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Jobs shut down, kids home from school, family and friends separated. Whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or feeling just plain bored, we’re all dealing with something during these high-stress times. We’ve put together a quick list of things you can do today to help you manage stress and cope with this craziness:
Start small! Wake up at the same time each day. Start each morning with quiet time or another activity of your choice. Routine and structure help orient our days, and more importantly, our hearts and minds.
There are countless options at your fingertips. On YouTube, you can find everything from an army boot camp to a fun Zumba class! You can walk to get your essential groceries, or go explore your neighborhood. Exercise looks different for everyone, but the benefits are universal!
Whether it’s changing out of your PJs or putting on a full face of makeup to take out the trash, our dress really can impact our mood. Even if it’s as simple as going from lounge shorts to jean shorts, try getting ready each day for a little pick-me-up.
Open the window, go for a walk or run, sit in a park (socially distanced, of course!). Fresh air is good for your health, especially when the sun is shining! Vitamin D can give your mood a huge boost.
In moments when you feel particularly anxious about everything, focus on your breathing. Take big, long inhales, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then take a deep, soothing exhale. Focusing on our breath is so helpful when trying to de-stress.
It may feel like family members are on top of each other constantly. Find designated, separate (even if it's in the same room) spaces where each person can relax and retreat. Make it separate from work and school space if possible. Create a physical barrier if you’d like, such as a blanket to create a fort. Wherever it is, personal space is key.
Drink plenty of water, get a good night's sleep each night, and limit how much you read/watch the news.
Most importantly, be patient with yourself. You may feel like you should be extra productive, or maybe you have super low energy from monotonous days. You may find yourself going straight to the frozen aisle instead of cooking fresh meals. That is okay. If you start to feel down on yourself, remember that we are in a pandemic, not a productivity competition. Focus on your wellbeing over finishing to-do lists.
You are not alone. Remember: While we may not know when it will end, we do know it will end.