Life for the past several weeks has been anything but normal. We have been thrown a bucket filled with stressors and unknowns that feel like they continuously hold us down at times. Now, even more than before, it’s important to find activities that help balance out our anxiety and stress. Simple things that can be done right from our homes. Here are six ways you can manage stress right from your home.
While this one may seem cliche, meditating for even 5 minutes a day can help be helpful. There are several free apps and local fitness centers that offer online classes to help with this. I personally have been using one of these apps and doing a 10 minute sleep meditation before bed. Often I find myself reliving our daily activities over and over in my head and this meditation has helped me feel relaxed and lets me drift off to sleep more soundly. Being able to clear your head can help put you in a calmer mindset which makes all the difference.
You don’t need to workout for hours every day but simply getting in thirty minutes of some sort of physical activity helps get those endorphins flowing. Like the meditation classes, several local fitness centers are offering online fitness sessions that you can stream from your computer and you need minimal equipment for them. You can also grab the dog and take a walk or load the kids into the stroller and get some fresh air. Personally my favorite time of day is before everyone wakes up. I’ll stream a class, jump on my treadmill or pop in an old school DVD to workout and get my mind ready for the day ahead.
Our children and/or partners are now in our personal space 24/7. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a quick Target run anymore or an evening out with friends. So once a week I ask my husband to get up with the kids and I will lie in bed for an hour and drink my coffee alone. The door is locked and I do not answer it even if I see those little fingers slide underneath because this alone time is something that is just for me. And single parents – I see you. Do not feel guilty about screen time right now. Pop on a movie, give the kids some tablet time and enjoy a cookie in your bedroom alone. Having a moment to gather yourself will help put you in a healthy mindset, especially when patience is needed.
Phone a Friend
Online conferencing programs and video calls on your phone are all the rage now. Schedule an online Happy Hour or Coffee Talk with your friends once a week. Check in with your family and loved ones with video calls. When you stay connected, you’ll feel connected which helps your emotional wellbeing. A simple conversation goes a long way and is so good for the soul.
Write It Out
Writing can be extremely therapeutic so grab a pen and a notebook and get your thoughts out on paper. Maybe write a quarantine diary, which could be interesting to look back and read through in a few years. Or write a letter to your best friend who lives across the country. Regardless, write how you feel and let your emotions go. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel when you can get it all out.
Let It Go
From schedules to screen time to perfectly balanced meals to a clean house – just let it go. You need to do what you can handle right at this moment. If that means going to bed with dishes in the sink, it’s okay. Or letting the kids watch TV in between e-learning assignments on a rainy day, that’s fine too. Do not feel like you have to do it all – because you don’t. Choose one or two things to add to your must-do list and let the rest go. Everyone and everything will be alright until tomorrow.
As we continue to navigate this new normal, remember that your health and wellbeing matter too. Make time for yourself each day, even if it’s for just a few moments, do something that will help you manage your stress and anxiety during these trying times. It’s not selfish to think about yourself when you are putting everyone else first. Remember, your health is important too!
Hancock Health is committed to making health possible for everyone they serve—in 2020 and beyond. They have the facilities, the programs, the resources, and—most important—the people, to help you get healthy, stay healthy, and live a healthier life.