Some countries are lifting pandemic restrictions, while others are instating snap lockdowns amid fresh outbreaks of COVID-19. We are living in stressful, confusing times, and it is now perhaps more important than ever to look after ourselves as much as possible. So what can you do to look after yourself and prioritize your own wellness at this confusing time?

1. Prioritize sleep – your mood and immune system are counting on it

Getting enough good-quality sleep keeps your immune system running at its best – google image

When it comes to taking care of your health and well-being, sleep is pretty much always part of the answer. Getting enough good-quality sleep keeps your immune system running at its best to fight off infections, like the one caused by the new coronavirus. Indeed: There are parts of the body’s immune response that happen only during sleep. Scientists know sleep is also one of the top ways we can help keep stress in check, as sleep deprivation can make us more sensitive to the effects of stress, ramping up our reactions (or overreactions). Finally, the brain needs sleep to function; without it you’ll be less patient and focused, make poor decisions, and be more moody, irritable, and emotional.

2. Set clear boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘home’

Set clear boundaries between work and home – google image 

Although restrictions have eased in some countries, many people continue to work from home in a bid to stay safe and keep others safe or because a work-from-home setting allows them to accommodate care duties for family members.

While such arrangements may allow for more flexibility in scheduling both work- and home-related duties into one’s day, they also mean that the boundaries between work time and private time become blurred.

This could easily lead to burnout, an experience of chronic stress and fatigue that can have long-term effects on well-being and productivity.

It could also result in a phenomenon dubbed “revenge bedtime procrastination,” in which a person delays their bedtime even when they are very tired so that they get a chance to enjoy some private leisure time.

That is why it is vital to set clear boundaries, experts say. If possible, people should designate a specific room or space within a room for work only.

This can help separate the “office” area from the rest of a person’s home within their own mind. Thus, at the end of the workday, simply stepping out of that designated workspace can help a person “switch off” their “work mode.”

Scheduling in strict breaks for meals and recharge time can also help offset stress and help a person maintain a general sense of well-being.

3.  Ration news and social media consumption

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Ration the amount of news you read in a day – google image

As cases of COVID-19 keep fluctuating in countries around the world, it makes sense to want to stay informed about the local and global situation, which restrictions are in place, and what to do to maintain good health.

However, being constantly connected to our devices and being bombarded with news — particularly bad or uncertain news — can have serious effects on our mental health, relationships, and aspects of our physical well-being.

Becoming overloaded with information can also lead to news-related anxiety and contribute to concerns related to the pandemic.

Some ways to avoid this news and screen time overload include consciously rationing the amount of news that you read in a day, as well as taking breaks from checking social media.

Replacing some of the news and social media consumption with other activities, such as reading, exercising, or meditating, can also help reduce stress levels and mitigate anxiety.

Focusing on what you, as an individual, can do can also help offset the sense of anxiety created by the news cycle. That is because, as existing researchTrusted Source has suggested, altruistic actions can improve subjective well-being, give a sense of purpose in life, and consolidate the individual’s identity within their community.

4. Get your creativity on with coloring books and other art therapy


Painting is a way to release stress – google image

Coloring and other creative and artistic endeavors, like drawing, painting, or knitting can be relaxing for a lot of people. For some people it’s a chance to tune out other distractions and focus on one thing at a time. For others, it’s an outlet to express emotions (maybe you paint with bold, bright colors because you’re experiencing strong feelings). Don’t underestimate the power of art to ease your mind and bring you joy!

Source: medicalnewstoday, everydayhealth


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