vignette of a men looking stressed for covid 19

How to manage stress associated with Covid-19

For the first time in our life and history, the world has been pushed into a global sanitary state of alarm due to the fast spreading of the Covid-19 virus. It’s been more than a month now that we are experiencing confinement with no precise idea of how and when it will take an end. 

This whole situation has become a huge factor of stress and anxiety and is affecting us all. The uncertainty of the situation can be overwhelming. We still have bills to pay, we don’t want to lose our jobs, some of us are still working from home and struggling with time management, productivity or dealing with home-schooling with kids. 

But we need to remember that we are not alone! It is time to change our mindset and bring some positivity during those dark days. There are few things that you can control and those are the one you need to focus on from now on. 

1- Avoid overload of information about Covid-19 

Turn-off your TV and take a break from social media. Watching the news won’t make you feel better. The news is usually giving 90% of bad news because it attracts more audience. Enough of this, we know what is happening so let’s try to focus a bit on what’s positive.

A woman trying to avoid overload of informaton about Covid-19

2- Focus on positive things 

Remember that you are safe at home and that you are protecting others by respecting the confinement. Here are others good things to be grateful for:

to be alive; to be healthy; to have incredible technologies that allow us to stay connected with our friends and family; to have opportunities; to have food on our table; to be more united than ever; for once in our life we have time; to be creative; to try new things; to remember what’s really important and how lucky we are.

3 – Maintain a routine 

You need to keep a routine even if you are at home all day. Set your alarm. Get dressed. Have a nice and healthy breakfast. You should find new things to do at home, maybe things you didn’t have the time for before. Why not learn how to play an instrument or a new language. You can be creative and do some handcraft activities such as drawing, painting, building new things, etc. Take care of your home, garden. Fix, clean, put into order. Keep BUSY!

If you are working from home for the first time, check out our article about how to work from home efficiently, it will guide you on the few basic steps you need to follow to stay productive and motivated when you do home-office.

4 – Practice yoga and meditation

A good day starts with a good morning. The way your day begins will affect your mood and energy for the rest of it. A nice meditation after you wake up will help you focus your energy and prepare your mind-set for the day, to be productive, relaxed and motivated. Meditation is a skill and so needs practice. Start with 10 minutes and see how it goes. You have plenty of apps that can help you through the process such as Headspace or Smiling Mind.

Yoga will also help you to relax physically and mentally. As we are staying at home, our movements are reduced to almost zero. We are sitting most of the time if not lying on the sofa. This lack of movement can have a very negative impact on your health. We recently published a very simple stretching routine on our blog that can help you release tensions and muscle pain here.

5 –  Explosive sport session 

To get rid of the stress and remain healthy, there is nothing better than an explosive sport session at home. In fitness those short and intense sport sessions are called HIT, high intensity training. You don’t need to be an athlete. The objective here is to push yourself as far as you can, work with all your muscles and raise your cardio.

You can easily find this kind of training on YouTube. Or if you prefer to workout with others, you should definitely join the online training courses you can find everywhere on Instagram or zoom right now, such as Runatix Bootcamp. Runatix is a friendly fitness community in Barcelona founded by Dagmar, marathon runner and sport addict. She creates great workouts every week with different exercises and objectives, accessible to all levels. During the confinement, Dagmar goes live on Instagram every Tuesday at 18h30 for a 30 minutes intense training! Give it a try.

6- Disconnect from screens

Many studies have highlighted the negative impact of screen time on psychological and physical well-being. During this quarantine, it is tempting to spend the day watching Netflix and play video games after maybe long hours working on your laptop.

a boy with a radio trying to disconnect from screen listening some music

Well, quit it with the screens. Headaches, eye strains, neck and back pain, bad mood. Spending too much time on screens can be a factor of stress increase. You sometimes need to learn to do nothing (yoga and meditation will help you with that). Careful here, to do nothing doesn’t mean to be bored. It means take time for yourself, maybe listen to the radio or a podcast you can read a book, etc.  

7 – Stay connected with family and friends 

The things we might be missing the most are the real connections with people. The simple coffee break with a friend, the family lunch on Sunday. Things that after the end of the confinement and the pandemic crisis, we will no longer take for granted.

Fortunately, nowadays, technologies allow us to easily keep contact with our family and friends. Stay connected with your people, call your family and friends. Skype, Zoom, Hangouts for video calls. House Party for a funny online reunion with friends. And the good old phone call to your grandma (your phone still has this option). It is important to share moments with others even if it is online for now. Talk about how you are feeling, stay connected with people

These are difficult and scary times but you are not alone. We stay positive and strong together. Learning from the present situation to start building a brighter future, more sustainable, responsible and  creative. Keep on taking care of yourself physically and mentally.