What Has the Coronavirus Taught Us in Our Life?
It is therefore important to take care of your mental health and have a stress prevention plan alongside your cleaning, sanitization and physical distancing plan. Stress impairs your physical and mental health, including your immune function. Research supports that mindfulness and related stress-reduction skills have numerous health benefits, including enhanced immune function, emotion regulation, and well-being while decreasing anxiety, depression, and rumination to name a few.
I am suggesting three important things to do to in a good stress prevention plan:
1. Have awareness of your stress level.
2. Utilize skills to minimize your stress—pay attention to your red flags.
3. Have a good plan in place on ways to take care of yourself.
1. Awareness – Noticing and knowing how you experience stress—both physically and emotionally, and recognizing the signs and cues your body provides is very useful important first step. Additionally, having awareness of what stressors are leading to this stress is important in effecting change in your stress level.
2. When you are stressed, look for red flags. Consider the acronym for red FLAGS.
Forgetting to do thing you love? It is important that you engage with the people and things in your life that support, nourish, and fill you up so that you aren’t feeling drained, depleted, and more susceptible to stress and illness.
Lonely? Spend time with others in ways you can. Can’t spend time physically with people, use online meetings, the telephone, or apps that let you video with your friends and family. Stay connected in the ways you can. Also, if you can be around nature—at a park nearby or in your backyard—make sure you get around nature and some clean air. If you have a pet, engage in extra snuggling.
Anxious or Angry? Take a mindful break or breath. It is as easy as 1-2-3. Notice your body, your breath, and your mind—both your thoughts and feelings. It can be frustrating when your normal routine gets impinged upon or when your plans get cancelled. It can lead you to feeling angry or anxious. Notice how you feel. It is okay to feel. It is when you get stuck and can’t let it go that can really impact your stress and health.