Stress Management During Lockdown
By now, the coronavirus pandemic needs no introduction, as it has single-handedly managed to bring every single facet of our lives to a standstill. It might as well be the biggest experiment in mental health, as the entire world is together with us in these trying times, yet we are all alone with our own thoughts and the fear on an uncertain future. In these times, it becomes easy to let your mind wander down a dark path, as you obsess over the health of your loved ones, the growing economic instability, and the daily battle of facing your own mortality. This can be especially scary for people who are already suffering from various types of anxieties, phobias, and mental health issues that are more than capable of turning them into an incoherent mess, if not for timely intervention. However, since it is our responsibility to maintain social distancing and help flatten the curve, it also falls upon us to ensure that we take care of ourselves in these trying times, and find ways to overcome the growing stress of an indefinite lockdown. We are here to help you with the same, with some simple tips of our own that might seem like a chore but can help you find the joy in life, once again.
- Develop a Routine
I know. Routines suck. We spend our whole lives cursing the daily routine of juggling our work and home life, while also trying to find a few precious moments of enjoyment. So, now that we have all the time of the world in our hands, it can become quite easy to let it all go, until your entire life snowballs into a blur of lying around in your pyjamas, eating whenever you want, and sleeping when the mood strikes. However, a well-thought routine can also help you maintain discipline and deal with the stress created by an idle mind. Even if it is as simple as eating your meals at regular times, making time to talk with friends, perhaps even exercise a little; the routine can help you avoid the unstructured time, which can create boredom, and lead to a spike in anxiety or depression. Moreover, by taking the decisions out of your hands, you can avoid all that stress related to being indecisive and lazy, which often comes with a healthy dose of self-hate at your own procrastination.
- Develop a Workout Plan
I know. Working out sucks. Even when we have the support of a dedicated gym trainer and the availability of a host of fitness equipment, we often find a way to get out of this particular obligation. Yet, in times like this, when you have all the time in the world and nothing to do with it, all that pent up energy can really come in handy towards achieving your long lost fitness goals. Exercise has also been known to release lots of feel-good chemicals into the brain, which can further help you feel energised and happy. You don’t even need to post your progress on social media, lest the peer pressure of maintaining the streak gets too much for you. Just think of it as a secret project that will help you craft the perfect version of yourself, to shock the world once the lockdown passes us by. If nothing else, just be happy in the knowledge that it’s pretty hard to stress yourself out, when you’re already huffing and puffing and trying to catch your breath.
- Develop a Clean Space
I know. Cleaning sucks. Unless you are someone obsessed with cleaning, keeping your home neat and tidy can be a relentless and boring chore that you would be happy to leave for any other day, than today. It doesn’t even take that much effort to let the mountains of clothes and heaps of garbage litter your place until you can barely find an empty, clean spot to stand in. However, all this clutter can also add to your invisible anxiety and make you feel claustrophobic in your own home. So, suck it up and start by picking just one room to clean up and make your own. Once you start tidying it up and putting everything in its place, you will realise how much space there is to be opened up, and how satisfying it can be to sit in a well-organised environment. You can even use this as a cathartic tool to get rid of the reminders of the past and forge a new beginning moving forward.
- Develop a Social Structure
I know. Long-distance relationships suck. It can be especially hard to have a fun conversation, or even make small talk when you have nothing to do all day and just want to lie around like a sloth. However, being alone with your thoughts can be a dangerous thing for anybody, and having one, or a whole group of friends in these circumstances can help you get through the tough times much more easily. It can be as simple as sending a greeting first thing in the morning, or as complex as a zoom call karaoke competition; it is totally up to you to decide the pace of things. Just make sure that you take some time of your stagnant lives to share with the people you wish were near you. Even if it doesn’t do anything for you, it might just be the lifeline that the other person needs to keep their head above the water.
- Develop a Song and Dance Routine
I know. Putting you on the spot sucks. It can feel especially humiliating if you don’t have a natural inclination towards the arts, and your idea of a dance routine is awkwardly clapping on the side-lines while others bring the dance floor down with their energy. However, since no one is here to watch or make fun of it, it can feel quite freeing to dance badly to cheesy songs, prance around in our underwear like a diva, and have a jolly good time just by yourself. If you have a special someone or even a bunch of menacing kids, this is the best option to get them all together and have a blast like nothing else. The sheer adrenaline of jumping up and down to your favourite tracks can be enough to bring anyone out of their funk and put a silly smile on their faces for the rest of the day. So, stop being a prude and let yourself go. Have fun, and live your life to the fullest.
Most of these might sound like obvious and superfluous suggestions that don’t to be written down to make sense. But, when we are faced with crippling anxiety and relentless boredom, it can be easy to lose sight of the small things in life that bring you joy. So, if nothing else, take the time to find that one small thing that brings some fun in your life, so that you can face the next day with a big smile on your face.