10 tips for handling stress as we enter a “new normal”

We were cooped up inside for 7 weeks, slowly given a few more weeks to stretch our limbs and explore our neighbourhoods, and then finally, after a total of around 10 weeks of lockdown, we’re free of Covid-19 and able to roam freely and do as we please. 
Going back to our usual routines is what we’ve all been dreaming of. Back to work, back to school, back to the gym, back to the supermarkets and cafes, and back to exploring New Zealand. 

We’ve stepped into a new normal, and with it can come overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress. Roads are heavy with traffic again, the diary is filling up with social occasions, and all that downtime where we lived in the moment has suddenly been pulled out from under us. Eek! If you’ve been feeling stressed or anxious in your new normal routine, here’s 10 tips to help you out.

  1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Reflect on each situation so you know what triggers you.
  2. Develop and practise healthy responses to these triggers. It could be counting back from 10, taking a few deep breaths, or standing up and moving your body to literally ‘shake it out’.
  3. Take time out to recharge. Suddenly it’s really important to make that cup of tea!
  4. Talk it out. This could be with a colleague, mentor, peer or family member.
  5. Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  6. Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
  7. Do exercise.
  8. Set limits appropriately and learn to say no to requests that would create excessive stress or/ and anxiety in your life.
  9. Talk positively to yourself.
  10. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.