Are you struggling to focus on work with everything going on in the world right now? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Working through uncertain and stressful times isn’t easy. It can feel almost impossible when your mind is so taken up by fear and anxiety. It is nearly impossible to stay focused.
If you’re struggling right now, there are some tips you can follow, which may help. Here, we’ll look at some of the most effective ways to work through stress and uncertainty.
1. Practice gratitude
Did you know that practicing gratitude can make a big difference in how you feel? Studies have shown that writing a list of the things you are grateful for can drastically improve your mood.
By focusing on the things you’re grateful for, it trains the brain to think more positively. You’ll switch your focus from the bad stuff going on right now to the good. For example, working from home may be challenging, but at least you’re safe and have a home to work from.
I have started writing three things a day. Sometimes, I repeat a few of the same three thoughts, but I am staying consistent in doing it.
2. Try to establish a routine
Now that you’ve found yourself transitioning to working at home, it can feel bizarre. You don’t know how to navigate your working day when you’re not in the office. So, creating a routine, it’s going to help to ease some of that uncertainty.
Have a set time that you wake up and start work. Make sure you schedule breaks throughout the day and have a set finish time too. Just implementing a routine can erase so much of the uncertainty you feel right now.
3. Utilize support that’s available to you
One of the good things about this uncertain time is that it is impacting everyone. It means there is a lot of help available out there, for example, your family, friends, church, and more.
It could be you need to spend more time connecting with friends and family. Or, you may find it useful to share your concerns with others in online support forums.
You can also find more practical support too. If you’re struggling with your finances or worried about how the current situation will play out, don’t hesitate to seek emotional help from a trained therapist, for example.
4. Focus on self-care
Finally, try and focus on self-care during these uncertain and stressful times. This will really help to reduce the stress you feel.
Exercising regularly is a great way to deal with stress. You should also focus on doing things that relax you each day, such as meditation, reading, or listening to music. The more you practice self-care, the less stressed you’ll be throughout this time.
5. Do virtual meetups or playdates
Use whatever technology you have available (Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.) to virtually meet up with those you love. If your kids are missing their friends from school or best friend from down the block, work with parents to arrange virtual playdates.
If communicating this way isn’t your thing, become pen pals with people. Most people love getting letters in the mail and the anticipation of the return letter will help pass the time.
6. Go outside when possible
Social distancing doesn’t require you to stay in your home 24 hours per day. If the weather is beautiful, get outside and play! Or just read a book on your porch while your kids play. Either way, your whole family will benefit from busting out of your home and burning some energy.
Remember, this type of stress should pass soon; it is how you adapt to it that will help alleviate it. I have started taking evening walks with the boys and not only does it help relieve stress. It also helps us all to get a better night’s sleep.
7. Plan activities to pass the time
Doing puzzles, taking classes online, or playing outside are all great ways to spend time during isolation. It is a great time to review old “Bill Nye the Science Guy” videos with your kids and recreate some of his experiments together!
If you usually get along with other families to play board games, cards, or watch movies, plan to do those activities still virtually. It might feel a bit odd at first, but it will help keep vital connections with others and help keep your mind busy.
This can be a stressful time for adults and children, but by tempering expectations of yourself and your kids, and finding ways to pass the time, you can get through this.
8. Limit exposure to social media and the news
This can be tough for some people because scrolling through social media is often seen as a way of relaxing. But the constant exposure to the worries over COVID-19 can be harmful.
Put a limit on how long you will spend on social media and how much of the news you’ll watch each day. Consider doing the same thing for your children. Their exposure to the news of COVID-19 can cause fear, worry, and stress, which can lead to irritability or acting out, unhealthy eating and sleep habits, excessive sadness, and difficulty with attention and concentration.
Overall, it’s hard not to stress and fear what might happen during a pandemic. However, the tips above can really help you to manage those feelings. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much from yourself, particularly when you first transition to working from home.
If you have more tips, I would love to hear them below in the comments.