3 Powerful Tips to Help Manage Stress in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Times

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them”.

Albert Einstein

With all the news about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that add up to our day-today concerns about life and work, we are prone to experiencing an accumulation that will almost always end up in a high stress level. Therefore, we must be able to release the excess accumulation of pent up energy from our efforts to “control” our lives and concentrate wholly on our today.

So here are 3 stress busting tips that can help you, your family, and friends navigate this and surely other uncertain times and continue to enjoy your life.

Coronavirus Stress Busting Tip #1

Turn off the TV and notifications on your devices. Do not panic. I am not suggesting you burry your head in the sand or up-and-quit society. This is a simple intentional way to pause and create a space of quiet for you and you loved ones to be present with each other and practice a short breathing exercise together.

Share what has been most on your mind that day and resolve to help one another to release every thought from the day and be only mindful of the now…. this thought only…this breath…this moment. Take in three very deep breaths and slowly release each one.

At the same time feel each and every concern, each and every problem, and each and every unresolved moment, every post and article begin to dissolve. You can deal with them when you finish the exercise. For now, you are only to be in this very moment.

It helps to close your eyes and hold an image or the sensation of your favourite quiet place present while breathing. Pretend you are in that place and recall the sensation of being at peace. Relax and breathe in deeply and enjoy the feeling of being at one and at peace within yourself.

Use this special time and place to be calm. Free your mind and body of all worry, all regret, all disappointment, all anger and grief.

Coronavirus Stress Busting Tip #2

Next, think of one thing that you find particularly enjoyable to do, such as rocking your baby, taking a quick stroll, raking the leaves, looking at the clouds, and do that one simple thing.

Now that we are all self-isolating as a preventive measure, you can play pretend and practice your favourite act of quiet and calm a few moments each day and you will see that you will accomplish so much more. At the first sign of being stressed, play pretend — go back and recall the sensations of engaging in your favourite activity.

Children are especially good at this. Use this time to ask them to teach you how to play pretend. As adults we can use this opportunity to remember our childhood games and share those with them. As parents, this is a great time to get a break from screen time and share some special moments with our children. As couples, this time can provide the opportunity to enjoy that emotionally intimate moment you have been wanting for so long, but have not found the time to share and connect to each other.

Practice this act of quiet and calm each day and you will see that you will accomplish so much more. At the first sign of being stressed, go back and recall the sensations of engaging in your favourite activity. The awesome thing about playing pretending is that you can do it anywhere at any time as many times as necessary until you have reached your inner place of calm.

Coronavirus Stress Busting Tip #3

The very best thing that you can do for yourself is to nourish and rest — to your health!

Stress is easily brought on by not properly nourishing and resting your body. When you do not get the number of hours of sleep that you need each night, you are only setting yourself up for additional stress.

The stress response in the body is like living in a constant state of maximum alert. Imagine spending your day being chased by a lion — only the lion is in your mind. Very useful if you live in the jungle, but the body can only take so much of such a state before it starts to breakdown. When living in constant survival mode, our bodies continue to respond in the same way even if we get used to it and do not feel the signs. This lowers our immune system response making us more vulnerable to opportunistic pathogens like Coronavirus.

Generally moderating the amount of salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in your diet can help. Drink plenty of clean, pure water each day and do at least moderate exercise each day. Always check in with your doctor what type and amount is appropriate for you. This can help breathe new vitality into your mind and body helping to increase your resilience.

Take time to breathe properly! Take a few deep belly breaths to send pure oxygen to all of your body. Laugh and then laugh some more. A good, deep belly laugh is food for the soul! Not to mention it does wonders for your “good-feeling hormone” levels. Spend time doing the things that please you most. Engage in healthy and fulfilling relationships and work on resolving problems that would erode the closeness that you have with someone special.

When we are content and living a balanced life everyday stresses seem to pale in comparison. We are better equipped to deal with the unexpected.

You can take control today! Start with you first, like when the airplane safety drill.  Isolate only one particular stressor in our lives right now — Coronavirus. Involve your family and friends and work together to regain control over the situation. At the very least, spread some new hope!

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