6 Ways to Bounce Back From Pandemic Stress and Anxiety

While we’re all still hoping and praying that the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic are behind us, there’s no doubt that its effects are still being felt almost everywhere. One such effect of the crisis has been the pervasive anxiety that’s resulted in most Californians — and all Americans, for that matter. Stress levels have spiked, and an increasing number of people are struggling with mental health issues such as depression and addiction.

While there’s no instant cure for this onslaught of stress and anxiety, it’s certainly important to take care of your mental health to the best of your abilities. During these difficult times, we recommend the following tips for helping yourself bounce back to a more normal state — even in the midst of a pandemic.

#1 – Prioritize your sleep.

Sleep can be sacrificed when you’re stressed, but it shouldn’t be.

To improve your sleep, think about your bedroom as an oasis. Invest in nice pajamas, more comfortable sheets, a comforter that is pleasing to the eye, and some nice calming lighting and music. Also, try to limit your screen time for at least an hour before bed each night. Investing in better sleep will help your overall stress levels improve by leaps and bounds.

#2 – Start learning how to meal plan sooner rather than later.

You’ve always said you wanted to try meal planning because you know it’s the ticket to healthier eating. Maybe now’s the time.

While we’ve been at home during the pandemic, most people haven’t eaten out as much as they might be used to. Not only can takeout and delivery get expensive, but the fare is generally not the healthiest. Meal planning at home makes grocery shopping, cooking, and meal idea generation much easier.

To start with, you’ll want to start thinking of healthy meals that can be made in large quantities and that will last for several days. You can also pre-make meals that can be frozen. Invest in some nice food storage containers and any necessary appliances or tools you’ll need, then go online to find some recipes.

Start by just prepping your dinners for the week. If you like the process, continue by prepping lunches and breakfasts too.

#3 – Make an online appointment with a therapist.

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was difficult to see any medical professional one-on-one. Only serious situations would allow for such appointments. Naturally, this meant that if you regularly saw a therapist or counselor, you may have had a hard time keeping your appointments.

Fortunately, online therapy appointments have been a saving grace for millions of people. Even those who haven’t ever seen a therapist may now want to consider scheduling an online therapy session with a qualified professional. This can help to relieve stress and anxieties in many areas of your life.

Having trouble figuring out where to get online therapy? Experts say the quality online therapy California residents need should be easy to access, provided by licensed therapists, and affordable.

#4 – Get regular doses of fresh air.

Get outside as much as possible. Fresh air is good for you all of the time, but it’s even more important when you find yourself stuck inside during a pandemic! Even if you just go for one 10- or 15-minute walk a day, it can change your entire outlook.

You might also consider spending time participating in a sport that you love, like tennis, running, or biking. Many sports can be performed while social distancing, which makes them especially useful at this point in time.

#5 – Talk to friends and family as often as possible.

In any stressful situation, it helps to socialize. Spending time with your friends and family — even if it’s on Zoom or Google Teams — is critical to your emotional and mental wellbeing.

#6 – If you work from home, try making a schedule.

In many occupations, individuals are now able to work from home. This can be great for safety, and it’s also useful if you need to care for your kids who may or may not be able to go to school or daycare. On the other hand, it can be difficult to manage your own work at home if you’re not used to it.

Making a schedule can help. Keeping yourself, your spouse, and your children on schedules and giving yourself enough downtime and rest will ensure you don’t slack on work or, conversely, overwork yourself at home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created immense disruption and confusion for people across the nation. Even those who have been fortunate enough to get through the illness or avoid it altogether have been greatly affected.

While no one can avoid this upheaval, it is within our power to control our own lives and surroundings. Use the tips listed above to help yourself cope with these difficult times and thrive, even when the going gets rough.

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