To homebodies, staying in isn’t their worry. But deep down inside, not having the freedom to get out and do “normal” activities creates stress, aside from the stress of household antics and managing workload. And ironically, with most people staying in, the air is fresher and the skies are clearer – even in Jakarta, one of the world’s most air-polluted cities on Earth. Sad to not experience healthier mother nature.
Acknowledge Your Stressors
Learn to know how you react to stress and what specifically stresses you out. You can do so by keeping a daily journal and record when something stresses you. Then ask yourself: Is it a person, activity or information? A pattern will be recognised, hence the triggers will be too. You can start by setting limits. The saying, “too many things to do, but so little time” can get the best of you as juggling many activities and people will eventually get overwhelming. So save your energy and have time for yourself to let your body and mind become well-rested and less irritable. Also, learn to ask for help when you need it – after all, humans are social beings.
Ease Your Mind
Prioritise what needs attention first and what can wait. “Overthinking emerges because of uncertainties. Your brain is constantly updating your world, making judgments about what’s safe and what isn’t to the mind. If your brain doesn’t know what’s around the corner, it can’t keep you out of harm’s way so it always assumes the worst or over-personalised threats and then jumps to conclusions,” explained the team.
To overcome overthinking, the team has suggested to:
- Don’t think of what can go wrong, but think of what can go right.
- Put things into perspective by asking yourself: how much will it matter in the next few years or months?
- Meditate daily – doing something you enjoy is also a form of meditation as it allows you to be present at the moment.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day.
- Get enough sleep for 7-9 hours per day to rest your brain from a whole day of mental fatigue. Make sure to turn off your gadgets an hour before bedtime and create a comfortable sleeping sanctuary.
The team has also suggested these tips to help you stay calm:
- Ask yourself: is it the virus that makes you anxious or is it the drastic changes, the uncontrollable or the uncertainty that makes you anxious?
- Watch comedy movies or shows, read books, and learn new skills.
- Surround yourself with nature or look through images of beautiful landscapes and nature.
- Sunbathe for ten to15 minutes at 10-11 am.
- Drink enough water.
Cope With Your Stress From Physical Distancing
Staying at home or the popular social media movement called #dirumahaja includes career, studies, household, and health-related activities cramped at home. This can actually be a good opportunity to pick up a new skill and explore other activities. Use this time to find activities that make you feel happy and relaxed. You never know, you might just find your new-found passion to pursue.
- Take care of your mental health. You have to have self-control of your body and what you feel.
- Take a break every half an hour and have a few minutes to stretch or walk around to loosen up your body.
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news.
- Take care of your body.
- Make time to unwind.
- Connect with others.
Losing touch of your “normal” routine hinders the way you take on the day. Getting ready to go to work or school, the hours of commuting, set lunch breaks, going to a sports centre, etc are either completely taken out or substituted now. Thus, here are some tips from the team so that you can stay focused at home while tackling responsibilities and giving yourself well-deserved me-time:
- Create a designated work area.
- Set designated working hours. Don’t check emails and anything related to work before or after working hours.
- Establish a comfortable dress code for work from home.
- Before you end your working day, write a list of tasks you would like to get done on the following day.
- On the following day, tackle the hard tasks first before moving on to the easy tasks.
- Inhaling essential oils can also help. For example, cedarwood is an excellent essential oil for focusing.
- Eat brain foods like nuts, seeds, good fats (avocado, flaxseed oil, fish oil), mixed berries, and almond or walnut milk.
Use Technology in a Healthier Manner
Since boredom strikes more heavily nowadays, you unconsciously grab your phones or laptops to keep you entertained. Not saying that this is unhealthy, but too much technological consumption is considered to cause psychological issues such as distraction, narcissism, the expectation of instant gratification, and even depression. Your physical health can also take a toll by having vision problems, hearing loss, and neck strain.
The team at Stress Management advises you to:
- Use technology to rest your mind from all the things that overwhelm you.
- Limit screen time and increase physical activity.
- Limit social media time.
- Try to disconnect from any gadgets an hour before bedtime to ensure better quality sleep.
The coronavirus pandemic is definitely a strange time for all of us. Pressured to stay get things done while also taking care of our body is a lot to take. Chin up! Following these tips can hopefully get you through this.
We wrote those tips for Indonesia Expat.