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Life in the time of Corona: how to relieve stress?

Coronavirus pandemic has restricted the people across the globe into the four walls of our homes. Humans are social creatures, and for generations, we have been learning ourselves to live in the community. So social isolation has been a strange situation for most of us. But now with the COVID-19 lockdown, we are confining ourselves into the solitude of our homes with family or flatmates. It is very stressful for every individual.

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Isolation “can cause some to develop pathological angst conditions,” says Borwin Bandelow, from Göttingen in Germany. Loneliness can cause some to develop anxiety and sadness. People will also be worried about the impact of the disease on themselves and their families and friends. Looking after our mental health has never been more crucial. Here are some tips for coping up with the COVID-19 lockdown stress.

Eminent psychologists say it is about knowing this isn't an individual and isolated suffering, but collective suffering. While everyone will respond differently, we all "have to be able to make sense of the situation", said Aurélia Schneider.  Remember, it is normal to feel anxious, sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a change in everyday lifestyle. 

Stay connected 

Playful family playing scrabble game together at home | Free Photo
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  Internet, and mobile technology help us stay connected with our dear and near while staying at home. Try to reach out to friends via phone and have conversations, share experiences. Connect with somebody who you haven’t heard from in a while. The extra time at home can bring stress, but it can also be an ideal occasion to strengthen relationships within the family. Watching movies, cooking together, helping others in the day to day activities can improve the family bond. 

Limit the news and be mindful whatever you read 

  Reading lots of news about corona outbreak has led to panic attacks for many. Avoid spending too much time on social media and news sites. Decide on a specific time to check in with the news. Stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information to avoid misinformation and confusion. Mute keywords which might be triggering on Twitter and unfollow or mute accounts. Mute WhatsApp groups and hide Facebook posts and feeds if you find them too overwhelming.  

Healthy lifestyle 

  Maintain a healthy lifestyle as far as you can, including diet, sleep and exercise. Eat whole grains, fresh vegetables, and drink plenty of fluids to maintain your immunity. Limit your intake of added sugar and alcohol. Do not smoke. Smoking can increase your risk of serious complications, in case you get infected with COVID-19. Try to get 30 minutes of physical activity daily and stay well-rested. Moderate exercise can boost immunity, and lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. Follow a routine. Structure your day with things that you can realistically achieve. 

Practise self-care 

  Everyone has the responsibility to tend oneself and be safe from the ill effects of a crisis. Take time to engage in things that you enjoy or find relaxing. Identify the smells, textures, visuals, and tastes that you find soothing personally. Activities such as meditation, yoga, baking, reading etc. shall protect you from burning out.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. This is your opportunity to reinforce that lining and take charge of your mental health so that you come out of this experience more robust. Stay Safe, Stay Home, and Stay Healthy.  

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