Feeling Stressed during the Pandemic? Here’s How to Manage It

Updated on September 26, 2020

One of the most stressful events that started this year is the coronavirus pandemic. It has caused people to go bankrupt, lose their jobs, cancel their travel plans, and stay at home for prolonged periods.

Although feeling stressed or worried during these times of uncertainty is normal, constant and elevated levels of stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Chronic stress, for instance, can cause adrenal fatigue, a condition that undermines the body’s adrenal glands. You’ll need to undergo adrenal fatigue treatment if you have this condition.

Instead of focusing on things outside your circle of control, look at the area in your life that you can control. When you change the way you respond to the pandemic, you can keep your stress in check.

Here are some ways to effectively manage stress during the ongoing health crisis:

Change Your Negative Thinking

What you’re thinking right now influences how you feel about a given situation. If you don’t like the way you feel, you’ll need to change your negative thoughts.

Here’s an example: if your mind is preoccupied with worries about the pandemic, such as social distancing, quarantine lockdowns, travel restrictions, and loss of income, make a decision to clear out these thoughts. Focus your time, energy, and attention on worthwhile activities, such as cleaning the dishes, reading a book, listening to calming music, and folding the laundry.

Limit Your Consumption of News

Although there’s nothing wrong with staying up to date on the latest developments in your country and around the world, you need to limit the information you’re reading every day.

When you check your phone’s news feed constantly and come across bad news, it turns on your sympathetic nervous system and put you in a fight-or-flight situation. If you want to stay in the loop on what’s happening around without becoming too stressed, check the news once or twice a day. Do this after dinner and not early in the morning.

Apart from adjusting the frequency of your news consumption, you should turn off automatic news notifications and obtain information only from trusted news outlets. Getting stressed by fake news is the last thing you want to happen.

Create and Stick to a Morning Routine

When you’re required to stay at home, you might be tempted to ditch basic routines. Creating and following a morning schedule, however, will help you feel more positive and productive. Some activities you can include in your routine are the following:

  • Waking up early every day
  • Taking a shower or bath before starting your day
  • Eating a healthy and hearty breakfast
  • Writing your goals for the day
  • Expressing your gratitude

Cut Back on Social Media

Staying connected on social media all the time can affect your productivity and mental health. If you’re practicing social distancing, you’ll need to apply the same principle with social media. You can achieve this goal by:

  • Using browser extensions that block access to social networking websites
  • Turning on time limits in your social media apps
  • Disabling audio and screen notifications
  • Keeping your mobile phone away from the dining table and bedroom
  • Allotting time on a screen-free hobby, such as playing the guitar and cooking delicious meals for your family

Follow a Self-Care Ritual

Self-care can take on many forms. Some activities you can include in your ritual are enjoying a bubble bath, keeping a diary or a journal, planting flowers, fruits, or vegetables in your garden, and learning a new language. Choose one activity and do it without fail each day. This will give you a welcome respite from the negative news surrounding the pandemic.


This activity will help you achieve a sense of control. It helps turn on your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which serves as the antidote for fear.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Find a quiet place to meditate.
  • Sit or lie still for a few minutes. Focus only on your breathing or a positive phrase or word.
  • Pay attention to your breathing. Concentrate on how you inhale and exhale. Think of how your stomach expands and contracts when you perform your breathing exercises.
  • Reign in your wandering mind. If you find yourself lost in your thoughts, return your attention to your breathing.

Look for Ways to Help Others

Take the focus off your worries and fears and think of ways to contribute to your local community. A few things you could do include assisting in the soup kitchen, donating money to a trusted charity institution, and helping your neighbors with whatever they need. These activities will boost your sense of well-being and help you reduce stress.

Follow these suggestions to manage stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. Remember that these tough periods will pass eventually. By focusing on the things you can control, you can come out of this pandemic with a renewed perspective in life.

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