Tips for Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Isolation
If you are healthy right now, remember to be grateful! A daily gratitude practice involves remembering or writing down 3-5 things in the day that were blessings. You can do this in the morning or end of the day. Gratitude practice has been shown to increase immune system functioning, improve sleep, and create a positive feeling about life.
Be kind to your body. If you have a cold, flu, or COVID-19 be as patient as possible with your condition. Refrain from contact with others, and remember that self-care is the foundation for universal care.
Staying connected with friends and family is key. Feeling alone or isolated is an unhealthy state, and it is important to change this reality. Find consistent and creative ways to communicate and connect with your friends who cannot be with you physically. Talk everyday with friends during this time of self-quarantining.
“The secret to happiness is routines,” said the Dalai Lama. Try to establish routines and develop habits that make you feel happy and wholesome. As much as possible, do what is right and best in the present moment, and what follows will go better.
Be sure to create habits that allow you to get the sleep and exercise you need. Sleep is vital to physical healing, mental clarity, and creativity. Consistent exercise or online exercising with friends can improve your mood, enhance energy, and help you feel happier.
Finding meaning and purpose is vital to all of us. Explore ways to help others in this time of crisis. Cook food for others; send cards; write a song or poem to share; volunteer your time in the community in some way that will make a difference to others. Let neighbors know if you would be willing to assist with bringing them essential supplies or food.
Develop a new skill or practice an old one. Crafts, music, cooking… It’s a way to pass time, feel productive, and gain something from your time alone.
The only thing more powerful than fear is love. When dealing with crisis, anxiety, and being overwhelmed, things always go better when we keep our focus on how to love and see the way that we are all interconnected. Easing fixation on “me, mine, and I” and opening to “we, us, and our” can give us a pathway toward caring about everyone near and far.
Every day try to take 5 minutes for self-reflection. This can come in the form of reading, meditation/prayer, journaling, sitting quietly with a cup of tea/coffee in the morning, counting your blessings, sending good wishes to other people for happiness, safety, and good health.
Remember boredom can be a gateway to creativity. Many famous inventors, artists, innovators, and writers have commented that their most original thoughts and ideas came in the midst of boredom.
Also, finally, remember that this will pass. Like everything in life: this crisis is impermanent and will change. There will come a time when this current situation will shift, pass away, and in its place a new reality will arise.
Guerrilla Tactics for Surviving and Thriving While Away from Bowdoin
- Provide childcare for someone in the medical field or anyone else;
- Play board games online with friends;
- Write a computer program;
- Provide online tutoring to a group of students who cannot go to school;
- Offer to do dog walking;
- Set up a regular group chat with friends;
- Check out online groups offered through the Counseling Service;
- Dive more deeply into a yoga practice;
- Try guided meditations or learn how to do loving kindness meditation;
- Start a meditation and/or yoga practice;
- Help do taxes for people;
- Cook food and deliver to people who cannot get out or make food to support medical providers and first responders;
- Start that novel or writing project;
- Make art;
- Write a journal for your future children or grandchildren;
- Learn to juggle;
- Design a t-shirt that Bowdoin could print up for the whole campus…