Do you feel stuck?
Many people do right now. One reason is the global pandemic, which has presented unique challenges for everyone in our society.
Singles: do you feel stuck because dating comes with the risk of getting the virus?
Married couples: has the 24/7 COVID confinement poured kerosene on your relationship issues?
Parents: is having your kids home all the time making you lose your mind?
What about your career? Do you feel stuck there too? If you started searching for a new employer, would you even find a better opportunity in today’s job market?
And what about leisure activities? Do you miss attending concerts and sporting events? Do you miss dinner and a movie?
Heck, do you miss the days when you could get a haircut without having to wear a mask?
The feeling of being stuck has created a host of challenges for individuals and families. Here are some of the many problems people are dealing with during the stay-at-home period:
- Some people may feel like everything is up in the air and that there’s nothing they can count on. For many, these feelings of being stuck have ramped up mental and behavioral issues.
- Daily schedules have gone out of the window for many people. This has led to a variety of lifestyle changes that have increased mood, stress, or sleep issues.
- Stress from lack of work or unexpected financial instability is affecting many in our society. Without the typical daily routine, such as going to school or the office, some people have slipped back into old habits, which may have amplified personal struggles.
- Some people who had sobriety before the pandemic are now using again. Additionally, some people who had previously been light or moderate drinkers are now developing an alcohol Others are turning to drugs as a coping mechanism.
- Due to the quarantine, couples are spending more time together at home with no respite from their relationship problems. This has led to increased marital conflict, more frequent arguments and abuse, and a greater need to address long-standing issues.
- With kids stuck at home, attention and behavior problems are becoming glaringly obvious. Parents who are doing homeschooling during the lockdown may find that their child’s learning challenges are far more significant than they realized.
- Friends, sports, and other extracurricular school activities help many children, adolescents, and teens thrive. Without a support network and activities to keep your kids busy, underlying mental or behavioral problems may become more pronounced.
- The quarantine has triggered a host of changes in eating patterns – overeating, increased snacking, consuming more sugary baked goods – all of which can have a negative effect on the brain and body.
- Months of being told it’s safer at home has led to a form of agoraphobia, an irrational fear of specific places, situations, or spaces. For some people, this phobia stems from the fear of contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to a loved one.
- A growing number of people are saying they’ve hit a wall with the pandemic and have reached the limit of their coping skills. The events of 2020 have been so traumatic, some have thought about ending it all.
These, and many other factors, are making people desperate for a change in their current circumstances. Being in a rut can make you more prone to negative thoughts – which can make you feel even more stuck.
As the pandemic drags on, what can you do to mentally deal with your shut-in reality? Here are 6 helpful ways to overcome lockdown stress…
6 Ways to Keep Moving Forward with Your Life When You Feel Stuck
In recent months, many people have gotten into the habit of frequently washing their hands and using hand sanitizer. While physical hygiene is extremely important, many fail to realize that it’s just as important to have good mental hygiene. Letting your fears run wild in your mind can leave you feeling stressed or worried, so be proactive at curbing negative thoughts.
You can disinfect your thoughts by exterminating the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that steal your happiness. Anytime you feel sad, mad, nervous, or stressed, write down what you’re thinking and then challenge that ANT. When you stop believing every fearful thought you have, you can start to regain control of your life.
Whenever you feel trapped inside the four walls of your house, do a deep breathing exercise. Take a deep breath, hold it for two seconds, and then slowly exhale for about five seconds. Do this 10 times and you’ll start to feel very relaxed.
It sounds so simple, but breathing is essential to life. When you slow down and become more efficient with your breathing, you may find that your outlook has improved and that you feel less stressed and worried.
Easy Does It
While physical activity has an overall positive effect on health, it’s possible to overdo it. In lieu of going to the gym, some people have increased the frequency and intensity of their at-home workout routines to stay in shape during the pandemic. While this is a healthy impulse, too much exercise can have a negative effect on the body and brain.
For instance, it’s possible to tear a muscle or cause joint pain. Those unaccustomed to high-intensity workouts also may experience increased stress from such vigorous exercise. A low-impact exercise, like walking, is ideal since getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine should help to counter the effects of cabin fever.
Traveling to far-off places can introduce you to new experiences, customs, sights, and people. But what can you do if you don’t have the time, resources, or ability to travel to an exotic location? Take a virtual vacation!
Select a country you’d like to visit and watch an online travelogue or documentary to learn more about its culture, cuisine, and points of interest. Or, establish a weekly education night where you virtually visit the dream destinations of everyone in your family. Learning as much as you can about a culture now will serve to enrich your experience when you eventually visit the country in the future.
Social connections are incredibly important to your overall well-being. Focusing your time and energy on positive people can have a dramatic impact on your everyday life and longevity. Having quality connections also can help remind you that you’re not alone in the world.
But how can you maintain close relationships during a quarantine? Though you might feel more distant from people than ever before, visual communications are possible via applications like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Also, a good old-fashioned phone call is still an excellent way to keep in touch with others, so consider reaching out to that old college buddy or long-lost relative.
Ride the Waves
Perhaps your energy levels have yo-yoed over the past few months. Or, maybe your mood has resembled a roller coaster ride during the pandemic period.
Coping strategies might help you during this unprecedented season of life. One technique is to visualize yourself riding ocean waves. Realizing that you’ll encounter many ups and downs in the days and months ahead can help you anticipate potential problems and recover from them more quickly.
These are just a few proven tips for dealing with isolation and worry. We hope they help you, and your friends and family, get out of a rut and back on track.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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