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A Weird Trick to Soothe Your Stress During Lock-Down

Lean Caffeine - 30 Mar 2020

A Weird Trick to Soothe Your Stress During Lock-Down

I’ve always loved UK Economist Tim Harford’s books and I recently subscribed to his blogs.

His latest one (below) has a great tip you can easily implement to soothe away some of the stress you may be experiencing during the Coronavirus lock-down.

How not to lose your mind in the Covid-19 age

Here’s my summary of the above tip:

1. You (along with many others) may be feeling overwhelmed due to the long and changing “to-do” list you have as a consequence of teh Coronavirus and the self isolation we now need to endure.

2. The trick is to get your “to-do” list back in order via these simple steps:
A. Get a piece of paper and make 3 columns – (i) Deferred Projects, (ii) Existing Projects, (iii) New Projects
B. Review all of your projects (any multi-step outcome that can be completed within a year) and place them in 1 of the 3 columns on the piece of paper using the following definitions:
—-> Deferred Projects = These are projects that are no longer relevant in the current Coronavirus lock-down. These can be deferred until later e.g. learning a skill relevant to your old job if your company has closed down temporarily.
—-> Existing Projects = These are projects you already had in mind pre-Coronavirus lock-down that are still relevant today and can be worked on e.g. painting the garden fence, or cleaning your decking ready for summer.
—-> New Projects = These are projects you never considered before but now that you have some spare time on your hands you can tackle e.g. starting a side business online, or setting up a support group for the elderly in your neighbourhood.

3. The simple practice of going through this exercise and getting it down on paper can literally remove some of the stress you may be carrying around. The combination of parking irrelevant tasks and thinking of new projects can be liberating.

Of course there are going to be other stresses in your life. I worry about my 82 year old mother in Perth, Australia as she is on her own since my Dad passed away from dementia and she is a very social person. I fear for her mental health in the current lock-down in Australia. She suffers from manic depression so it can be a time in life that is doubly stressful for her. I’ve just had to reealise that I can’t constantly worry about her and I can only do what I can from here in the UK (ring her up regularly and rely on my brother and sister who live near her).

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