Getting through lockdown, no matter how long it takes, may require some planning. Having some strategies to work with may help you to know what to concentrate on. Preserving your precious nervous and adrenal systems will help you to maintain a calmer spirit and give you more longevity when it comes to stress management. A high cortisol/low adrenal hormonal state can bring even the strongest person undone. Adopting strategies for stress management may reduce the mental health casualty rate over the long term.
Strategy No 1. - keep media exposure to a bare minimum. Each time a news flash hits your eyes your adrenal glands are reacting. They can only react for so long before your energy level goes right down and all you can do is sleep. This could be a strategy in itself right now but it won't help you to participate in life. You'll need to keep the adrenal leakage low and the cortisol levels down for lockdown longevity.
Strategy No 2. - exercise daily to manage cortisol stress hormone levels. Take notice what works for you. Some people are better off exercising at a slow pace to keep stress levels down and cortisol at a manageable rate.
Strategy No 3. - try to keep alcohol and other substances at a controllable level. While these may produce a numbing, peaceful state, the post-use affect can result in greater mental health symptoms.
Strategy No 4. - Eat fresh foods as much as possible. Sugars and processed starches can increase mental health symptoms and slow down the production of healthy brain hormones.
Strategy No 5. - Spend time in the sunshine and fresh air. Getting sunlight on the eyes and eyelids can help improve sleep and relaxation later in the evening and it also aids in the production of melatonin which is a precursor for the production of seretonin.
Strategy No 6. - Stay hydrated. Be mindful of how many caffeinated drinks you are consuming and remember that water is still a very valuable resource for the body as well as fresh juices.
Strategy No 7. - Try to keep your stress at a manageable level. Notice the things that make you feel more stressed and try to organise your day so that you can have a little more control over those events.
Strategy No 8.- Spend part of every day doing something that you would usually find relaxing and enjoyable. You may only be able to concentrate on it for a short time but a short amount of time is better than no time at all.
Strategy No 9. - Talk about how you are feeling. Talking is one of the most valuable resources you have for coping with stress. Talk to your friends and family and keep them up-to-date on how you're feeling, particularly if your distress symptoms seem to be increasing.
Strategy No 10. - Talk to a therapist - if you feel like you're not coping and need to speak to a professional listener, get in touch with a coach, counsellor or therapist who can help you bring your stress back down to a manageable level.