Many of us are feeling stressed and anxious right now, and that is to be expected. Our daily lives have changed beyond recognition. We are struggling with self-isolating, home-schooling, loss of income, and the fear of catching the virus, or our loved ones catching it. Stress and anxiety can have an impact on us, both physically and mentally. While we all handle a crisis differently, we’ve laid out some tips to help during these uncertain times.
Take a break from social media and the news
Right now, social media is filled with news and articles related to Covid-19. Updates from pages and articles shared by friends and family. The news is the same. Reading and watching too much can feed into your anxiety. Try to limit your consumption to one or two hours per day. Avoid looking at too much in the evening as it may make it hard for you to sleep, impacting your overall well-being.
Work out a schedule
Whether it’s an hour-by-hour schedule or a much looser one, a schedule will help keep some routine in your day. Try not to let morning and evening routines slip too much. Ever-changing bedtimes can have a dramatic effect on the way we feel. Take the opportunity to schedule items you never had time for before, such as an hour to read… just not the news!
Make time to stay connected with friends and family. Reconnect with old friends. Start a virtual book club, run an online quiz, or host a virtual talent evening.
Get some exercise!
Exercise helps our endorphins – the feel-good hormone – kick in, which helps lower stress and anxiety levels. Go for a daily walk and get some fresh air (just remember to keep six feet away from the next person), or exercise in your living room. There are so many great fitness apps out there, and many local gyms offer online classes.
Stretch each day
There are many benefits to stretching, but one is that it helps release stress from your body. When we get stressed, our muscles tighten, and we end up in pain, often in our neck, shoulders, and back. Stretching will relax your muscles and, just like exercise, will release endorphins into your bloodstream. Many streaming services are offering yoga and stretching videos. If you would like to start a stretching regimen, feel free to reach out to us, and we can see if there is one that would be better suited for your conditions.
Meditate… or just simply breath
Mediation has many wonderful benefits and can really help in calming the mind and relaxing the body. There are lots of guided meditations available online, and some fantastic apps such as Headspace. Even just taking a minute to deep breath every hour can help reduce your stress levels.
Start a new hobby or do those odd jobs
Many of us have hobbies or projects that we’ve been meaning to start but just haven’t. Now is a perfect time. Not only will it keep you busy, but it will also keep your mind busy and focused. Plus, many of us have a long list of odd jobs that we’ve been meaning to do. From spring yard work to re-organizing the pantry!
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help
It’s OK to ask for help. If you’re feeling sad, anxious, or lonely, call someone, even if you have already spoken to them that day and tell them how you are feeling. Dr. Crooker is available for telemedicine sessions for existing patients. We can take time to review your conditions and go over any stretches or exercises that could help your symptoms. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out a way to adjust over the internet. We are also open for emergency patients. If you are in pain, please do give us a call. If warranted, we can set up an appointment in the office, or if you think you could benefit from a conversation, we can set up a video chat with Dr. Crooker