Reducing Stress in the Midst of Uncertainty
Published on Aug 7, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.
We all experience stress in our lives, but how we respond to it can make all the difference. In this article, Ishan Dahal shares his tips for minimizing this debilitating feeling shared by so many during these uncertain times of COVID-19.
It is natural to be stressed in times of uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic changes rapidly from day to day, which can create strong feelings of anxiety. While some level of stress and anxiety can be beneficial, heightening your awareness and preparing you for novel situations, prolonged stress can have negative effects. It is important to try and mitigate chronic stress, so you can stay calm and be better prepared to take care of your health and the health of your loved ones.
Self care is crucial. Below are a few steps you can take towards reducing stress and anxiety.
Avoid too much news
Constant exposure to the media can lead to increased levels of stress because our minds focus on the event too much. Multiple media outlets might be highlighting the same information over and over which can increase your anxiety.
While it’s important not to overload with too much news, being uninformed can be unhealthy as well. Ensure you are aware of the current protective measures that are outlined by the CDC and WHO. Staying up to date and informed about the outbreak will make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. It will also make sure you can educate others who might not have access to the information.
For more information about COVID, please check out this video.
Share your feelings
Emotions play a crucial role in our wellbeing. Sharing how you are feeling at the moment with people that are close to you can help minimize stress. This can also have a calming effect on your loved ones. Consider doing virtual talks and share how you are feeling at the moment.
Acts of kindness can lead to happiness; this is one of the recent findings of positive psychology. Through acts of kindness, we can help others and improve our well being. If you are looking for an easy way to spread joy, consider sending a Spread Joy Ecard from Osmosis.
Do things that you enjoy
Take a deep breath and relax. Focusing on the things that you enjoy is a great way to take your mind off things that are stressful. Reading a book, watching a TV show, or any other activity that you enjoy—while continually practicing guidelines by WHO and the CDC—can be helpful in reducing chronic stress.
If there is a topic that has always fascinated you, this is a perfect time to dive a little deeper. Online learning platforms have made learning from home effortless. If learning about the human body interests you, consider checking out our videos on Osmosis.
Be part of the solution
Making an effort towards the solution rather than focusing on the problem is a great way to feel empowered. Depending on the level of constraints on movement, the best thing to do might be to stay in and take care of your immediate family. Virtual events within your social network or beyond might be a great way to get involved and help others.
One of our teammates, Elizabeth Shapiro, has made hundreds of masks at home and donated them to her community. Embody the Osmosis value of “imagining more,” and get creative in your approach to help #raisetheline and #flattenthecurve.
Take care of your body
You are more likely to neglect simple things like balanced meals, staying active, and sleeping adequately in times of stress. As a result, it is even more important to make sure you are taking necessary steps towards a healthy body and mind. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced meal with lots of fruits and vegetables and that you are drinking plenty of water. You may not be able to go to the gym, but you can go for walks or runs (if you are not constrained.) We can also do home-based workouts. The Internet is a great resource for creative ways to workout at home. Consider giving it a try. A healthy body and mind are much more prepared to deal with stress.
We hope the above steps will provide you with some tools to manage if you are feeling stress. If you have a history of mental health issues, please be sure to contact Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Ishan Dahal is the Health Coach at Osmosis. He is a Board Certified Trainer with over 10 years of experience training individuals from all walks of life, military and civilian some of whom include elite athletes and accomplished business executives. He has a BA in Functional Biology from Towson University and holds extensive knowledge in human physiology, philosophy, behavior change, emotional health, nutrition and human biomechanics. He is a regular contributor on the Osmosis blog and hosts workshops and seminars on health and wellbeing.
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