Extended Lockdown: Coping with Fear and Stress

If you are feeling anxious, frustrated or visibly stressed during the current pandemic-induced circumstances, you are not alone. But you can, however, take small steps to improve the quality of life and restore balance in times of distress. 

Banish the Viral Fear and Panic 

Forget about fear. You see, fear is persuasive, and panic easily goes viral.

In a new series of virtual newsletters, Reinventing Life, author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra writes that it is in everyone’s benefit to settle our minds and go beyond fear by not dwelling on anxious thoughts. 

Deepak advises assigning every anxious feeling or situation you encounter one of three categories:

  • Firstly, problems that can be fixed;
  • Next, issues that you have no control over so you have to put up with;
  • Finally, things that you should walk away from to keep your sanity intact – no questions asked. 

For example, you may not be able to control the strict lockdown regulations everyone in the country is currently facing. Still, you can control the amount of time you dedicate to following crisis news and panicking at the released statistics.

Decide to limit this time or walk away from the news hype altogether if and when it gets unbearable.

Instead, take time daily to engage in activities that make you happy and positive, such as reading uplifting books or articles, listening to calming music, exercising, meditating or gardening.

Whatever keeps you focused and happy, bring it on.

Learn to Cope with Stress

Stress is undoubtedly the most significant contributing factor to ill health and disease in today’s modern times. Lives can change in a split of a second with change brought by unexpected results, natural disasters, worldwide events and mass-scale pandemics. 

Coronavirus is not so different after all.

This is now the current reality, and things are not going back exactly to the way they were. People need to learn to adapt to new situations all the time, which means coping with the stress that comes with the change. Learn to live with the new status quo.

If you have a difficult time coping with the additional burden and challenges brought by the lockdown – work from home, financial pay cuts, constant chores, homeschooling children – you need to cut some space in your schedule and give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack – we have all been there.

Devote several times a day a few minutes to sitting quietly and calming your mind before going back to your daily routine. Close your eyes and use deep and regular breathing, advises Chopra. Bonus points if you can spare more time for yourself and practise daily meditation, yoga or tai-chi. 

Still anxious? 

Deepak advises thinking long-term and focusing on your world post-crisis.

Write down a vision of the future you want to live. Detail the things you want to do and experience after the lockdown ends, from new careers and learning skills to those far and wide travels.

Open yourself to the imagination and the allure of new possibilities. Look out for inspiration inside and around you.

Having positive goals in mind helps you create and reinforce new habits and roadmaps to where you want to be and what you want to achieve once the pandemic threat is over. 

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