Staying home isn’t easy
It may seem like a simple request. Stay home, stay safe. And for the first week you may even have enjoyed it a little bit. But then slowly the reality of the situation starts to sink in when you realise the freedoms you always took for granted are no longer possible. And then you start to feel caged, lost and without purpose. It’s a scary place to be.
Whether you’ve been furloughed, let go, or still have the benefit of working from home, life is far from easy right now. Everyone is experiencing a great deal of stress. There’s a great deal of fear and so many unknowns adding to the stress, not only relating to this dreaded virus, but also to the ability to work and earn an income. Now while we don’t have all the answers, we’d like to share a few tips of coping with stress so that you can lessen the negative impact on your life. We trust you will find them useful.
1. Avoid blame:
As humans it’s natural to want to cast blame on someone or something for the situations we find ourselves in. Unfortunately it doesn’t help because it doesn’t solve anything. There are many armchair critics who like to point out what everyone is doing wrong in the situation. Don’t be one of those people who add nothing to society, it is not at all productive or beneficial. It’ll only make you angry and heighten your stress levels because it doesn’t provide any answers.
2. Be grateful:
While we easily focus on the things we don’t have or can’t do, if we look closely we still have a great deal to be grateful for. Even if it’s being able to work from the couch in your pyjamas and not having to commute for an hour each day. Make a conscious effort to find things every day that you’re thankful for and you’ll find your mindset shifting because you have something good and positive to focus on instead.
3. Reach out:
It has been proven that stress levels can be lowered when you look beyond yourself and your situation and help someone else. That elderly neighbour who may be too scared to go to the shops, ask if you can drop off some groceries for her next time you go. That friend who lives alone – give him a call and check in with him, find out how he’s doing. Your voice may be the only social contact he’s had in weeks and it could be a lifeline. There are so many inspiring stories of small acts of kindness that are making a huge impact on people’s lives.
4. Do what you can:
If you can work from home then do so diligently, remembering you’re fortunate to still have a job, many don’t. If you’ve been furloughed, use the time constructively by keeping up on industry happenings. There are many online resources that are offering free courses right now, take advantage of this and the extra time you have available now to gain new knowledge and skills.
5. Try something new:
Maybe you’ve never been a baker, a knitter or a gardener, why not start? Sure you might bumble your way through tasks and end up with a huge mess, but at the very least it’ll give you a story to tell and something to laugh about. And if you meet with success? What a feeling! It’ll be well worth the learning experience.
You may not have control of your world right now and returning to normal life may seem like a distant pipe dream, but you are still here and can make a positive contribution to the world. Don’t let the stress of the situation overwhelm you, there is still a lot of good coming out of this awful pandemic. It’s an opportunity to become stronger, more empathetic and more aware of the world around us.