These past few months have been a difficult time for everyone, and I’m no exception. As I’ve had to navigate the realities of living during a pandemic, my stress levels have gone up significantly. From fear of getting infected to trying to stay safe while managing everyday stresses, it’s been a challenge every day.
To help me cope with my stress, I’ve developed strategies to stay balanced. For one thing, I make sure to take some ‘me time’ each day - whether it’s reading a book for pleasure, going on an afternoon walk or meditation in the morning to clear my mind. Getting regular physical exercise has also been key because it helps reduce cortisol levels and allows me to find a sense of peace and relaxation in my life.
In addition, being mindful of how I talk to myself and others is important too. When anxiety creeps up, I try not to panic but instead practice deep breathing exercises and focus on staying present as much as possible. Building resilience is also something that works for me; writing down all the things I’m proud of about myself helps give me perspective when times are tough or scary.
Finally, connecting with friends online has made a huge difference in helping me understand that we’re all struggling right now in one way or another - so leaning into vulnerability can be surprisingly empowering during these times as well! Making meaningful connections with people who understand what you’re going through is invaluable and can provide immense emotional support when pandemic-related stress becomes overwhelming.