There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of daily life. And now that we’ve been living with the pandemic for a year, many of us have adapted to our new “normal.” However, one thing that many of us are struggling with are feelings of uncertainty, a decrease in positive social interaction, and lack of autonomy and control. These feelings have drastically increased stress. In turn, this can make it hard to be as productive as possible.

Here are 3 tips to help you combat stress and increase productivity:

Limit the Daily News You Consume

We’re constantly being bombarded by news — and most of it is rarely up-lifting. Try to limit the amount of news that you consume daily, whether that be on the tv or on social media. The news can create feelings of anxiety, which can negatively impact your mental health. Be mindful with how you consume news, and how much time you spend everyday doing so.

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Focus On What You Can Control

Social distancing and working from home have brought on an onslaught of distractions. Partners, kids, errands — all of these can make you feel like your days are slipping away and that you’re getting nothing done. Establish a routine for yourself and try to stick to it as best as you can to maintain a sense of certainty and productivity. Create a clear morning, afternoon, and evening schedule for yourself to follow — setting boundaries is essential! Be realistic and try your best not to stress about the things you can’t control.

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Schedule Time to Socialize

One of the most difficult aspects of the pandemic has been not being able to see friends and family. Connecting with others is crucial in combating stress and enhancing your mood. Just as you schedule time to work, it’s also vital to plan time to virtually connect with friends and family. Even if it’s simply a virtual coffee break, or an hour once a week to catch-up, this interaction will help to restore your energy. Stay accountable and make sure you schedule time for yourself!

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