A year ago, many of us were counting down the days until Christmas and New Year, blissfully unaware of what was to come in 2020. It has been a tough year, and stress and anxiety levels are high. If you’re struggling, or you’re looking for effective ways to keep stress at bay, here are some tips to help you lighten the load.
Try to look at the bigger picture
If you’ve lost your job, your workload has been reduced, you’re living alone or you’ve been struggling with your health, you may feel like the crisis has treated you particularly badly. It’s natural to focus on how the pandemic has affected us as individuals, but in most cases, it’s more helpful to look at the bigger picture. This is an unprecedented situation, which has affected millions of people all over the world. Some have come off worse than others, but it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. Be grateful for what you do have, rather than focusing on what you might have lost, and try to be positive. We won’t be living like this forever, and when life does return to something that resembles normality, even the little things will seem so much more special.
Understand that there are solutions
The pandemic has created a raft of problems, and many people are suffering from stress and anxiety. The good news is that there are almost always solutions. If you’ve lost business, you’re now unemployed, or you’re struggling to pay your bills, it’s crucial to understand that there are ways of getting through tough times ahead. Help and support are available, you may be able to access financial assistance and you could explore options like loans without a guarantor. It may seem like a total disaster to lose clients or to be without a stable income for the first time in years, but don’t assume that you’re resigned to failure or getting into uncontrollable debt. Explore your options, seek help from experienced advisers and try not to panic.
Adapt your routine
Everywhere you go, people are talking about a ‘new normal.’ While this may seem like a bit of a cliché, it is beneficial to try and get used to new ways of living. It is likely that we’ll be adopting social distancing measures and working from home for the foreseeable future, and if you can adjust to a new routine, this should help you to feel more settled. If you’re working from home, you’re combining work with childcare, or you’re looking for ways to spend more free time, it’s helpful to get into a routine. Plan your days and make time for activities, hobbies and breaks. You need time to rest and recover, and if you’re used to spending a lot of time travelling, catching up with friends or attending extracurricular activities with the kids, find alternatives to keep you busy. Organise virtual social events, rediscover hobbies that have fallen by the wayside or explore new interests, spend quality time with family and try and get used to exercising frequently. Using your time constructively can help to boost mental health and lower stress levels.
For many of us, lockdown has been stressful. With bad news permeating the air, anxiety related to money and job losses and uncertainty about the future, it can be difficult to stay positive. If you’re finding life difficult, hopefully, these tips will help to lighten the load.