COVID-19 Stress Management Tips and Resources
We at POSmate have been working together as a team and connecting daily remotely, not only to keep providing the highest level of service and support to our customers as possible but to look out for each other’s stress levels and mental health.
We have always taken pride in our care for our staff and our tight-knit team, and we intend to come out of this stronger than ever. We thought it might be helpful to share some of the tips and resources we have been drawing on internally.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching implications continue to unfold globally, it’s normal for people to experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions including:
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Anxiety, worry, or fear.
- Racing thoughts.
- Sadness, tearfulness, loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities.
- Physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate, stomach upset, fatigue, or other uncomfortable sensations.
- Frustration, irritability, or anger.
- Restlessness or agitation.
- Feeling helpless.
- Difficulty concentrating or sleeping.
- Feeling disconnected from others.
- Apprehension about going to public spaces.
- Trouble relaxing.
Strategies to cope with stress, anxiety or distress
When many things feel uncertain or out of our control, one of the most effective ways we can manage stress and anxiety is to focus on the actions that are in our control. Here are some ways you can take intentional steps to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing during this challenging time;
Maintain your day-to-day activities and a routine as much as possible. Having a healthy routine can have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. Go back to basics: eating healthy meals, physical exercise (e.g., walking, stretching, running, cycling), getting enough sleep and doing things you enjoy. Even if you’re in self-quarantine, or working from home, there are many ways to develop new routines and stay healthy.
Stay connected. Receiving support and care from others has a powerful effect on helping us cope with challenges. Spending time with supportive family and friends can bring a sense of comfort and stability. Talking through our concerns, thoughts, and feelings with others can also help us find helpful ways of thinking about or dealing with a stressful situation.
Remember that physical distancing does not need to mean social disconnection. There are many ways we can use technology to stay connected, and both give and receive support (remotely). You could;
- Call, text, or video-chat with friends and family.
- Share quick and easy recipes.
- Start a virtual book or movie club.
- Schedule a workout together over video chat.
- Join an online group or peer forum.
Contribute. Showing care towards friends, family, or vulnerable people in our community can be all the more important during times like this. It can foster a sense of hope, purpose, and meaning. Some ideas can be to;
- Send someone you care about a message of encouragement or affirmation.
- Cook, pack and deliver a meal to someone in your neighbourhood.
- Donate to a cause.
Set limits around news and social media. It’s understandable to want to keep informed and prepared. At the same time, constantly reading, watching, or listening to upsetting media coverage can unnecessarily intensify worry and agitation. When you get the urge to check updates, see if you can pause, notice the urge, delay acting on the urge, and let it pass without judgement. Schedule a specific time to check in with the news instead. It’s also okay to take breaks from conversations with others about COVID-19 and suggest talking about other topics.
Helpful resources and support
Tipsheets and online resources
- Australian Psychological Society (APS): Tips for coping with coronavirus anxiety
- Beyond Blue: Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Dr Russ Harris, physician and psychotherapist: How to respond effectively to the coronavirus (using the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- WHO: Mental health and psychosocial considerations during COVID-19 outbreak
- Ted article: “I’m incredibly anxious about coronavirus”