The quarantine of the COVID-19 virus and the expected downturn in the economy have created a lot of stress and uncertainty. People are looking for ways to live simpler, save money, and make the most of what they already have. Here are six ways to focus on the things you CAN control and start reducing your stress today.
Get educated about COVID-19. Knowledge is power; ignorance breeds panic. Know the symptoms to watch out for and when to seek medical care. Take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy and keep the hospitals free to treat those who need it.
Express gratitude. No matter what challenges you face, there is always something for which to be grateful. Take a moment to express and feel it. This simple practice can help ground you and put things in perspective. What three things are you grateful for today?
Simplify. Pare down to the essentials and get rid of the clutter. Simple routines and systems are easier to maintain and help you stay focused. Get rid of the things that don’t add value to your life or work, whether physical or mental. Give yourself a KISS – Keep It Super Simple!
Tweak your routines. Structure is important to maintain a feeling of control. Modify your daily morning, after work and evening routines to reflect your new reality. What needs to change to support you and make your days run smoother?
Focus. Define and prioritize what is really important now. You are also giving yourself permission to NOT do the things that aren’t important. Take care of the critical things that keep your home and work life going and let go of the trivial things that get in your way.
Take care of yourself. You can’t cope well or help others who need it when you’re tired, cranky, dehydrated, and malnourished. Get a decent amount of sleep, eat as well as you can, and get some exercise. Turn off the TV and computer an hour before you go to bed to give your brain a chance to rest.
Go outside. Get some fresh air and get your body moving. Even a short walk can refresh and energize you.
Learn about payment deferrals or changes. As businesses and the government navigate this unprecedented crisis, many are already taking steps to defer payments, extend deadlines or even cancel fees. Find out how your own bills will be affected and what action, if any, you need to take. The federal tax filing deadline has already been extended to July 15, 2020. Many banks are also deferring payments and offering special loans to small businesses.
Get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask for help from your family, friends, or coworkers. Maybe you can work together, take turns, or delegate tasks to others who can pitch in and help. Take turns bringing lunch from home instead of eating out.
Stay connected. Social isolation is difficult. Check in with your family, friends, loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers. Seeing friendly faces on FaceTime, Skype or Marco Polo can brighten your day and help you feel less alone. Send a text, make a call, talk from the next balcony – whatever works. We are all in this together!
Now get going! Take one small step every day to take control of your life and save time, money, and stress.