10 Tips for Managing Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic

With the reduced availability of in-person learning, consider some high-quality online adventures for kids of all ages.

Working? Raising a family? Caring for a loved one who is aging, ill or disabled? Consider these ways to help reduce stress in this time of change and instability.

The world as we know it continues to change as many parts of the country re-open the economy. You may find yourself working in an office or worksite that is barely recognizable or continuing to work from home. School is out, but there are fewer resources available for childcare, fewer organized recreational activities for kids, and no jobs for high school or college students.

All these changes and the uncertainty of how things will evolve over the coming months cause increased stress and anxiety for many of us. Check out the following strategies to help you manage during this time of change and instability.

  1. Take a news break. Consult just once or twice a day reputable sources like the CDC, the World Health Organization, or your state government website.
  2. Move more by using online exercise options available or getting outside for a walk. Keep at least six feet between you and other people.
  3. Accept what you can control such as washing your hands, calling elderly neighbors, or practicing social distancing. Let go of what you cannot control like nursing home visiting rules, other people’s behavior, or the stock market fluctuations.
  4. Stay in touch with your people. Stay apart to prevent the spread of the virus, but stay connected with friends and family via phone calls, FaceTime, or Zoom.
  5. See to your own needs by creating a routine around your self-care practices. Ask yourself, “What do I need to manage the day-to-day demands of work and family?” Take a walk after lunch. End your workday at the same time. Try a hot bath or other relaxing ritual before bed.
  6. Don’t deny your anxiety. The more you try to ignore anxiety, the stronger it may become. Try to accept what you are feeling, notice where it “lives” in your body, and acknowledge it.
  7. Make time to laugh. Watch funny movies, television shows, or stand-up comedy. Share funny memes. Be silly with your kids. Call or video chat with your funniest friend.
  8. Download a meditation app such as Headspace,  Insight Timer, or Calm. YouTube also has guided meditations and options for practicing focused, calm breathing. Or, just breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Ten times. Repeat as necessary.
  9. Listen to music. Research has shown that listening to music can aid in concentration and even boost the immune system. Whatever genre of music helps you feel calm or lifts your mood, listen more.
  10. Do a project or learn something new. Clean out drawers, start a jigsaw puzzle, or finish that old knitting or woodworking project. Online classes, online museum exhibits, and other online “field trips” can help keep you safely connected to the world while settling your mind.

Torchlight does not provide medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you read on Torchlight. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911.

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