It’s Stress Awareness Week, as the nation closes its doors for a second lockdown. We had just started to adapt to a new, albeit restricted, routine. We are concerned about what the future holds. We are living through exceptionally stressful times. Everyone is experiencing some form of stress.
Managing our stress is more significant now, than ever. If the balance has tipped, and you feel unable to cope, here are some tools you might find helpful.
Take one day at a time
It’s never been more difficult to plan ahead. So much is out of our hands. Taking each day as it comes can help you focus on manageable events. It encourages you to stay present. Look at your day ahead, and make a plan of how you would like it to go. Looking too far forward might lead to unhelpful thinking patterns, such as imagining the worst-case scenario. If you sense this happening, check in with yourself and gently refocus your thoughts on today.
Focus on what you can do
The weeks ahead may seem daunting, but turning your attention to what you can do will encourage a positive mindset. You might enjoy cycling with your family, jogging with music or meeting a friend for a walk. If you like cooking, experiment with some new recipes. It could be a chance to finish that book tucked away on your bedside table.
Recharge your batteries
Giving yourself permission to wind down is an essential part of self-care. It’s important to recharge your batteries to help you gain perspective and think more clearly. If this is still a busy time for you, your productivity and efficiency will dramatically improve if you allow some time to switch off.
Start something new
If you’re suddenly faced with more time than you know what to do with, this could be an opportunity to give yourself a challenge. Whether it’s a physical activity, baking, painting or writing, find something you can look forward to. What have you always wanted to try?
Pick up the phone
A lack of social contact is one of the most challenging side effects of the current climate. It can lead to withdrawal from the outside world. If you’re struggling, pick up the phone to someone you feel safe talking to. Talking and sharing problems is incredibly stress-relieving, and you’ll realise you’re not alone.
This time last year, we were already living in a stressful world. We are now faced with a whole new set of challenges. We all manage our stress differently. Remember that any feelings or thoughts you have now will pass.
How do you feel about Stress Awareness Week? What do you find particularly stressful about lockdown? We would love to hear your ideas on how you take control of your stress.
My Possible Self is a mental health app that helps you look after your mental health through clinically-proven learning modules, mood and behaviour tracking tools and an online private diary. If you would like more help, go to the Managing Stress and Overload module, available on our app.