As states reopen, schools finish their spring semesters with questions about what the fall will bring, and employees slowly start phasing back into the workplace, one thing remains constant: the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. For many, that uncertainty is a source of stress and anxiety.
We asked IUPUI’s Michelle Salyers, School of Science professor and director of both the clinical psychology program and the ACT Center of Indiana, to provide her top tips for coping during this stressful time.
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Text: Does the COVID-19 pandemic have you feeling stressed? 5 Tips to help you cope from IUPUI's Michelle Salyers
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Text: Tip #1: Keep Informed. Use reliable sources like CDC for news and updated guidance.
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Text: Avoid getting your news from social media and 24-hour news shows.
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Tip #2: Practice breathing. Find a breathing technique that works best. Practice when stressed.
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Tip #3: Meditate. Take time each day to meditate to help control anxiety.
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Text: Tip #4: Practice gratitude. Write what brings you joy, meaning or gratitude. Focus on these things throughout the day.
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Text: Tip #5: Get some sun. Stand outside for five minutes to soak up vitamin D.
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Tip #1: Keep informed
Use reliable sources like the CDC for news and updated guidance. Avoid getting your news from social media and 24-hour news shows, which may increase anxiety.
Tip #2: Practice breathing
Find a breathing technique that works best for you and use it when you’re feeling stressed.
Try taking six alternate nostril breaths.
- Sit cross-legged on the floor.
- Then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril. Then close the left nostril.
- Open the right nostril and exhale through the left side.
- Inhale through the right nostril, and then close this nostril.
- Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
- Repeat five more times.
Tip #3: Meditate
Take time each day to meditate to help control your anxiety.
If you notice your body is tired or low on energy, try body scan meditation and direct attention and warmth to areas of your body that are most tired or tense.
- Get comfortable and take a few breaths.
- Bring awareness to your feet.
- Breathe into the tension.
- Scan your entire body, gradually moving from your feet to your head.
- Direct attention to areas most tense or tired.
Tip #4: Practice gratitude
Write down what brings you joy, meaning or gratitude and focus on it each day. You can also make it a meditation practice or bring it to mind to help calm your anxiety.
Tip #5: Get some sun
Take a vitamin D break for the soul. Stand outside for five minutes, feeling all the sensations around you.