Community association managers and board members are no strangers to stressful situations—from rules enforcement to addressing assessment delinquencies. The COVID-19 pandemic likely has only added to the tension. Finding ways to relieve stress, prioritize emotional well-being, and maintain your physical health are more important than ever.
Daily routines have been altered, worries over finances have increased, and feelings of loneliness have swelled due to being apart from family and friends while observing social distancing.
Some communities have stepped up to establish a support network for residents to request help with running quick errands or finding supplies. Others have organized activities to provide levity and raise community spirit, such as chalk drawings on sidewalks and streets and musical performances on balconies.
Coming together as a community is important, and so is self-care. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, community managers, board members, and residents can adopt self-care strategies to relieve stress during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
The Mayo Clinic recommends getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, having a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption, and reducing time spent on electronic devices as ways to have a healthier body. It also offers these tips to reduce stress triggers:
- Maintain a regular schedule. Have a regular bedtime routine and keep consistent times for meals, bathing and getting dressed, work or study schedules, and exercise. Also set aside time for activities you enjoy.
- Limit exposure to news media. Constant news about COVID-19 can become overwhelming. Reduce time spent looking at news outlets and social media and only rely on information from trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and government officials.
- Set reasonable goals. Don’t create a long list of things to achieve while being at home. Outline steps you can take to reach your goals so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
- Focus on the positive. Consider starting each day with thoughts on what you are thankful for and avoid dwelling on the negative. Maintain a hopeful outlook, work to accept changes as they occur, and try to keep problems in perspective.
- Connect with others. Find time each day to make virtual connections by email, text, phone, and videoconference apps. Enjoy virtual socializing with friends, relatives, and colleagues, and talking to those in your home.