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2601 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

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Home Blog 10 Tips for Reducing Stress While Social Distancing

10 Tips for Reducing Stress While Social Distancing

10 Tips for Reducing Stress While Social Distancing

Social distancing is a challenge. In order to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are all being asked to pretty much stay home and minimize our contact with the outside world. This is changing everything, from how we do business to how we interact with our loved ones — and that’s on top of the stress and uncertainty most of us are already feeling because of the pandemic itself.

So, how can we cope with all this stress and living under restrictions while making the most of this unique time in our modern world? Here are 10 stress-reducing tips:

1. Focus on things within your control. Focus on what you are able to do during this time. Identifying actionable tasks can help empower you tremendously. Start with your body. Maintain good hygiene, eat well, and exercise. Transfer that to your home by keeping the dishes washed, the bathrooms cleaned, and the floors swept or vacuumed. Organize a closet. Clean out the garage. You can even get some early spring yard work done!

2. Connect with friends and loved ones. Although a lot of us are isolated due to safety precautions, take time to check in on friends and loved ones. Catch up on each other’s daily lives, share stories and tips of staying positive and healthy. We have so much technology at our fingertips that even if we cannot see one another face to face, you can still have quality time together. Pick up the phone and call, text,  Skype, FaceTime, etc...

3. Keep living your life. The COVID-19 virus has definitely changed the way we live our lives but that doesn’t mean we can’t put a positive spin on it. Less social interaction simply means more time to focus on personal projects, reading, gaining new skills, or refreshing old skills. Now is a great time to tackle your “I’ll get to it someday” list.

4. Utilize your go-to stress reducers. We all experience stress in different ways, and we all use different tactics to deal with our stress. Some people like to meditate. Some like to play games or watch a great movie. Some listen to comedy. If you don’t already have a go-to stress reducer, try something new and use it the next time you feel overwhelmed. Did you once sew? What about cooking or baking? Engage in a hobby or activity that you would enjoy.

5. Help others. When things are tough in your own life, it can be empowering to help others. Get in touch with an elderly neighbor (by phone or calling across the street) and ask them if they need help cleaning up their yard now that spring is here. If someone has contracted COVID-19, ask if you can bring them supplies (to be dropped outside their door). Get in touch with a local charity and see if there are ways you can help out. Seek out your own unique way to pitch in. Making others feel good is a sure-fire way to make you feel good.

6. Establish new routines. With so much change, it’s crucial that you try to maintain a normal routine as best you can. Doing so can give your days more structure, purpose, and hopefully a bit of normalcy. Even small items such as eating around the same time as usual, and dedicating time to play, work, and rest can work wonders.

7. Get active. Moving your body for 30 minutes a day is a great self-care practice to get endorphins flowing and give your immune system a boost. Do whatever gets your heart pumping. You could make up your own exercise routine based on the furniture and equipment you have available, or follow along with exercise videos on YouTube, Netflix, or other streaming services. Whether you like yoga, martial arts, or simply dancing in the kitchen, there are plenty of ways to help keep your body healthy.

8. Go outside.  If you’re feeling cramped from staying indoors, don’t forget about the great outdoors. With the weather beginning to warm up, go for a walk through the neighborhood with your dog, or play in the yard with your kids. The fresh air, sunshine, and nature will do wonders for your mental and physical health.

9. Focus on family time. Read books with different family members taking on different roles, watch movies or television series as a family, dust off a puzzle or board game. Bust out the coloring books and crayons! Make paper airplanes together. Share with each other three things that you are grateful for today.      

10. Limit your exposure to the news. Manage your media intake and make sure your news sources are reliable. While it is one thing to stay informed and up to date on the current crisis and prevention efforts, watching the news in excess can lead to information overload and increase stress and anxiety in an already difficult situation. Staying up all night and worrying about COVID-19 won’t help find a cure. Take time to unplug, the news will still be there tomorrow.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Take life day by day. With everyone’s commitment to safety and health, we will come out stronger and more united when this crisis is over.

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