Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Let's face it, no one was prepared for the coronavirus, for mandatory shelter in place, and the uncertainty of what the future holds economically.
Like all of us, I have gone through different types of stress: mental, physical and emotional stress. What I am feeling and experiencing today is so new, that I can not even put a name to it. Every day I wake up and I try to claim a little piece of normal. Every day I am adjusting to what is my "new" normal.
Here are the tools that have helped reduce my stress
#1 Move Your Body - Moving your body can help in so many ways. It reduces stress hormones and increases chemicals that improve your mood. Gyms are closed, but here is a list of ideas to help you get up and move:
#2 Connect With Friends - Feeling connected and supported with friends helps reduce the feeling of isolation. If the negativity from social media is pulling you down, take a look at what is helping me:
Limiting social media
Starting text groups with your friends and family so that you can connect to more people at once and keep whole groups connected
Write a handwritten letter and send it. Remember the days when you had penpals or would get cards just cause? I used to love the feeling! I felt special. This week I plan to pull out my holiday card list and handwrite cards to friends and family. Don't have cards? Make some!
#3 Take "Extra Special" Care of Yourself - You can't pour from an empty cup. I have recently discovered that, for me to refill my cup, I need to be alone. I need to disconnect from those around me. Be mindful of what your needs are too:
Sleep. Yes, I am guilty of staying up late and mindlessly binge-watching Hulu this week. However, I know that sleep will make me feel better in the long run. It will help me focus, stay calm and help balance my emotions
Watch what you put in your body. When working from home it is so easy to snack or graze all day. I had to put myself on a "schedule": breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. This structure has helped with mindless snacking. What we eat has a huge impact on how we feel and our immune system. My body feels better when it is being nourished with fruits and vegetables. I am limiting the amount of processed food. Need some inspiration? Check out Instagram for ideas and while you are there make sure to follow Relative Growth too!
Practice daily Gratitude to help keep you mindful of what you do have. I have started a FREE 14 day challenge on Relative Growth's Facebook Group with daily gratitude journal promotes. I would love to hang out with you. Come and join us!
#4 Take Back Control - Yes,. even in these crazy times you can find something that you can control.
Stick to your old routine; get up at the same time, take a shower, do your hair and makeup and get dressed in something that will make you feel good. It may not seem like much, but it is something that you still have control over. Trust me, you will feel better
Create a schedule. I LOVE lists and schedules. I live by them. This week my schedule has basically been thrown out the window as I try to adjust not only to the new demand, but also my clients', team members', and vendors' concerns. A schedule did not work last week, however, a list did. I listed what I needed to do and then ranked the list. Most days, only my urgent tasks got completed. I did have a schedule for my children and they have THRIVED. Early this week, I wrote what was working for my three kids and I am happy to report that at the end of the week we will be making only a few minor changes. Next week, I will be making my list and creating a schedule as I become accustomed to my new normal
Take Breaks. Be kind to yourself. No one has ever been through this. We are learning and adapting at such a quick rate that it's important to remember that you will need to take a break, lots of them throughout the day
Aim for progress, not perfection
Please know that I am not writing saying that I have it all together. I am stumbling every day just like everyone else. My mantra is "progress not perfection". Remember to check in with yourself, your partner, your children and family. We are all scared and stressed. It's important to ask for what you need and remember that some may not know how to ask for help. Schedules and routines will need to be adjusted and changed to accommodate everyone's needs.
Remember you are strong, smart and brave. You got this!