sleep – April was sleep month, and we gave you a lot of advice on how to become an expert sleeper. When we sleep, our body repairs itself, and we all need a little repair right now.

Call a friend – A common theme during the pandemic is isolation. Some of us are so connected with Zoom calls for work, that the thought of a social Zoom is just too much. Consider kicking it old school and pick up the phone to call someone. Talking with friends and sharing feelings is crucial now. Take the time to speak to at least one human a day. If you’re cooped up with others, try to talk to somebody NEW a few times a week.

The most important thing to help you deal with stress now is to listen to your body and intuition. Don’t fight the urge to get up and move. Try meditation if you’ve been curious about it. Start that novel you haven’t had time to read. Pick up the hobby that seemed out of reach. Focus on ANYTHING that brings you joy. Reality will always be waiting on the other side. It can wait a bit longer.

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