Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There’s no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has spiked higher levels of anxiety in many. Whether or not you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, chances are you’ve experienced increased feelings of stress, panic, or general angst during the past two years since the pandemic began. Understanding healthy ways to cope with this ongoing stress is critical for your ability to maintain a healthy mental and physical state – even when the outside world continues to change rapidly.
Here are some simple yet powerful strategies for effectively coping with stress during the pandemic:
Stick with a daily routine.
Establishing structure in your life is paramount for combatting anxiety that comes along with the unknown. This involves following a daily routine, such as waking up at the same time; setting boundaries between your work life and personal commitments; and taking time to do things that bring you joy. Additionally, getting enough sleep and eating nutritious meals is important for maintaining your physical and mental health, giving you a sense of strength even when things around you remain uncertain.
Engage in positive reframing.
When dealing with things that are out of your control (like the pandemic), positive reframing can be an impactful tool to help you focus on what’s important and realign your mindset. Positive reframing is essentially finding the positive in a negative situation. For instance, did the pandemic result in you being able to spend more time at home with your family? Did you have more time to learn a new skill or take on a new hobby? Were you able to acquire healthier habits? Identifying even just one silver lining can be effective in handling feelings of stress or anxiety during major life changes.
Embrace emotional support.
Tapping into your emotional support system is one of the most important ways to combat stress and find peace during your most challenging moments. This involves investing in your relationships and tapping into your social circle – even if it means getting in touch virtually over Zoom or social media. Staying in touch with those closest to you will give you comfort and strength when you’re feeling overwhelmed by external factors.
While there’s no perfect blueprint for dealing with something as significant as a global pandemic, following the strategies above can make a meaningful difference in your life – especially when practiced regularly.
There are many coping strategies that can help you navigate the pandemic in a healthy and productive way. If you need help coping with anxiety, get in touch with Joseph Montaldi, LCSW, based in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 722-4714.