Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress: Job Loss, Quarantine Social Distancing

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Back in 2008 – a time not that long ago – people were stressed about the world economic situation. Since then, there have been natural disasters affecting millions of people, while a segment of our population is still having loved ones go to war.

We have endured tough times before. This too will pass, but it is time to do your part – work hard not to get sick (or get others sick), but also do productive things that will actually help you work off the stress of confinement.

If you are military or a veteran, you know what it is like to be deployed where you work long hours when confined to small areas (ships, submarines, FOB and foreign bases). The ingenuity and creative thinking you used on deployment to find ways to work off stress can actually come in handy when confined at home.

Let’s face it: stress is stress. It does not matter if bullets are flying over your head or if you cannot pay a bill at the end of the month, all stress is hormonally similar and needs to be mitigated daily. By actively pursuing recovery methods, you can metabolize the stress that is upon us all.

Here are some helpful ways to deal with the physical and mental stresses of our current situation:

1. Get on a Schedule

Your ability to make a new normal out of the current situation is critical. Not only will that keep you productive when you work from home, but it will help you keep your sanity. If your commute is from the bed to the couch with the phone and remote in your hand, you are missing things you could be doing.

Take this next month and get better at something. Have you always wanted to learn the piano, guitar, or do a pull-up? This is a great time to practice. You will find that the music, thinking and physical activity make for a healthy distraction. And remember – If it is not on the schedule, it does not exist!

2. Get Productive

Remember when you said “if I had more time, I would do ________?” Well, now is that time. From the looks of it, many of us will be in this situation for at least the next month. Have you ever wanted to write? Start writing. Do you have household upgrades, spring cleaning and yard work to do? Get to organizing and pulling those weeds.

3. Make New Clean and Healthy Habits

Bring healthful food into the house and get into a regular hand-cleaning habit. Take your vitamins. Wash your hands every time you touch a doorknob or go from outdoors to indoors.

Keep your hands in your pockets and away from your face and other people’s faces and hands. Use antiseptic mouthwash to brush your teeth after meals. Use disinfectant spray on common area sources, handles, and armrests.

One thing that could come out of this situation are ways to avoid the common cold and influenza viruses if we make this a new normal for our future.

4. Stop Watching the News

Non-stop coverage of coronavirus and economic downturns will not help you deal with the situation and could actually lead to more anxiety and depression. Watch a movie or read a book for your leisure time (of course after a highly productive day).

The last thing you need in your house is non-stop news playing on a television in the background of your home. Make your home a sanctuary because, “You are not stuck at home – You are SAFE at your home!

5. Read About the Coronavirus Recovery Rates

If you are getting anxious about people getting sick, take a look at how many people are recovering from the illness. Depending on the age group, the percentage of recovered patients is in the high 80% to high 90% range. That does not mean you want to take this virus lightly, but it may be helpful with your mental stress to better understand how many people are actually beating this virus and disease.

6. Time with Family

If you have a job that keeps you away from the family often, take advantage of this time and enjoy the kids and spouse. It’s time to bring out the board games, watch family movies, do homework together, do chores together, eat meals together and just be together. Enjoy.

The goal of this time is to make a goal and work to achieve that goal. If you are well and avoiding people, take some “me time” and make yourself better. This can actually be a blessing if you have the right attitude.

Some related posts on Recovery and Over training /​ Over stressing the body:

Missing Link to Performance

Stress - A Perfect Storm?

Recovery Tools of the Trade

But Avoid Over-Training

More on Over-Training / Over-Stressed

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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