The outbreak of the COVID-19 disease has interfered with the normal ways of living for all people throughout the world. To reduce the rate of infections of the coronavirus, most governments, including ours, have put various regions and states under locked down. The government is also urging people to work from home. This has disrupted the normal eating and sleeping habits for most people. Restriction of movement has in one or another impacted the social lives, while the fear of infection and death from COVID-19 has been detrimental to mental health amongst most people. This article gives some insights on different ways to deal with stress due to COVID-19 to ensure optimal health.
Observe Healthy Nutrition
Restriction of movement during the pandemic has forced most people to work from home. Being in the house all the time has resulted in poor feeding habits because of the frequent moving in and out of the kitchen. What some of us may not know is that unhealthy eating increases stress levels especially in people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Observing a healthy diet, on the other hand, can help reduce stress because it reduces the effects of some health conditions. This is because it is believed that a well-balanced diet enhances the production of cortisol while reducing the stress-causing hormone, serotonin.
Have Enough Sleep
Disruption of sleep patterns because of being idle and home most of the time can result in a lack of sleep. Lack of enough sleep increases stress levels and can even lead to depression and poor health. Having enough sleep reduces stress levels by increasing the feel-good hormone, cortisol. This affects overall health since most of the healing processes take place when someone is sleeping.
Seek Professional Mental Health Help
Most relief organizations, being aware of the effect COVID-19 has on mental health, are now volunteering to offer free counseling services online. Such mental health services are now being offered free of charge online, either via a video or audio link. They are just a call away so that you do not have to live in distress.
Do Some Physical Exercises
Due to bad eating habits, since most people are now working home, chances of developing lifestyle-related health conditions are very high. The worst-case scenario is when you add on some weight and risk being obese. When this happens, it comes with increased levels of stress since you no longer like how you like. Engaging in physical exercises increases self-confidence thus reducing stress levels. It also enhances the production of the feel-good hormone, dopamine, while at the same time reducing the stress hormone, serotonin. Physical exercises also reduce the effects of some health conditions like blood pressure and diabetes, and this works by reducing stress levels. Most people can argue that the restriction of movement does not allow them to have a jog or go to the gym. However, keeping fit does not have to mean going to the gym or jogging outside, you can go online and look up some of the many physical exercises you can do right from the confinement of your living room or back yard.
Identify Some New Hobbies
Since COVID-19 has forced us to remain home with most of the movement restricted, it is highly likely to become bored very fast and often. If the cycle continues for some days, this can result in increased levels of stress and ultimately chances of depression. That being the case therefore, you should engage more in your existing hobbies or even identify some new hobbies that do not involve being away from home.
Avoid Fake News
Fake news is all over, especially on social media so beware of this. It works by spreading propaganda through inaccurate data and facts, something that results in increased stress levels especially amongst kids and adults as well. Fake news stresses and weighs in on you. Before this happens, switch off the TV or watch a few minutes a day and only get the right information from verified sources like the CDC and WHO.
If you notice a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, indigestion issues, irritation and crying amongst kids, abuse of alcohol, drugs, and substances, excessive worry or sadness and fatigue, then you could be experiencing stress. You may have not noticed any of the above signs since people react differently to pandemic related stress so watch out for any uncommon feelings. However, you can avoid this from happening in the first place by implementing the aforementioned tips to keep stress at bay during these trying times.