Between a global health crisis, quarantine and isolation, protests and unrest following (yet another) graphic example of police brutality, and a divisive body politic, 2020 has been a year most people would prefer to forget.
It has also been a very stressful year. We hear this all the time from residents in our Philadelphia rental apartments.
According to a recent poll entitled Stress in America 2020: Stress in the Time of Coronavirus, Volume One, conducted by The Harris Poll, 46% of parents say their average stress level related to the coronavirus pandemic is high.
Parents say basic needs — such as access to food and housing — are a significant source of stress (70%). Other significant stressors for parents include access to health care services (66%) and missing major milestones, such as weddings and graduation ceremonies (63%).
The economy is a significant source of stress for 70% of adults.
Here are some recommendations for dealing with stress:
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, higher fiber starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta, as well as dairy or dairy alternatives.
Exercise regularly. Try for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise a day.
Get plenty of sleep. Most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night
Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or religious leader.
Keep away from drugs and alcohol. These may seem to help, but many drugs are highly addictive and can cause additional health problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.
Take a digital detox. If news events are causing your stress, and let’s face it most of the news over the past couple of months have been depressing, take a break from social media, and the news. It will still be there when you get back.
Recognize when you may need professional help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor.