Written by Jim McNerney Coaching Team

With COVID-19 impacting so many different parts of our daily lives – in addition to the physical and public health concerns it provides – it’s normal to experience some anxiety, stress, or worry about the current situation. Destressing is more important than ever.

How Can You Relax?

With over 50% of American workers telecommuting from home (not to mention dealing with school and childcare closures) time at home for many is no longer the blissful escape from stressful work it used to be. In fact, these issues can add even more stress to your daily routine. So, how can you go about finding relaxation and stress relief during these times of pandemic and the resulting social distancing and quarantine orders?

Try these tips on for size:

  • Spend time outdoors. While public parks, trails, and beaches in your area may be closed, getting some fresh air and sunshine can help break up your day and refresh your senses. If you can, do some of your telecommuting tasks from your porch, balcony, or backyard. After work, make an effort to get outdoors – take a walk around the neighborhood or spend some time in your backyard.
  • Put yourself on a media diet. Of course, it’s important to be in the know regarding changes in your area – especially regarding the COVID-19 situation. However, 24/7 news consumption tends to lead to unnecessary stress. Instead, limit yourself to a daily 15-minute check-in of one or two trusted news sources, and stick to it.
  • Try meditation. If you feel yourself getting anxious, try a meditation app to institute a feeling of calm and mindfulness into your daily routine. Many apps offer guided instruction and even free routines with download. Alternatively, try spending a few minutes each day just doing nothing; clear your mind, set a timer, and focus on soothing music or white noise.
  • Pick up a book. For many, reading is the ultimate escape from a harsh reality and can help you relax and shift your focus for a while. Pick up an old favorite, order online, or peruse your local library’s online selection; alternatively, you can find a vast array of short stories on sites like Google books and Wattpad. The key – keep it positive.
  • Practice self-care. During times of stress, self-care is more important than ever. Endeavor to continue to exercise when possible and ensure you’re eating a healthy diet. Not only does the actual act of exercising and cooking relieve stress for many but maintaining your health will help your body deal with increased anxiety and worry moving forward.
  • Worry productively. If you’re unable to stop worrying, put that worry to good use; schedule a time each day to think about the situation in a productive way. According to an article by New York Presbyterian, “Productive worry leads to taking action on something you can do today. For example, what can you do to reduce your risk? … if you’re going to worry, set aside a time so it doesn’t consume you, and then turn it into productive action.”

Perhaps the most important takeaway is that you are not experiencing this situation alone. As the pandemic continues to sweep across the country, the vast majority of individuals are impacted in some way. Continue to reach out via phone, text, email, or video chat to important individuals in your life, and find reassurance that we are all in this together.