The isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic have left many people struggling to find a way to manage their stress levels. Additionally, the hoped-for end of the pandemic is a long time coming, which adds to the burden. However, getting help is still possible, even if your connections may look different than in prior times.
Chat With a Counselor
There are currently many options for stress counselling online. It’s critically important that you carefully consider your feelings. If you’re
- stressed and need to vent
- frustrated or worried
- feeling lonely
an online counseling session can help a great deal, so getting one scheduled is a good first step in feeling better. If you’re feeling hopeless, helpless, or angry to the point of harming yourself or someone else, reach out for a crisis helpline instead of waiting for a counseling appointment.
Join a Community
If you’re not comfortable with a one-to-one conversation with a counselor, you may get help from meeting up in a like-minded community. You can find groups on social media that can help you get a new perspective on your worries.
For example, if you’re worried about money, seek out a no-spend or a minimalist group on Facebook. If you’re feeling lonely, you can join anything from a dance party to a virtual book club.
Community can actually mean many things to different people. You can build community and engage your mind in a variety of formats. If you love Scrabble, play Words with Friends. If you love card games, join up on Trickster. Community and fun can greatly reduce your stress and loneliness.
Exercise offers those who are stressed multiple ways to manage and beat stress. For example, you can take an online yoga class and gently expand and stretch your body. An online Zoomba class will get your heart pumping and put a tune in your mind. Even better, you can find exercise classes based on the music of nearly any era. Whether you love to listen to the disco era or love country and western, you can find a class based on your favorite tunes.
Finding an exercise video can also help to structure your day. If you’ve been struggling with employment or working from home, you may find it hard to get your body moving or find that your bathing routine is scrambled. To avoid this loss of routine, try to exercise at the same time each day and jump right in the shower after your class. Controlling your life is easier with a schedule in place.
Use Guided Meditation Apps
A smartphone can make it easier to get on top of your stress. Simple tools, including guided meditation apps and mindfulness apps, can allow you to focus on exactly where you are right now.
The uncertainty of our global situation can allow your mind to wander off into some scary places. Even if you have no idea of what’s coming in the future, a mindfulness app can help you feel confident in the safety of where you are right now. Listening to a guided meditation app can help you build your own narrative for the next time you need to meditate.
Seek Out a Faith-Based Support Group
If you have a church home, you may take great comfort from online services. You can also find faith-based websites that allow you to find scriptural references and prayers specific to stress, worry, loneliness, and other sources of pain in this global crisis.
It’s critically important to note that community and support don’t have to be religious. Every faith tradition offers comfort for those under more pressure than they can bear. Your needs will be very specific. Be ready and willing to review the teachings of many traditions; you may enjoy seeing the connections between the different traditions and come out of the pandemic with a more open and hopeful mindset.
Stress can be short-term or long-term, and both are very hard on your body and mind. Getting a handle on your stress may not be possible on your own. Modern technology allows us to connect with one another and with professionals who can help us get a handle on our stress.