Top 3 Things You Should Do to Cope with Stress During COVID-19
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
You may already know about some of the basics of relieving stress like how taking several deep breaths will help you calm down when stressed.
And how meditation (focusing one’s thoughts on a particular object, scripture, word, or activity) is also beneficial in calming an anxious mind.
If you’re not actively doing the above, grab my FREE 7 Simple Steps to Stress Less booklet to get started.
For now, let’s look at some other easy things that can help you cope with stress during … (how ever you refer to this time >)... coronavirus, COVID-19, the pandemic, or just 2020 in general.
Pro tip: If the feeling of overwhelm comes on you, yet you want to try to finish what you are doing do the following simple breathing exercise.
Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Repeat 3 times. Remember to focus your attention on what you are doing (not the intrusive thoughts that sabotage your efforts). Read one point at a time.
Ok. Let’s dive into this.
When it comes to stress, we need to be proactive (not reactive)- regardless of where it comes from. - Missy Rankin, CTNC, CHS
Here are the top 3 things you should do to help you cope with stress during COVID-19 (or Coronavirus, or 2020 in general).
1) Eat healthily. Avoid fast and processed food as much as possible.
Fill your plate with veggies, add in some lean protein, healthy fat, and some fruit as a dessert. Use onions, garlic, and herbs generously!
Think whole foods. Minimally processed. Few ingredients.
This way of eating is basically the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most studied diets in the world. It’s also considered one of the healthiest and easiest to follow.
Check out this article from Dr. Axe’s website for more information on the Mediterranean Diet that also includes a list of which foods to eat.
Here’s why: Many people are nutritionally depleted. Meaning the food they are eating isn’t chock full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that their bodies need to repair, build, and fight off infections.
Stress depletes our body’s storehouse of
nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
If we are already deficient in healthy things our bodies need to do daily functions- then we’re going to be ill-equipped to handle stressors- big or small.
By the way, did you know, Americans are some of the most overfed malnourished people in the world?
What?! Yes, sadly it’s true.
The foods most of us chose to eat are burgers, fries, pizza, fast foods, and heavily processed “foods” with few vital nutrients that our bodies recognize and can use.
Be proactive. Try these simple meal ideas the next time you eat out or better yet- cook at home when possible.
Choose dark leafy greens and boiled eggs
Cobb salads (with dressing on the side)
Baked chicken with steamed veggies
Broiled or baked fish (salmon and trout are great choices), sauteed or steamed broccoli with mushrooms, and brown rice (but keep the serving of rice small).
The next one is a big one. It’s the first of a two-part process.
2) Remove Negative Sources of Stress
This one can be a hard habit to break.
It’s a good idea to ‘check’ the news but not to watch it. I have even turned to getting my weather on phone due to over-hyped negativity regarding the weather on one of our local channels.
Here's the backstory if you're interested ...
I was watching one of my local news channels for the weather report. The weatherman kept talking about the chance of a “severe storm” and “right now it’s only a slight or moderate threat level but...” yet the weather map showed light green (slight) and green (moderate) in a only few spots on the map.
Yet, his voice and mannerisms left me feeling confused like a severe thunderstorm with hail, lightning, and maybe strong winds could start at any moment.
I watched the weather (on the same channel* the next day). Again, the same intensity with the same almost clear map with a few spotty light greens and greens showing on the map.
I tried one more day- this time armed with the opinion that drama sells ads and most people tune-in to news for doom and gloom, not rainbows and kittens.
Sure enough, he did it again. (By the way, the female weather person does it too on that same channel.) Not so much the other new channels but this channel comes in the clearest.
*We’ve cut the cable cord and have Roku plus an HD Antenna.
I decided watching this clear channel wasn't worth the energy and confusion of over-hyped weather. Now, I’m in the habit of checking my phone for the weather. No drama- unless a REAL storm is brewing.
Negative sources of COVID-19 information can be from news, weather, friends, family, and social media. The social media COVID-19 “to mask or not to mask” frenzy is sad and energy-draining all at the same time.
I have “unfollowed” many people on my social media platforms due to angry insensitive posts that keep the drama stirred up and criticize anyone with opposing opinions.
Now, I check on family and friends with quick scrolls to see if anything worthy of my time and energy is there. I spend about 5 - 15 minutes at the most, then I'm off.
Setting boundaries is also important during this time (or any time for that matter).
I have one family member who ‘tries’ to give me the latest coronavirus updates regarding infections, deaths, etc. (but never the total of recovereds).
I’ve politely asked him to stop and that I wasn’t available to be his news buddy. I shared a few of his friends that would likely want to hear his updates.
Here is where I go when I want to know the coronavirus / COVID-19 numbers.
I believe we need to be aware of what's going on in the world so we can make informed decisions for ourselves and our families, but not stressed when reading other’s opinions, conflicting “I have the answer and the other person doesn't” type of posts.
Is it just me but is 2020 also the year of irritability, anger, and intolerance on a whole ‘nother level?
3) Replace with Positive Information
Just because things are crazy and far from normal doesn’t mean we can't make the most of this time. (I realize some people may have been hit hard by the fall out of all things coronavirus. But stay with me, this can apply to you too.)
Below, I’ll list my favorite people and a video podcasts that I listen to - daily for some and most definitely weekly for the rest.
Of course, this list is based on my likes, personality, etc. There are so many people speaking life (not death (stress, negativity) into the world right now search out the ones who speak life to you.
I also hope you’ll check out my blogs that I’ll post on Wednesdays and my monthly newsletter (coming soon to an inbox near you).
I separated the list below into categories.
By the way, I’m an entrepreneur and so is my husband. I’ll list several ‘business/success’ choices here. I’m also a Believer in Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit. So there will be numerous faith-building ones here as well.
Missy’s List of Sources for Uplifting, Encouraging and/or Helpful Information
YouTube Video | Website
Encouragement / Direction
Business / Success
Marcus Lemonis | CEO of Camping World, Investor of numerous multi-million dollar businesses, host of The Profit on CBNC
Carpe Diem (make the most of the present time
Here are some steps you can do -- right now.
Remember to be proactive.
Up-level your quality of food.
Remove negative sources of stress
Replace with encouraging, uplifting, and positive sources of information.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I know many of my readers struggle with anxiety, feel overwhelmed and may have brain fog too. I try to keep my posts to the point, relevant, and leave you with a feeling of empowerment- not helplessness.
Here’s to your health!
The information shared here is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as the sharing of information only. Legal Policies