The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that highlighted the vulnerabilities of healthcare systems worldwide. Within the first few months of the outbreak, the pandemic crippled economies, resulting in waves of unemployment, inflation, and business closure. As governments imposed lockdowns and social distancing to curb the spread, people worldwide struggle with the new normal: quarantine.
Even after an entire year of quarantine, it’s hard to deal with the lack of human interaction. Losing our support system and living a distorted reality, which seems like a dystopian Netflix series, is immensely challenging. Since the outbreak, mental health diagnoses and challenges have increased tenfold.
But we won’t ponder over these challenges and stressors. Instead, we’ll look on the brighter side and equip you with stress-busting strategies to make quarantine productive and positive.
1. Acquire Skills, Training, Education
We’re all lamenting and blaming the pandemic for our collective miseries, but hey, we all like having more time on our hands. This time has given us options and opportunities to do more with our lives. The pandemic has created a window to escape the vicious loop of earning, spending, and prioritize growth.
The recent transition to work-from-home models allows people to pursue their goals and acquire skills they always dreamt of learning. Balancing work and education is enormously challenging, but e-learning offers a wealth of opportunities. The pandemic-induced demand for skills, training and workshops has given rise to numerous e-learning products and platforms.
For instance, you always wanted to learn a European language, and now you can finally make time for online courses. Similarly, those who aspire to pursue higher education can explore e-learning platforms and degrees. The pandemic has triggered a burgeoning interest in healthcare and wellbeing.
Suppose you find yourself drawn towards a holistic career in healthcare. In that case, pursuing an online general studies bachelor degree can prepare you for a promising career switch in your desired niche. Using the quarantine for constructive pursuits, like skill-building and higher education, will help you channel confidence and strength from turmoil. It’s truly a powerful strategy to use this time for personal and professional growth.
2. A Balanced & Grounding Routine
Let’s admit it, we all entered the pandemic with comfy pajamas, couch bellies, and endless supplies of takeout and junk food. We raided all the grocery stores to stock our pantry for a rewarding break from work and school. However, it didn’t take long for our excitement to dim down under the weight of the monotony and stress.
Uncertainty never supports happiness and wellbeing, which is why grounding yourself with a routine is essential. Don’t put an end to your daily rituals of showering and dressing up even if you’re not heading outside. Losing sight of your routine and habits will only loosen your grip on sanity, triggering scores of unhealthy patterns.
Create a quarantine routine that allows you to attend to your responsibilities, and make time for your hobbies. Be sure to allocate time for exercising, spending time with your family, and enjoying cinematic experiences with exciting bucket lists.
3. A Healthy, Well Balanced Diet
There’s no denying that the entire world has relied on food cultures to deal with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic. While restaurants and eateries have significantly suffered, home dwellers have embraced their culinary passions with a vengeance. However, we have lost sight of our nutrient intake between all the Tiktok challenges and carb-loaded recipes, haven’t we?
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to enrich your body with healing, energizing, and strengthening nutrients. Building immunity is the best strategy to combat the virus and regulate your mental and physical wellbeing.
4. Regular Physical Activity
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises all quarantiners to get at least 75-150 minutes of exercise each week. This emphasis on physical activity stems from the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Did you know that exercising stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins and brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine?
Serotonin and dopamine regulate our emotions of happiness, joy, contentment, pleasure, and relaxation. When the stress of uncertainty and pandemic-induced restrictions overwhelms you, starting a workout can help you de-stress and relax. The release of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins will leave you feeling lighter, happier, and satisfied.
You don’t necessarily have to run four blocks or lift heavy weights to experience this goodness. All it takes is 20-30 minutes of sweating out the toxins and pumping up your heart rate. You can go on long walks with your pets, start a dance routine, do yoga or challenge yourself with intense cardio. We advise you to do something you genuinely enjoy to eliminate the stress and anxiety with waves of satisfaction.
5. Art Attack
Artistic pursuits, be it painting, sketching, crafts, or scrapbooking, also stimulate the release of happy endorphins. These endorphins engulf our minds with calmness, allowing us to relax and feel lighter. No wonder patients with chronic stress are advised to take up art therapy to combat anxiety and relax.
You can encourage your children and other family members to indulge in artistic pursuits and refine your talents. How about a home improvement project to rope your kids into a fun activity to ground their energies with positivity? You can hand paint flower pots to spruce up your lawn and play up your property’s curb appeal. Or perhaps, you’d like to engage you and your family in a fun art project making cards for healthcare workers.
Fighting the stress of the pandemic isn’t much of a challenge as long as you’re focused on using this period constructively. A year into the pandemic, we’re all learning to adjust to the new normal and find ways to cope. It’s essential to focus your energies on endeavors and activities that bring you positivity, confidence, and opportunities.
News reports are brimming with tales of agony, pain, loss, suffering, and distress. While we cannot deny the collective suffering of the global community, we must focus on the positivity that emerged from the pandemic.