How to manage stress in times of uncertainty

By Matt Lim

As you all should know, the Corona Virus has caused major disruptions to our daily lives and has forced many of us, including the staff at CYM, to stay home and to only go out if necessary. Losing the freedom to be able to go out whenever we want has lead to a build-up of stress of anxiety among some people we know. Here are some tips on how to manage stress.

Just a disclaimer, I’m in no way providing professional advice so only use these tips as a suggestion.

1. Start journaling.

Journaling is a healthy way to express your emotions. You don’t have to worry about what other people think and can honestly write down things that are causing you to feel anxious. Set a time where you can sit in silence and offer them to God. At the end of the day, write down at least 3 things that the Lord has blessed you with during the day so you can end the day on a high.

2. Limit your social media intake (especially news)

This one can be really difficult, especially when you are stuck at home and self-isolating. You end up checking the news and wanting to stay connected with family and friends because we are feeling lonely and have a sense of FOMO. Though keeping up to date with the news is good because things are changing each day, being consumed and the constant scrolling can have a negative effect on you and can actually increase anxiety. My suggestion would be to have a set time where get the latest update but then stay away for the rest of the day.

3. Keep a healthy lifestyle

You know that new year’s resolution you always said you didn’t have time for. Guess what, you now have time for it. It has always been advised to have at least 30mins of physical activity each day. If you aren’t currently doing this, you don’t have any excuse. This can be as simple as saying the rosary while going for a walk, or as intense as Zumba in your living room. Remember to eat healthily and stay hydrated.

4. Keep to your daily routine as much as possible

There may be many restrictions imposed on us during this time, but this shouldn’t stop you from keeping your normal routine. If you are working or studying from home, you may be tempted to sleep in or stay up late. Take the opportunity to start your day and end your day in the same way. For example, if you usually wake up at 7 am, eat breakfast, have a shower, get dressed, brush your teeth then leave the house, continue to do this. Something else that may seem obvious is making sure you eat meals at proper times and tying in with the previous point, don’t snack on junk food throughout the day!

5. Spare some time to pray

Lastly and most importantly, spare some time to pray to our Lord. Don’t let this pandemic affect your prayer life and if you haven’t had much of prayer life, this is the best time to begin. If we put so much emphasis on our physical health, so rightly we should put the same or even more emphasis on our spiritual health. There are many ways to give your soul a spiritual workout. I’ve suggested a way in point three already and that is to pray the rosary. There have been quite a few creative ways that people have come up with to pray the rosary with friends, one being via a video chat group on Zoom. Comment below if you would like us to set up a Zoom rosary group or suggest other groups.

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