As COVID-19 enters its third year as an active threat, some of us are having trouble keeping our stress levels in check. With case numbers once again on the rise as we enter the new year, it’s only natural that people who have taken every conceivable precaution during this difficult time would start to feel some pandemic fatigue. Although the novel coronavirus seems poised to complicate our lives for the foreseeable future, this doesn’t mean you should succumb to mounting stress levels. Anyone looking for effective ways to combat COVID stress should consider the following measures.
Go to Therapy
Even in the 21st century, there’s an unfortunate stigma placed on mental health issues. As a result, many of us avoid speaking out about anxiety, depression and a host of other mental health afflictions. Furthermore, we avoid seeking treatment for such problems. Not only does this make these issues worse in the long run, it also helps perpetuate the aforementioned stigma. No matter what you’re hearing from people around you, you should never deny yourself mental healthcare if you feel that you need it.
Seeking out therapy, counseling and other mental health services can be a highly effective way to keep pandemic stress in check and work through any other issues that are weighing on you. With Omicron sweeping certain parts of the world and COVID cases once again on the rise, not wanting to attend in-person therapy sessions at the present time is perfectly understandable. Fortunately, many mental health professionals are offering remote options for patients looking to minimize potential exposure. In fact, some therapists and counselors are only offering remote appointments for the foreseeable future.
Indulge in Hobbies That Relax You
It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial hobbies can be to stress relief and overall mental health. In addition to providing us with countless hours of enjoyment, many of our favorite hobbies have the added benefit of reducing our stress and leaving us fully relaxed. So, if you’re currently in need of relaxing hobbies, consider taking up meditation, deep breathing exercises or physical fitness. While exercise may strike you as the opposite of relaxing, it can prove highly beneficial to stress management, which is conducive to a relaxed mind.
Creative outlets are other effective vehicles for relaxation and stress reduction. For example, drawing, painting, sculpting and other artistic endeavors enable you to express your feelings by turning them into tangible art. Writing and creating music fulfill a similar purpose. If pandemic stress has become overwhelming, rediscovering your passion for an abandoned creative outlet or trying your hand at a brand new one can prove tremendously cathartic.
Engage in Regular Communication with Loved Ones
If not being able to regularly interact with certain friends or family members in an in-person capacity has proven to be a source of pandemic stress, simply communicate with these individuals in other capacities. While this may not bring you quite as much comfort as in-person interactions, it will ensure that you’re able to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest while doing your part to curb the spread.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways to communicate with your loved ones in the digital age. In addition to traditional phone calls, you can touch base via video chat, text messaging, social media and numerous other methods of communication. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these individuals whenever you’re feeling down or simply wish to hear their voices.
Try Recreational Cannabis (Where Doing So is Legal)
For people who live in areas with legalized recreational cannabis use, trying out strains of marijuana that are conducive to stress relief may be a worthwhile endeavor. Anyone whose cannabis experience is lacking should consult the experts at their local dispensaries to determine which strains are right for them. Additionally, Canadian citizens on the hunt for expert recommendations should get in touch with good Canadian weed shops.
There’s little wonder as to why the COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated so much stress. The mortal threat the virus presents coupled with the many changes its presence has brought about has proven to be a surefire recipe for heightened stress levels. However, while pandemic stress can be overwhelming, effectively combating it may not be as difficult as you think. With the previously discussed pointers at your disposal, keeping COVID stress in check should be well within your abilities.