During this COVID-19 pandemic, when we’re all facing huge public health and economic challenges, where authorities are shutting down schools, closing the borders, and your local grocery store is seemingly always out of disinfectant wipes, you might find it difficult to stay calm and not be anxious. But, in times like these, managing anxiety and stress is very important.
So, what can you do to keep your stress and anxiety levels low during this pandemic? Here are some suggestions for coping with anxiety and stress and finding productive tasks to take your mind off things during this scary and uncertain time.
1. Stay Connected
While you’re being encouraged by public-health authorities to minimize your physical interactions with other people, this doesn’t mean you can’t:
- Call them on the phone
- Text them
- Maintain contact on social media or other online avenues
- Use video messaging and conferencing platforms, like Skype, Zoom and Facetime
Go ahead and pick up that phone and call a loved one or friend. Simply talking to them and hearing they’re doing just fine can help reduce your anxiety and stress. Just because you can’t be close to them on a physical level, you can continue being emotionally close.
2. Try Some Self-Management Techniques
Explore different methods of self-management such as:
You can find other strategies for self-management for coping with anxiety and stress through Anxiety Canada.
3. Use This Time to Spring Clean Your Home
You’re in a unique position this very moment where you don’t have to worry about getting everything done right away and running out of time. If you are on stay at home orders or have reduced hours at your job, you may have more time on your hands to break your spring cleaning into different tasks on different days.
Some spring cleaning tasks you may want to implement are:
- Clean out cupboards, closets, and the pantry.
- Sweep walkways and the patio or deck.
- Clean light fixtures, exterior windows, and patio furniture.
- Deep-clean under the bathroom and kitchen sinks and appliances.
4. Deep Clean and Sanitize Your Car
Thoroughly cleaning your car, or your RV, is a great way of staying busy during this time and keeping your mind off things. Not to mention, amid this outbreak, you probably will want to deep clean and sanitize it to ensure you eliminate any and all germs. Since the coronavirus is so easily spreadable, you’ll want to kick it up a notch, by:
- Cleaning dirty surfaces with hot water and soap before disinfecting.
- Using 70% alcohol-based products or diluted bleach solutions for disinfecting your surfaces. You could also use household disinfectants approved by the EPA for hard surfaces.
- Cleaning stains and vacuuming visible debris.
5. Conduct Spring Home Maintenance
Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Check your HVAC system. Check the seals around doors and windows. Grab a squeegee, a bucket, and a soft cloth that’s equal white vinegar and hot water. Dip the cloth into this solution and begin wiping the grime away gently. Squeegee your windows until they’re sparkling clean.
Winter can really take its toll on trees around your home and this is not good news for your gutters. Take this time to clear out fallen branches, sticks, leaves and other debris from your home’s gutters. When you start experiencing spring downpours, and the water can effectively and safely drain away from your house, you’ll be thanking yourself for doing this.
Winter’s moisture and cold can be rough on exterior woodwork, such as railings and decks. Now is a good time to power wash your home’s wood fixtures and reseal them so you can enjoy beautiful, clean wood when you’re relaxing out in your backyard or patio.
Check out our spring home maintenance guide for more details.
How You Can Get Help
If you or someone you love is feeling helpless, hopeless and aren’t being reactive at all, this could be a sign that there’s a need for professional help. The Canadian Psychological Association has an online fact sheet that provides you with coping tips for COVID-19 as well as a way to reach out to local psychologists.