There is a crisis that continues to unfold on our doorsteps. People all over the world are confined in their homes, the economy is unstable, borders are being closed, and it's difficult to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed that comes with that.
You can take proactive steps to ease your anxiety and stress during this global crisis. Our emotions are complicated, but certain things work in pretty much every stressful or overwhelming situation. Let's take a look.
Find a Distraction
Do you know what's going to stress you out even more? Obsessing over what's going on. If you're constantly watching or reading the news, then you're dwelling on it. You can pay attention without allowing the current situation to become an obsession. A "distraction" is a great way to help manage your levels of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Try a new hobby, it's a great distraction.
The way we interpret emotions is down to how we frame them. Right now, the way you are framing this situation is influencing how you feel about it. You don't have to win at social isolation, it isn't a competition. You can only do the best with what you have and you can focus on what you can control. That's it. When we don't feel in control stress can spiral out of control, so focus on what we can control.
While you control your emotions, it's important that you don't obsess over happiness or positivity. That can have the opposite effect. If you feel sad, allow yourself to feel that sadness. Don't pressure yourself to feel happy, but you can still embrace the things you know make you happy.
Focus on the Little Things
It's the little things that tend to make us happy. So, instead of trying to be happy, focus on doing things that you know bring you happiness.
Now would be a good time to get stuck into spring cleaning. Think about it like this, you never have the time to tackle the hall closet. You've been putting off organizing your home office for months. Now is the time to do it. You will feel a sense of purpose, you'll feel better once you get it done, and it will eat up quite a bit of your day(s), too! Pick a small area to get started and just go for it.
Be Careful With Social Media
Social media can be a breeding ground for heightened emotions. Naturally, people are scared. A lot of people have and are spreading conspiracy theories, some are constantly posting about the inconvenience of wearing a mask, and others are just shouting into the abyss.
Yes, right now, social media is one of the low-risk ways you can connect with your friends and family. However, it's just as important that you take a break. Leave your phone in another room and focus on spending time with the people you're isolating with. Set reading hours to take a break from all screens.
There are all kinds of things you can do to manage your mental health and avoid becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes that means doing absolutely nothing. Don't feel guilty about it, if that's what you need.
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