8 Ways to Reduce Stress During Isolation
As a business coach, I am currently coaching many clients who are experiencing working from home. When asked what they are doing so that they can achieve some sense of normality, (particularly those with kids), I received numerous and varied feedback. Below is a ‘collection’ of the most common suggestions I received.
Globally, and definitely for many of us here in Australia (I’m looking at you Sydney) many are home-bound for weeks and months during isolation. It is not easy, especially when it is not a choice to be at home. The stress from fears and anxiety adds to the situation. Even working from home presents a challenge. Here are ten tips to lessen stress during isolation.
Take a News Break
Take a break from all social media and news about the current crisis. Lessen the amount of time you read, listen, or watch media. This is especially important if there are children in the home. Work on a puzzle, project, or board game. This will help the entire family avoid information overload. When you do need health information (Covid), get it from accurate and truthful websites. This can help viewers avoid unnecessary anxiety about something that is not true.
Maintain Your Health
Avoid (too much) alcohol and recreational drugs as much as possible while in isolation. Take a few minutes -at least – and exercise each day. This can include walking, running, hiking, aerobic exercise, or playing with a pet. You can also keep healthy snacks around such as fruit, mixed nuts, or raw vegetables. Healthy snacks can help regulate blood sugar during lockdown.
Get Plenty of Rest
Develop a pre-bed routine and avoid stimulants like caffeinated drinks and alcohol before bed. Instead, have a warm cup of tea or take a nice warm bath to get ready for sleep. It is crucial to know yourself and what you can tolerate. Pay attention to what makes anxieties better or worse. If you don’t get the rest you need, symptoms of anxiety may only worsen.
Do What You Love
Unwind and do something enjoyable. A daytime relaxation treat can include reading, enjoying a hobby, or listening to music. Some enjoy watching an old favorite movie and eating a bowl of popcorn. Online classes are available, and some are free. Take the time to unwind and learn something new.
Call Friends and Family
Remember that social distancing does not mean complete social isolation. Use this time to reach out to loved ones and check to see how they are doing. Call friends and family. Confiding in trustworthy companions about your feelings can ease stress. Social media apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom allow for free voice and video interaction. With these applications, virtual gatherings can be set up with friends or family.
Learn to Let Go
Learn what to do to prevent yourself getting infected. Manage helpful information and let go of what cannot be controlled. Remember the key is to get accurate info from reliable sources. Understanding the facts helps relieve stress and concerns. This can help those around you as well.
Set a Daily Routine
Isolation can offset normal routines. Relieve anxiety by creating a new routine. Solid routines are a successful way to reduce stress. Write down what you plan to do each day. Make a schedule for how long you will engage in an activity. Decide what time to wake-up, work, exercise, play with kids or relax. This is also a good time to see what needs organizing in the home. Do not give up if a routine fails the first time. Stick with a set schedule so it will become a habit.
Volunteer to help the elderly or disabled – if you can, or allowed. Donate to a food bank. Reach out to community organizations that need donations, funds, or support. Acts of kindness help others to be positive and relieve personal stress.
In a nutshell- Isolation can be stressful and cause anxiety. There are ways to help alleviate this stress. It is advised to practice good eating habits, exercise, and limit the amount of news regarding the coronavirus. Take time for yourself and do something you enjoy. Let go of what cannot be controlled and show kindness to others.