Stress Awareness Month: Coping with stress & anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19, coronavirus, virus

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown our world into disarray, way beyond health concerns.

For many, we are now working from home, juggling looking after children, worried about loved ones, job security and trying to do a food shop. The current situation is no doubt increasing stress, fear and anxiety, with many wondering how to cope.

April marks Stress Awareness Month and there has never been a more prominent time to focus on your own stress and anxiety triggers and how to cope with them.

Below, WeAreTheCity have put together a list of things that could help calm your emotions and get on top of your worries.

Limit your social media usage

Coronavirus news, both fact and fiction, are everywhere at the moment. With many of us working from home, we now have the  opportunity to use social media almost 24/7. However, constantly watching or listening to news stories about COVID-19 is not going to help.

Try to limit the time you spend browsing social media, watching the news or listening to coverage. You may also want to think about turning off news alerts on your phone.

If you want to find out about news on the pandemic, make sure it comes from a reliable news source. Dealing with facts, rather than rumours, will help to make sense of the information. You can find NHS information about the virus here; or the BBC has a dedicated section about coronavirus.

Take care of your body

Whilst it might be tempting to reach into the fridge and eat all of those ‘quarantine snacks’, it’s important to look after your body. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and drink lots of water. Food shopping can be a stressful activity at the moment, but there are a number of websites that give you recipes from the ingredients you have available to you.

You could also watch Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On series on Channel 4. In the programme, he shares his super easy, flexible recipes with lots of useful swaps and tips to help feed yourself and your loved ones.

Though we can’t access the gym at the moment, it is still important to exercise regularly. There are many free virtual exercise classes available at the moment and you can always find exercise routines on YouTube.

Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, is also hosting a free workout aimed at kids live on his YouTube channel. Joe’s workouts will be fun and suitable for all ages and even adults can get involved.

You can also leave the house once a day, either alone or with members of your household, for one form of exercise. This could be a walk, run or a bike ride. Just make sure you keep a 2m distance from other people!

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is incredibly important for our mental wellbeing – it can help lower blood pressure, replenish your energy, and just generally recharge your batteries.

During these uncertain times, try to keep regular sleeping patterns and routines. It’s also good to cut down on screentime and to avoid caffeine before bed. There are also a number of mindfulness apps, such as Calm, that can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Stick to a routine

Sticking to a routine goes hand in hand with your sleeping patterns. It is important to stick to a routine in these uncertain times, as it can help keep things as ‘normal’ as possible.

If you are working from home, wake up at your usual time. This not only starts your day of as you normally would, but without that commute, you can also take time to eat breakfast, exercise or just generally prepare for the day.

Remember to take regular breaks throughout the day. If you were in the office, you wouldn’t sit at your desk for your entire working day. Take a break from your screen, have a coffee and don’t forget to take a lunch break away from your desk.

Here at WeAreTheCity, we have lots of advice on working from home, working flexible and working from home while juggling childcare. Find out more here.

Connect with others

It has never been easier to talk to friends and family – modern technology means we can video call, text and even host virtual house parties.

Talking to someone you trust about your worries and fears can do wonders for alleviating them. It is also important to connect with others that might be feeling isolated or alone, such as grandparents or people who live on their own.

WeAreVirtual

WeAreTheCity have also launched a new initiative, WeAreVirtual, to help pay it forward and support the ongoing development of communities who are working from home during the outbreak of the COVID virus.

These webinars will cover everything from learning to be alone, your mental health, building resilience, working out at home, thriving in uncertain times and many more.

 With the help of a number of our sponsors and supporters, our plan is to support individuals’ ongoing learning by providing an increased amount of content through our websites, social channels, alongside the opportunity to learn and engage online.

DISCOVER OUR WEBINARS

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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