As we approach the peak for COVID19, our stress level may be peaking as well.
It’s been 38 days and counting that we have been self-quarantining, social distancing, working from home or not working at all, schooling our kids at home and struggling to find basic grocery supplies. It’s a long time to exist in a sudden change of reality so different than any of us have ever pexperienced before. And we’re not done.
However, there are now talks of opening the economy back up and slowly easing back to normal. There is pressure from some to do so, while others are hoping we don’t move too fast. We might be hitting the peak of our anxiety during this weird and unchartered time.
Our patience is wearing thin. Our worry is ramping up. Our money is getting tight. Our cabinets are becoming bare. We all want normalcy but we’re not sure how to go about getting back to it. Or when. These are all things that will unfold over the next month. We will get there and it will likely not be smooth. But like the last 38 days, we’ll get through it together. In the meantime, it may be more important now than ever before to manage our stress and practice self care and kindness to others. Here are some things we can do:
- Keep a positive attitude.- As hard as it is right now, it is critically important for ourselves, as well as our kids, that we keep it up.
- Control the controllables.- There is so much that is out of our hands right now. Focus on what you can control and let the rest of it go.
- Keep it kind.- People are going to test you. Your kids and your spouse are going to test you. Remember we’re all going through this and it is hard for all of us.
- Focus on what’s necessary.- If it doesn’t have to be addressed right now, let it go for another day.
- Focus on what’s enjoyable.- Don’t tackle a project that is just going to add more stress. If it isn’t fulfilling, don’t do it right now.
- Exercise and breathe.- Keep yourself active in whatever way it works for you and practice breathing exercises. Meditation and yoga are great!
- Don’t forget about self-care.- Be sure to love yourself during this difficult time. Take a bath. Read a book. Write in a journal.
- Don’t spend money.- It may feel good to do online shopping and when you’re bored it’s easy to do. But, if money stresses you out, this will make it worse.
- Don’t eat or drink your feelings.- It is so easy to comfort ourselves with food and alcohol during these times. But, it will only make you feel worse.
- Watch your caffeine intake.- If you’re already stressed, too much caffeine will definitely push you to the limit.
- Be present.- It’s easy to worry about tomorrow, next week, next month. Try to be in the moment with your kids and your spouse.
- Sleep in.- If you have the time, take it. Sleep is priceless and mothers don’t get nearly enough of it. Ever.
- Eat healthy.- Eat plenty of healthy food and drink lots of water. This is known to reduce stress and keep your hormones in balance.
- Talk to someone.- It may just be a friend or a relative. But if you’re feeling like you’re really struggling, talk to a healthcare professional.
- Don’t engage in drama.- If politics stress you out, avoid it. Especially on social media. If family members are drama, set a boundary.
Guarding our mental health is an act of self-care and it is critically important to do so. If you’re feeling maxed out, hit the pause button and take the time you need to get calm and centered. And remember, this too shall pass.