Simply put, stress is the feeling of staying under abnormal pressure. And this pressure can generate from various aspects of your everyday life. For example, it could be a transitional phase in your life or an increased workload. Similarly, stress can also get induced externally stemming from an external circumstance or situation. For instance, 2020 induced immense stress on people worldwide due to the sudden pandemic outbreak. The pandemic stress had a cumulative impact on people worldwide from lack of a vaccine to losing jobs.
During such a stressful situation, we might feel completely threatened by all that is happening around us. It might upset the body and mind and generate a continuous stress response. And eventually, it will change the way you behave and also experience life. You might start to experience intense emotions due to the stress.
Eric DaliusShares How to Recognize the Signs of Pandemic Stress
Each person experience stress sooner or later. However, when the stress level impacts your life, wellbeing, and mental health, it is necessary to manage the same. Everyone has their way of tackling stress. However, when it comes to pandemic stress, the signs are similar to common stress symptoms. Some of the signs of pandemic stress, according to Eric Dalius, are:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling anxious and staying in a state of worry
- Having difficulty in focusing
- Having difficulty in relaxing
- Sudden mood changes or mood swings
- Having a short temper and irritability
- Low-self esteem
- Sudden changes in the sleeping habits
- Eating less or more than usual
- Making use of tobacco and alcohol to relax
- Muscle tension, pains, and aches
- Feelings of dizziness or nausea
These are a few of the symptoms of stress and anxiety during the pandemic phase. If you feel any or most of these symptoms, you must address the same and work towards a remedy.
Eric Dalius shares some of the important ways to tackle pandemic stress and nervousness.
- Relax the muscles
If you are under stress, it’s natural for your muscles to become tense. So, you might want to loosen them up. Also, you can try the following tactics:
- Opt-in for a massage
- Try to stretch
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Take a hot shower
All these are relaxing techniques that will help you to ease your muscles and release your stress.
- Eat well
When you consume a well-balanced diet regularly, it will enable you to feel better. It might also help you to manage your mood better. Ensure that your meals are packed in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains for energy. Also, make sure that you don’t skip any of your meals. Skipping a meal is not a good practice, and it will result in a bad mood that can add to your stress.
- Take time to exercise.
Working out daily is one of the ideal ways to relax your mind and body. Also, exercise will enhance your mood. However, it is essential to stay frequent in your exercise to reap the benefits. So, are you thinking about how much you should work every week? You might want to work up to as much as 2 hours and 30 minutes for your exercise. Also, if you want, you can walk instead of exercise. There are other forms of exercising as well, such as jogging and swimming. You must create your fitness goals and stay committed to it. Also, remember that some form of exercise is always better than not following any workout regime.
- Practice deep breathing
At times, you might just want to pause and take a few deep breaths that will help you to release the stress and pressure. It will make you feel relaxed and much better. Then, you simply need to follow a few steps:
- Sit in a comfortable position and keep your feet on the floor and your hands on the lap. If you want, you can lie down as well.
- Close your eyes.
- Visualize that you are at a relaxing place. It can be a scenic field or a beach, or any other place that generates a peaceful feeling from within you.
- Gradually start to take deep breaths in and out.
- It would be best if you kept doing this for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The process helps to bring down your stress hormone and induce a feel-good factor that helps you to stay happy and calm.
- Try and slow down
Our everyday life is busy and we have a list of things to do. Hence, we must slow down the pace of life. You need to assess your life and find ways in which you can slow down. For instance, you might want to set your watch a few minutes ahead. It will help you to get up a little early and allow some time to yourself. As an added benefit, you will never be late.
If you have stepped out of the house and is driving your car, slow down the speed and enjoy the ride. You might also want to break some huge tasks into smaller ones. For example, if you have a huge list of email to respond, you might want to break that into groups and send them with ease. It will help you to get the task done and not feel the stress of it.
- Talk about the problems you face
Is there anything bothering you? If yes, then you need to talk about it as it helps to lower the stress. You can talk about it to your friends, family members, a therapist or a doctor. If you want you can indulge in a bit of self-talk as well. It also helps to lower stress and make you see the negative and positive side of a situation.
Hence, you need to listen carefully to what you are saying or thinking when you are under stress. For example, if your mind is focusing on a negative message, try and concentrate on a positive one instead.
We are currently staying in challenging times. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. The steps mentioned above will help you to stay away from stress during the pandemic.