Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Stress gets a bad rep. But stress can be a good thing. Why? Because stress motivates you to solve problems in your daily life. It alerts you to let you know what's working and what isn't working. When you create the space between you and stress, then you can approach it in a more impactful and beneficial way. Reframe how you see stress by first accepting it as an emotion and as a tool for feedback. The goal isn't to eliminate stress from your life, but to manage it in a way that reduces how it disrupts your everyday. With being quarantined, you'll have to get a little bit creative with how you cope with stress. But that's okay. Use now to pivot and exercise other coping strategies to accommodate some of the limitations that you're already experiencing. Here are five ways to begin reframing how you view stress while being quarantined:
Set aside time for yourself. By being quarantined, it may mean you have a lot more time than you've had in quite a while. For some of you, this is a blessing, while for others, it can feel a bit terrifying! Either way, this time is urging you to just be. It's nudging you to slow down and to get to know yourself even more so. Being quarantined is a great time to enjoy some personal time with yourself. Frankly, it's not unusual for personal time to be at the bottom of the list. But now, it doesn't have to be. Explore what used to feel good, the activities that used to be fun for you, and reconnect.
Focus on the basics. When working from home, the times and days can undoubtedly blend. It's easy to become off task, to go from having a schedule to not having one. Even with being quarantined, try to maintain a schedule for yourself. Wake up at the same time and go to sleep at the same time every day. Change your outfit, wear a bra (or not), and switch up the pajamas. Personal hygiene and getting dressed for the day will shift your mood and help you to feel more productive.
Prioritize your responsibilities. There are two ways that you can prioritize your tasks and responsibilities. For those that need a quick dopamine fix, then do the small jobs first for an easy win. But for those who have trouble getting the hard stuff done, then do the hard stuff first. Tackling these tasks will make your day feel lighter, and it will give your confidence boost. Put less on your to-do list and find the tasks that will have a domino effect on your goals. So, in other words, which item, if you knock it out, will have the most significant impact and will help you reach your goals faster.
Reduce overinvolvement. People are sometimes overinvolved in one area of their lives, which results in neglecting other areas of their lives. Do an audit to find out which areas of your life are you spending most of your time. Often, this is another way to distract yourself. It's another way to avoid dealing with deeper issues. After your audit, explore how you can find more balance in your career, your relationships, your family, and your personal hobbies.
Keep things in perspective. Little problems can feel like big problems. Take a step back and pause. Reflect on how significant your stressors are in the broader context. Will, what's causing you stress matter in a week? In a year? Write about your stressors. It will help you develop a healthier perspective. Stress is a natural way for the body to respond to outside stimuli. Because this is a naturally occurring experience for every human being, a level of acceptance has to happen. This leads to finding a practice to help reduce stress before you're invaded and overwhelmed by it. If you create a practice beforehand, you can experiment with several different approaches to find the one that works for you. The best way to manage stress is before it disrupts your life.
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