Stress Management Solutions During COVID Self-Quarantine
Thanks to the CDC, most of us have self-quarantined ourselves in our homes and are keeping ourselves and those around us safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just because we’re keeping ourselves safe inside doesn’t mean there isn’t still a great deal of stress associated with the pandemic. It can be stressful staying at home, stressful worrying about loved ones and their health, and stressful navigating the complications of working or having children constantly at home. Here are some ways to help you cope with stress and stay positive during this hectic time!
Practice Guided Imagery
Have you ever heard of people talk about their “happy place”? It may sound a little goofy, but there’s actually a great reason for focusing on and exploring that place! Guided imagery is the practice of picturing yourself in a place or a setting that makes you happy. Think of it as getting a “breather” in when you’re feeling stressed out. One easy method is to close your eyes and picture yourself in a place that makes you happy. Sometimes, closing your eyes may not be enough. In those cases, you can listen to a recording or have a friend walk you through a peaceful scene that transports you somewhere else. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed, pause, close your eyes, and let your mind wander to a peaceful place. Imagine the things that you would see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Let yourself truly become immersed in the experience and feel as though you’re really in that place. Stopping and taking these “mini vacations” when you’re feeling overwhelmed can help fight stress and bring peace in times when things seem crazy and you feel as though you can’t catch a breath!
Try Yoga or Meditation
Both yoga and meditation are practices which involved grounding the mind and body. Try taking a few moments out of your day to pause and ground your mind. Just this simple practice can help you to find peace and to cope with the stress of navigating the situations caused by COVID-19.
- Meditation – Meditation doesn’t just help with short-term stress relief, either. It also provides lasting stress relief and can help you train your mind to remain calm in stressful situations. There are many different forms of meditation, so don’t be scared to explore what works for you. Some people use a mantra which they repeat either internally or out loud in order to focus their mind. Another method is to simply focus on being in the moment and paying attention to the things that you see, hear, and smell around you. If you don’t feel confident diving right into meditation, there are plenty of apps that you can use to help guide you through a meditation practice. You can also check out some great YouTube videos of guided meditations to get you started!
- Yoga – Yoga is a form of meditation that involves movement and relaxes and stretches your muscles as you focus on the breath. This practice uses light exercise and controlled breathing in combination with focusing your mind on the present and the practice you are completing. This powerful combo helps to relieve stress and relax your muscles. The great news is that as you continue to keep a yoga practice you’ll find yourself gaining more and more benefits from incorporating it into your lifestyle – you may find yourself gaining flexibility and focus. Additionally, yoga is great for spiritual and psychological growth and can be a huge helper in bringing peace into your life. There are a variety of apps, online classes, and youtube channels you can check out to get you started on your yoga journey!
Have you heard of aromatherapy? This technique isn’t as clinical as it sounds! Aromatherapy is simple the practice of using scents to calm and soothe the mind. In addition to offering short-term stress relief, aromatherapy can also energize you or help you to relax. In fact, studies have shown that scents can decrease bodily stress hormones, such as cortisol, and alter brain wave activity. Different scents are associated with different reactions in the body. Lavender, chamomile, and sweet orange are all scents that help with stress and relaxation. Try using candles or essential oils to incorporate aromatherapy into your day. Don’t be afraid to mix and match scents and find what brings you personal peace and stress relief throughout the day.
It can be hard to count your blessings when times are tough, but practicing gratitude can help remind you of the positives in your life amidst stressors. Think about all the many things you have to be thankful for; as you practice looking at the things that you’re thankful for, you may also begin to recognize all the ways that you are able to deal with and manage stress. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude have lower stress levels, a better quality of life, improved mental health, and a sense of empowerment. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to spend some time daily practicing gratitude and being thankful.
Talk With a Telehealth Professional
At the end of the day, while there are so many ways we can manage stress on our own, sometimes what’s needed is the support of a professional. Consider reaching out to an online therapist or telehealth professional who can talk through what’s causing stress in your life and help suggest ways to manage and cope. Reach out today to us at My LA Therapy and we’ll set you up with an appointment and help you get your stress levels under control. There’s no reason for COVID-19 to control your life, and we’re here to make sure you’re able to cope with coronavirus in healthy ways.
Brooke Sprowl, LCSW is the clinical director and founder of My LA Therapy. She is passionate about working with and writing or speaking about purpose and personal transformation, radical responsibility and the reflection principle, anxiety, authentic spirituality, and relationship issues with couples and singles such as codependency.