Times are tough. We have never lived through a global pandemic, and just how to cope with the changes and uncertainties can be difficult to sort out. Different strategies will work for different people, and so we polled the Stiris Team to get their top tips for managing stress in the backdrop of COVID-19. A couple of our team members had some important extra words, so see below the post-its for deeper inspiration. Our personalities run the gamut, so hopefully something below will resonate with you!
*Note: Don’t worry, everyone going outside is following all local regulations and guidance, and taking all measures to ensure safety!
From the heart:
“Before all of this hit, I tried to keep myself VERY busy, so I didn’t have to be reminded of this very large space between my head and my heart after my husband passed in 2014. Then this pandemic happened, and I was told that I should self-isolate, stay home and not do the very things that were keeping me afloat. I haven’t started a new hobby or exercise regime, and that’s ok. I get up, shower, get dressed, make my bed, and go about my day “as normal”. I have moments where I feel sad for myself, then realize, no matter my circumstance, I have a wonderful family, a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, a job, a dog that loves me, and lots of toilet roll. So, my go to for keeping sane while in quarantine – nothing that I didn’t do before, I live everyday trying to stay sane.”
It’s okay to not be okay.
Feeling anxious, nervous, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, helpless, angry – just not on that even keel – is expected and allow yourself to have those emotions. The rug has been completely pulled out from under us so ‘normal’ no longer currently exists and that a flood of emotions can arise daily. This is okay and perfectly normal. Go to your happy place, take a deep breath, reach out to supportive agencies for direction on best how to deal with your particular situation.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
A bit of extra dust on the furniture, so what.
Dishes not done as frequently, so what.
Lower the expectation bar.
Be in touch with family and friends
Call, text, video chat, email – whatever method works. Retain social contact. Knowing how they are doing will make you feel better. They will be pleased to hear from you, just as much as you are happy to communicate with them.
Look after yourself first. Do your best to put your needs at the forefront. I personally am a primary care giver, in addition to a full-time job. When this caregiver role was started, I immediately implemented a self-care approach to help reduce the increased stress levels it encompasses. Self-care empowers you to be able to say no to certain things when necessary, or yes if it meets your needs. It allows you to stay in charge of your situation and emotions, very critical during this additional burden of uncertain times, all the while ensuring the well-being of others can be accommodated.
Missing those massages? Yup, me too! Have a sore neck, sore back? Watch a back or neck massage video. Just the visual can help to put you in a relaxed zen state and alleviate some of the pain.
Do what you can to stay active. I try to get out every evening and weekend for a walk. This is part of my self-care routine and my ‘me’ time. Fresh air rejuvenates you.
Have a tip of your own for us? Share it! Direct message or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.