Amid ever-changing information around the pandemic, most people are experiencing heightened stress, and women have been disproportionally affected as COVID-19 is forcing them out of the workplace in record numbers.
In early 2020, women held more than half of all U.S. jobs. More than 865,000 women left the workplace in September alone—departing at four times the men’s rate.1 The uncertainty of the pandemic brings about challenges that are stressful to navigate, so here are five tips to help you cope:
It's normal to feel anxious and worried, so don't be hard on yourself.
- Take a break from social media. You practice social distancing, but a good way to reduce anxiety is to distance yourself from traditional and social media. Replaying stories multiple times per day that often highlight the most sensational and heart-tugging events, may not be the best way to go. Whenever you feel anxious, step away. Setting a time limit for news and social media each day would be a good practice to adopt.
- Exercise your body and mind. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety. Activities—such as walking or jogging—that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups help you manage your stress levels. You can also practice guided meditation, which is a form of relaxed concentration following narration related to breathing and imagery. This can help you with focus and will give you a clearer mind to tackle your daily tasks.
- Practice gratitude. Focusing on what you are grateful for will give you a positive outlook and a sense of peace. Start small, select one or two things that you are grateful for, and acknowledge the benefits that these elements bring to your life.
- Preserve a sense of normalcy. There is a lot to be said for establishing a routine and sticking to it. Maintaining a structure to your day with some semblance of normalcy will help you stay organized.
- Seek out advice. Whether you are facing challenges related to health, finances, or family, there is no need to navigate them alone. If you are experiencing increased anxiety, talk to a professional to develop a strategy that helps you cope with your situation—even reaching out to relatives will boost your spirits—and theirs.
It’s normal to feel anxious and worried during a pandemic, so don’t be hard on yourself. Developing self-care practices will help you cope with the demands that come with balancing your responsibilities at work and at home.