Lockdown Strategies: Signs That Your Expectations and Old Routines Are Worsening Your Stress
Stress is unfortunately something everyone deals with, on almost a daily basis particularly these days of lockdown and half lockdown and much uncertainty.
At this time we have had an unprecedented global event crash into our lives and we have been left struggling to stick with what we used to do in our routines and finding ways to adjust to whatever is going on. This has caused a huge overload to stress levels.
But we can do something about this! The first thing is to not ignore any signs that your routines are actually making your stress worse so have a look at these common signals and see which may apply to you. Becoming aware is always the first step to putting something right.
You Are Always Running Out of Time
Do you find that you never seem to have time for everything on your list? If so, this is a big red flag that you are trying to do too much. You are most likely trying to fit in more than what you can reasonably get done. Maybe you thought you could get it all done, but realistically, you need to live your life as well and find new ways to cope with the now reality. Things change, schedules fall behind, and you miss things. You are not meant to do it all for everyone, at all times, forever especially when there is a world event happening right at this moment!
You Feel Guilt or Failure When You Don’t Get Everything Done
Along the same lines, when you don’t have time for everything, you might have a big sense of failure, which is going to make your stress so much worse. And, for sure, this is going to be detrimental to your emotional health. You did not fail!
You simply expected too much of yourself, or things in life got in the way, as they do. Just adjust, give yourself a pat on the back for giving it your best shot and move forward.
You Have Trouble Sleeping
You might find that at night, you keep going through your day, what you got done and what you didn’t, which is keeping you from sleeping. If you are struggling getting enough quality sleep, consider what keeps you up at night.
Are you on your phone? Do you have noisy distractions? Or are you thinking about everything you need to get done? This last is again another signal that you are having expectations of yourself that are just not reasonable given everything else that’s going on.
Please dont underestimate the huge drain on your energy that the Covid 19 lockdowns and uncertainty about the future is having. Even though it looks like you have time and space to rest and do loads of things, in reality it is hard to have much capacity to do things and rest well under these conditions. Once you understand your human reaction to this huge Unknown I hope you can adjust your expectations of yourself and let go of some of them.
You Have Physical Signs of Stress
There are physical and emotional signs of stress. Physically, this might mean not being able to sleep, having digestive issues, tension headaches, sore muscles, or teeth clenching. Many people don’t consider these to be signs of stress, whether because they get them so often, or they just assume they are ill. Stress often shows up physically first, so don’t ignore your body when it is trying to tell you something.
You Have Emotional Signs of Stress
With emotional signs of stress, it is more about your mood changes and how you feel. Your anxiety or depression symptoms might be worse, you could have memory issues, trouble focusing, or irritability more often. Everyone I speak to at the moment is having these symptoms. They are normal and human under these conditions!
If you just feel bad a lot of the time, or you can’t seem to control your bad mood, or you are feeling more anxious or depressed than usual, it may be from your daily expectations of yourself and the routines you have tried to set in place. These signs should also not be ignored.
Daily habits and healthy routines are meant to improve your life, not worsen them. If what you try to fit into your routine is too much, your body and mind is going to let you know.
Let’s be especially kind to ourselves right now! It is time to rethink what you can, and cant, do then plan routines and habits that really work for you
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