Covid 19 special – Stress Management
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we currently live and work, but being at home may cause some to be more than just bored. Remember, everybody reacts differently in situations like this and it’s OK to feel worried, anxious or stressed.
Many people have learned to manage stress and its now part of our everyday language, because it enables us to describe in a single word, the range of issues and difficulties we face when adapting to changes or challenges within our everyday lives.
But for some, life has now become very stressful, so how do we cope with these feelings and improve our wellbeing. Especially if you worry about catching the virus or how it will impact on society and the economy?
In our other blog posts, we talked about the importance of taking a break from social media and only watching the news once a day, because the 24hr rolling news can be relentless and overwhelming. We also focussed on resilience and how to think about more than just the global pandemic by listing things that make us happy and people we enjoy talking to.
This blog specifically looks at ways we can help improve the health and wellbeing of anybody we know who may be feeling worried, anxious or stressed by the coronavirus outbreak. It takes information from our e-book on Managing Stress.
Some practical ideas from MyCoachingToolkit:
Firstly it’s really important to say it is OK to feel this way and remember we are only temporarily in this situation, things will improve and these feelings will pass.
Take control – What do I have control of right now?
Start by acknowledging the main thing we can’t control right now is the spread of the virus. We know this is outside of our control, so it’s time to look for all of the things we can control, like maintaining a daily routine based on the new normal. We don’t want fear to control our lives, so remember the most important thing we can control, is how we feel about the virus and what we can do to reduce our risk of contracting it.
Be safe – What can I do to stay safe?
We now regularly wash our hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer and should only sneeze or cough into a tissue and then safely dispose of it. If you don’t have one use your sleeve if you need to and wash your clothes when you get home. Disinfect surfaces that may have come into contact with germs and wipe down anything you bring into your home from outside. Stay away from anybody who has the virus or starts to show signs of the illness and think about what you would do if somebody within your home did get sick. Make a plan now and discuss it with your household or family members so you know what options you have to safely care for them. It’s important to discuss options before you need to take any action.
Be calm – What can I do to stay calm?
Start by making a list of all the things that make you feel calm. This will be different for everybody, but could include music, meditation, steady breathing or yoga, watching TV, reading or hobbies that just keep your mind occupied. Take things slowly if you can and don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything on your list straight away. Remember to take that break from social media and only watch the news once a day. Think about who you talk
to and what impact they have on the way you are feeling. Try to focus on the people who make you feel positive or happy and spend more time talking to them.
Be mindful – What can I do to relax?
Relaxation is a vital part of managing stress, so let the people around you know you are taking some time out to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. It will help you understand exactly how you are feeling, so you are totally in that moment and able to switch off all other thoughts. This can really ground you in the present and help reduce stress but pressing pause on your day. It can give you a moment to work through any difficult emotions and really listen to your senses.
Here is a simple meditation technique, so you can become more mindful in a matter of minutes:
- Find a quiet place – You can sit in a chair with your hands resting on your knees, crosslegged on the floor, or kneel down. You just need to be relaxed, comfortable and have your back straight. If sitting in silence feels a bit strange at first, don’t worry, it’s perfectly OK.
- Gaze into the distance – Try not to focus on anything in particular, just let your eyes slowly de-focus. As your vision starts to blur, close your eyes and relax.
- Breathe deeply – Take a deep breath in through the nose, and then out through your mouth. Do this at least five times and listen to your breathing so you can clear your mind.
- Stay like this for as long as you need – Breath gently and focus on your senses. Only notice what your body is feeling at that moment. When you feel ready, gently open your eyes and enjoy the feeling of calm. You are now ready to take on the world.
And finally… Stay connected
We are a new resource centre and our vision is to support an international network of professional coaches like you, so we want to encourage you to:
- Reach out to your clients and other people around you to see how they are coping and if you can help them work through any worries or concerns they have
- Use your voice on social media to post some of the hints, tips and tricks we have suggested from our coaching manual
- Come together as a community of professional coaches to share your knowledge, experience and ideas to support each other through this global pandemic
We really hope you find this series of special blogs helpful and use these ideas together with your own skills and knowledge to support each other and your clients. Some people will be feeling worried, scared or helpless about the current situation, so they will want to share their concerns with the people they trust.
In the next blog we will focus on video and telephone coaching, so we are really keen to hear your experiences and how you have adapted the way you currently work. Please send us a message via email to: contact@MyCoachingToolkit.com
As we don’t know what the future holds, or how our family or businesses will cope, we plan to use this time to focus on staying positive and share that energy with the people around us.
To find out more, order the e-book from our on-line shop – Coaching Stress Management
Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) MyCoachingToolkit.com – 2020