10 tips to help stay calm during the pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while. It may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated. But the important thing to keep in mind is knowing you are not alone.
Here are some ways to cope with stress and anxiety amid the pandemic.

1. Stay connected with your tribe

It's important to know that we are all going through this together. Look out for your neighbors, routinely check in with family and follow up with old friends. Apps like Zoom, Houseparty and Skype have made it much easier to stay connected with those far away from us. Do the best to say in touch because this pandemic can be really isolating. Send long thoughtful emails and letters. 

2. Practice mindfulness 

If you are feeling more anxious than before it's best to keep your focus on the present. A great way to do that is to use meditation or other mindfulness exercises, which encourage you to notice what’s happening with your feelings in the moment in a nonjudgmental way. Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are all great ways to practice mindfulness. Next time you get out of bed, stop and pause for a minute, stretch and keep your thoughts positive.

3. Look after your body

It's more important now than ever to keep a healthy diet and fitness regimen. Try not to over indulge in processed snacks or too much alcohol. 

It's okay to leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for 1 form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make sure to follow social distancing rules. Or you could try one of our easy at home workouts.

4. Keep a daily routine

Suddenly your 9-5 commute turned to an unfamiliar work from home situation. Studies have shown that waking up and sticking to your normal routine can be calming. For example, wake up to an alarm, make breakfast, and get dressed just like you normally would for work. Take a lunch break and make sure to move your body every hour or so. 

5. Focus on the facts

The media can sometimes over sensationalize the news. While it's important to stay up to date, it's also very important to focus on facts. Find a credible source you like and mange your media intake. Give yourself a break from social media from time to time too. You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to a couple of checks a day.

6. Feed your brain

All those books you've been meaning to read can finally get the attention they deserve. Start a book challenge with your pals to make it fun. Write poetry, journal or start a blog to showcase some of your talents. 

7. Play some games

Put your phone down and pull out the board games. Puzzles are such a fun way to work those muscles in your brain. Support your local small business and get some of your favorite traditional games. Perfect way to distract yourself and have fun at the same time. 

8. Distract yourself with art and music

Get some art supplies and paint yourself a masterpiece. Studies have shown that your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state. Coloring can be done by anyone, not just artists or creative types. 

Tune out the noise and listen to some of your favorite albums. Curate a fun playlist and keep it handy when you need a mood booster. Dance parties don't have to stop just because we are all in quarantine.

9. Cook something special 

Get off the couch and make yourself something spectacular. There are so many fun tutorials on Epicurious, Tik Tok, Youtube and Instagram. Now is the perfect time to perfect your culinary skills by cooking something that's outside of your normal dinner rotation. 

10. Get some sleep

Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough. Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep hygiene practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment.

 

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