The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate millions of lives around the world while also heavily influencing their behaviours. With people falling prey to the rampant disease, lives being lost, job insecurity at an all-time high and financial instability growing by the day, it’s safe to assume that there’s increased stress.
The pandemic has kindled fear and anxiety among the general population. And when such strong emotions take over, chances are, our behaviour turns erratic, reacting in response to the perceived threat to our existence. Being overwhelmed by this surge of emotion is bound to adversely affect physical and mental well‑being.
So, in these unprecedented times, what can one do to shelter themselves from these feelings of distress?
Rest assured that the healthcare system is currently on its toes, doing its best to implement suitable strategies. Contact tracing, testing, and accommodating as many patients as possible is being carried out on priority. Efforts are also being made to help people who have contracted the virus, and even safeguard people who are vulnerable to the infection. While the healthcare institutions are reinforcing and reallocating necessary resources to ensure optimum functioning, it is also our responsibility to follow precautions in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Breathing is something we automatically do, never once stopping to pay heed to it. Maybe it’s time we do give it a thought.
Amidst the chaos we are in right now, ‘just breathe’, might come across as a bit of advice that’s not fit for a pandemic. But you’d be pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of mindful breathing. Mindful breathing anchors you to the present, with each breath in and out, you are consciously aware of being in the moment, instead of worrying about the past or future.
Moreover, mindful breathing has been scientifically proven to have various benefits like reducing stress, anxiety and negative thoughts. So, breathe.
Connect with friends and family:
Social distancing only requires us to maintain physical distance, while leaving ample space for fostering emotional connections. Maintain your relationships, because connecting with the people you care for creates an opportunity to share feelings and alleviate anxiety with those that genuinely care.
These times are difficult and the world is facing situations that no one thought would occur. Owing to such uncertainty, we may occasionally succumb to emotional eating, not paying attention to what we fuel our body with, relishing in the comfort of fatty and sugary food items.
Increased cholesterol levels due to stress can increase cravings for sugar-loaded and fatty foods. And while it may typically provide instant gratification, subsequent lows will also follow. Instead, find other productive ways to cope with stress and be mindful of what you fuel your body with, for better wellbeing.
Work on these practices and you might find yourself feeling less frustrated and overwhelmed. Also, remember to go easy on yourself, you don’t have to nail all well-being tasks, you just have to stay mindful of your everyday practices and do the best you can.