Although stress is often an inescapable part of life, thereís no denying that the past year has been particularly stressful. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Ė and many peopleís lack of concern for public health Ė virtually every facet of daily life has been upended. Unsurprisingly, this is highly conducive to heightened stress levels, even in individuals who are typically good at keeping their stress in check. So, if pandemic stress has gotten you down, taking the following measures can help you keep a level head amidst an ongoing pandemic.
Promptly Get Vaccinated
Thereís no better way to protect yourself and the people around you from COVID-19 than getting vaccinated. Unless you have a medical condition that precludes you from receiving vaccines, getting vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience will help keep you and your loved ones safe and contribute to public health. There are currently three readily available COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., all of which are available free of charge at many pharmacies, medical centers and pop-up clinics. Given the ease of accessibility and lack of financial cost, thereís no excuse for not yet getting vaccinated.
In addition to the various health benefits, being fully vaccinated can also provide you with peace of mind, which has become very scarce over the last 18 months. While the vaccines donít act as invincible shields against COVID-19, they do exactly what vaccines are meant to do Ė prevent serious and fatal cases of the virus theyíre designed to combat. Although youíll be able to breathe a little easier after being vaccinated, itís still recommended that you mask up in public and continue to take other common sense precautions, particularly with the Delta variant ripping across the U.S.
Weaponized misinformation has been a massive problem throughout every phase of this pandemic. In spite of the United Statesí heavy COVID-19 death toll (over 600,000 and counting), millions of Americans insist on trusting agenda-driven figures acting in bad faith over seasoned health care experts and public health organizations. In some cases, the people who believe such misinformation are simply naÔve and/or gullible. Other times, however, they willfully choose to embrace misinformation because it corresponds to things they want to believe or promotes beliefs they already held.
Since weaponized misinformation is actively killing people, itís imperative that you avoid being taken in by it and try to steer others away from it, too. Getting your information directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can simplify things and help ensure that you arenít taken advantage of by people who seek to misinform.
Engage in Relaxing Pastimes
Keeping stress levels under control is crucial to maintaining a level head. With this in mind, make a point of engaging in relaxing pastimes. In addition to helping relieve stress in the short term, regularly taking part in such hobbies can pave the way for lasting calm. Meditation, deep breathing exercises and reading are all examples of hobbies that can both broaden your horizons and relax your mind. Creative endeavors, like journaling, drawing and fiction writing, can also help keep you simultaneously active and relaxed.
Additionally, if you live in a state in which recreational cannabis use has been legalized, you may want to consider adding weed to your relaxation toolbox. If youíve never tried cannabis, take care to do some research into strains that can relieve stress and/or relax the mind. Anyone with additional questions would do well to reach out to a local dispensary. For example, Phoenix, AZ residents in the market for cannabis info should contact a Mesa dispensary.
Thereís no question that the last 18 months have been an exceedingly stressful time. Furthermore, despite the availability of vaccines, millions of peopleís refusal to get vaccinated is ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic continues well into the foreseeable future. Given the circumstances, itís easy to see why so many of us are dealing with skyrocketing stress levels. Of course, this isnít to say that we should simply accept uncontrolled stress as a fact of life. Putting the previously discussed measures to good use can help you keep a level head throughout these troubling times and set the stage for long-term mental calm.