Are you feeling the strain of lockdown and restrictions? Learn how to handle pandemic stress and avoid relationship issues.
It’s normal to feel a little strung out when the world is in chaos. Not only are we dealing with the uncertainty of a rather eventful looming election, but we also have a serious pandemic going on. Our lives are not our own at the moment. We’re constantly trying to keep our distance, wear a mask, wash our hands, and do everything else at the same time. Learning how to handle pandemic stress is the key to keeping yourself and your relationship healthy!
Needless to say, it’s stressful! Of course, you turn the news on, and it’s all negative and gloomy too. Again, more stress.
The problem is, this type of picture can easily start to seep into your days. Before you know it, you’re borderline pulling your hair out and blaming your partner for the fact it’s raining. You might not even realize you’re being snappy or irritable around your partner, but from their point of view, life isn’t much fun!
Learning how to handle pandemic stress is vital if you want to ensure your relationship doesn’t suffer, unintentionally push your friends away, and your physical and mental health remains optimum. We’re all under pressure and living with the constant need to social distance isn’t fun.
However, understanding what you can do to avoid the stress, you can work your way through it all, until hopefully we can all return to some semblance of normality.
How to handle pandemic stress
If you want to stop yourself from making your partner feel like you’re blaming them for all the negative things going on in the world at the moment, factor these suggestions into your life.
#1 Make health and well-being your focus. It sounds like an excuse to talk about health, but it’s proven that by focusing on a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce the amount of stress in your life. When you’re healthy, your body has all the nutrients it needs. You’re sleeping well, you have energy, and you feel good in yourself. That cuts stress down immediately.
So, no more junk food unless it’s in moderation. Make sure you get some exercise and no more late nights and lay-ins. You need a regular seven to eight hours of sleep every night!
#2 Choose something you’re grateful for every day. Some days it might be harder than others, but before you go to bed at night, choose one thing out of the day that you’re grateful for. This helps you to develop a more positive mindset.
It’s one of the best ways for learning how to handle pandemic stress, meaning you’re not going to lash out at your partner simply because you’re feeling under pressure.
#3 Don’t watch the news, or limit your exposure. Constantly watching doom and gloom isn’t going to make you feel any better. Sure, it’s good to be informed, but you’ll get to hear the things you really need to know about regardless of whether you watch the news on a daily basis or not.
If you like to be in the know, limit the amount of news you watch. If it’s dragging you down, cut your exposure. At least that way, you can focus on the positives in your life and reduce your stress levels.
#4 Have date nights and focus on fun. It’s easy to forget what fun is when everything around you is gloomy. Sure, we have a few restrictions in place as to where we can go and what we can do at the moment, but schedule in a date night with your partner.
Don’t cancel it under any circumstances, and don’t talk about what’s going on around you, avoid anything negative, just focus on one another and having some fun. By doing that, you’re strengthening your connection and distracting yourself from whatever is stressing you out in the process.
#5 Make time for the things you enjoy. Kick pandemic stress out of the window by making time for the things you enjoy, e.g. your hobbies, chilling out with a book, and doing nothing else at all. Learning how to handle pandemic stress is about self-care and understanding that your needs are important. When you do the things you enjoy, you forget about everything else because your focus is on your happiness and fulfillment. Do more of that.
#6 Reframe the situation into something funny. Okay, there’s nothing funny about a pandemic, but you can make light of certain things that are going on. You have to wear a mask. Buy a bright and colorful one and make it fun. Social distancing is a must, so find fun ways to communicate and make it a thing you and your friends do. You have to wash your hands with hand sanitizer, so buy yourself a brightly colored bottle and make it your fashion thing. You can turn anything into something bright and fun if you try hard enough.
#7 Talk about how you feel. Instead of lashing out at your partner, talk to them about how you feel. Share your feelings and let them do the same. You can support each other through any worries or concerns you have. When it comes to the restrictions, do it together. It’s a far better option than keeping it all inside and allowing it to turn small conversations into petty arguments.
#8 Do your best to keep things in perspective. It’s super-easy to let your mind turn a small thing into something huge when you’re feeling stressed, whether it’s about the pandemic or not. Whenever you feel yourself starting to panic or overthink, consciously pull yourself back.
Ask yourself whether you’re making more of it than you need to. Most of the time, you will be. By giving yourself a second, you add some perspective.
#9 Relax, relax, and relax some more. Take it in turns to give each other massages with relaxing essentials oils, try meditation, do some deep breathing, listen to sleep apps before bed. Just focus on relaxation. The rest will fall into place. Again, you can learn to handle pandemic stress together if you focus on helping one another. Aside from anything else, relaxing massages are a great thing for a couple to do anyway!
Work together to keep it in perspective
Learning how to handle pandemic stress is always going to be difficult, because there’s something very real causing your stress. It’s not like you can push it away or pretend it isn’t happening. However, you can remember to keep things in perspective.
Simply focus on what you can control. In that case, it’s about wearing masks, washing your hands, social distancing, etc. Those are the only things you can control, so focus on those and then talk things out with your partner, getting through it together.
At the end of the day, you can turn against each other or you can work through it as a team. None of us have lived through anything like this before. Of course, it’s going to be stressful. However, do you really want your relationship to be a casualty?
Learning how to handle pandemic stress comes down to focusing on what’s important. Share your feelings with your partner and work through your fears and stress together. It just might make you stronger.